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Should Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

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Tim Rhodes

As a (new) guinea pig owner, you probably wonder should guinea pigs live outside.

You have plenty of space outside; guinea pigs will love it that, you think.

That’s a great idea, so, let’s see whether guinea pigs can live outside throughout the year.

Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

If you consider moving your guinea pigs outdoors, you should know that guinea pigs can live outside throughout the entire year if the temperature is in the 67-77°F range.

If the temperature is below that range, it can be harmful to your guinea pigs.

On the other hand, a temperature higher than 90°F (21-32°C) can cause heatstroke in your pets.

Thus, you can keep a piggy outside if the temperature stays in the scope of 67-77°F (19 – 25°C) any season.

You should know that guinea pigs are native to South America, which is why this temperature range suits them best.

However, the answer to the question of whether your guinea pig pets should live outside is much different.

Should Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

Guinea pigs should not live outside.

However, if you do decide to let your guinea pig live outside, they can still survive.

Just make sure that your guinea pigs are in a comfortable climate that isn’t too cold or too warm.

If you do decide to let your guinea pig pets live outside, don’t let them exercise in weather that’s dangerous for a guinea pig’s health.

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Last update on 2021-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Cons Of Keeping Your Guinea Pigs Outside

Guinea pigs kept outside can be under constant stress if they are around potential predators like rodents, winds, or foxes, particularly when you keep guinea pigs in a box in the greenhouse which isn’t fenced.

Guinea pigs are exceptionally fragile, so they need a place that is safe for guinea pigs.

If the temperature falls under 70°F  guinea pigs are in higher danger of getting sick.

They love to be a part of the family, play with the children, and need their cuddle time.

If you keep these small animals outside, it is highly unlikely you will be able to provide them all the comfort that they need.

Quite possibly, you will neglect your pets more than you’d like to.

You need to take care of your guinea pigs, check on them a few times every day, make sure they have enough timothy hay and fresh water, and check whether they have spilled it.

Besides, predators like foxes and cats also represent a danger to these small animals.

The Pros Of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside

You can’t belittle the upsides of outside air and common daylight.

Guinea pigs are exceptionally irritated in noisy environments, so they want to be as far away from the TV and other sources of loud sound as possible.

Although guinea pigs don’t have an odor on their own, they can smell of feed, bedding, and dry sustenance blend.

Very few people can endure this smell, so keeping your pets outside might appear like a great idea.

These little cuties can get extremely untidy, squeak loudly and get a bit noisy in the middle of the night.

Open airboxes in which you might be keeping your guinea pigs should be larger in size and often they have outside runs joined to them, so guinea pigs can stay safe outside.

Likewise, you might have other pets that cannot stay outside.

Finally, you can store your guinea pig supplies outside such as sacks with feed and nourishment blends, so your home remains spotless.

This solves the problem for many people suffering from allergies to timothy hay and other herbs.

Nonetheless, your guinea pigs shouldn’t stay outside because the weather conditions will affect them and they should be protected from the draft, which can really put them in danger.

What Are the Normal Conditions For a Guinea Pig?

Before discovering how to take care of your guinea pigs outside during the winter months, we need to learn what conditions are viewed as typical for these adorable animals.

The pen or any place your guinea pig resides ought to be large enough to allow them to move freely, play, and stand on their hind legs without hitting the highest point of their habitat.

If you have more than one guinea pig, the enclosure must be even larger.

Every guinea pig needs to have a “safe spot”, a place to hide when feeling endangered.

Your guinea pigs perceive such as “safe spot” as an asylum to find a cover.

Unquestionably, the whole pen must be ventilated.

You need to make sure that the space within the enclosure is dry.

However, as guinea pigs are messy and they often spill their water while running around, it’s a good option to install a water bottle for your pets.

These bottles are easily placed at the top or at the sides of a cage.

In any case, check often whether they have sufficient supplies of fresh water.

Also, note that a filthy and sodden condition is the ideal spot for microorganisms.

If you decide to keep your pets outside of your home, you should know that they will be affected by the weather more than if you keep them inside.

They should stay away from the draft and direct sunlight, and rain.

If your guinea pigs reside inside, you need to ensure that your guinea pigs’ habitat isn’t near windows, radiators, any sources of cold airflow or warmth.

Temperatures at 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect for your pet guinea pig.

Temperatures somewhat lower or higher than this are passable.

However, if the temperature falls under or goes above the range, your guinea pigs’ wellbeing is endangered, either because of hypothermia or hyperthermia.

In the first case, your guinea pigs can die when their body temperature is low; they can have a heat stroke in the second case.

Regardless of where you keep your guinea pigs, the area should be well ventilated but away from cold and heat sources and draft.

Likewise, the area should be relatively calm, without sudden and loud noises.

Can Guinea Pigs Get A Cold?

Guinea pigs can get cold, especially if they are exposed to cold weather conditions or if you keep your guinea pigs outside.

Outside, you cannot keep your guinea pigs warm at constant temperatures, at least not as much as indoors.

You know that guinea pigs are delicate creatures.

Guinea pigs usually start sneezing, which is the first sign they might be having a cold.

The second sign is that they might feel lethargic, and do not eat or drink as much as they usually do.

When a guinea pig catches a cold, it can be very dangerous.

Guinea pigs can suffer from both upper and lower respiratory illnesses.

A guinea pig cold usually occurs in the upper respiratory system, while cold in the lower respiratory system usually signifies pneumonia.

These two illnesses can accompany each other and endanger your pet’s life.

Therefore, keep an eye on your guinea pig’s behavior and habits, so you can spot any change easily.

Besides, your pet guinea pig can suffer from both viral and bacterial respiratory infections.

Another sign to look out for is runny and red eyes.

There is just one way out.

You have to take your guinea pig to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Direct daylight, wind, and extraordinary temperature changes can make your guinea pig sick.

How To Keep My Guinea Pigs in the Cold?

Obviously, it’s better to keep guinea pigs inside when the temperature falls under 70°F.

However, in some circumstances, it is hard to accomplish.

You should provide them with enough space and keep the temperature in the room between 62-68°F, which is the safest temperature for your guinea pigs.

Likewise, you will have to make sure that their outdoor shelter is isolated and protected enough to prevent them from becoming ill.

A lot more bedding than usually is a must during the winter months to keep your guinea pigs warm.

Besides, they always need a lot of hay, so you need to provide them plenty.

You might want to provide your small pets with a fleece tunnel hideaway that will keep them warm and comfortable.

Your guinea pigs will love them.

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Last update on 2021-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Although we don’t recommend keeping your pets outside if the temperature is below 62 or above 85°F, if you decide to keep your guinea pig outside, you should:

  • never keep a single, solitary guinea pig; instead, give them a companion to prevent loneliness and have someone to snuggle down with (so, have at least two guinea pigs that will keep each other company)
  • move the guinea pig hutch to a safe, predator-proof, ventilated area that will protect your guinea pigs from wind and rain, and the draft
  • place the cage in a shady area away from direct sunlight
  • check often on your guinea pigs, making sure they always have enough timothy hay and fresh water (a water bottle is a good idea since your small pets cannot spill the water in it)
  • not keep your guinea pigs in a shed or garage during hot summer days because such buildings absorb the heat, don’t have enough ventilation, and can be very hot; instead, you need to put the hutch in an area that will keep your guinea pigs cool enough.

Final Thoughts

Although you might want to keep your guinea pig outside, it is not the best choice.

Apart from weather that can be unkind to these small pets, common predators such as cats and foxes can put your guinea pig’s life in danger.

However, if you do decide to place your guinea pig’s hutch in an adequate area outside of your home, spend enough time with your guinea pigs.

Although you might have more than one guinea pig, they still need your company to be completely happy.

Your pet is a social animal and needs your company, close contact with you, and bonding time, so keep your guinea pig close, in an area of your home that you frequent.

A healthy guinea pig is a happy guinea pig.

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