Guinea pigs are most comfortable in a temperature range between 60-85 F. Anything below or over that temperature range can make them uncomfortable and may even invite health issues.
Now that summer is almost upon us, we must keep our guinea pigs cool. Guinea pigs cannot sweat because they do not have sweat glands. This implies that they cannot regulate their body temperatures, making it imperative for us to keep them cool in scorching temperatures.
The best way to cool down guinea pigs is by
- Moving your pet’s cage to a cooler part of the home
- Utilizing an AC or a fan to keep the air cool and circulating.
- Providing plenty of water for your pet to drink.
- Providing frozen treats and ice packs.
You must watch out for signs of overheating in your guinea pig as those could be extremely dangerous.
Signs of Overheating in Guinea Pigs – What is the Ideal Temperature for Guinea Pigs?
When the temperatures rise, it is essential to monitor your guinea pig and ensure it does not overheat. Overheating could result in heat strokes in guinea pigs which can be fatal.
According to the USDA, temperatures above 25 C (77 F) could make your guinea pig extremely uncomfortable while those above 30 C (86 F) could increase the risk of heat strokes or even death in guinea pigs.
Here are the tell-tale signs that your pet might be too hot for comfort:
- Excessive panting
- Drooling or slobbering
- Pacing around restlessly or, conversely, lack of movement
- Lack of appetite
8 Proven Tips to Keep Your Guinea Pig Cool in Summer
Here are some simple things you can do to keep your guinea pig cool in the warmer months:
- Move its Cage to a Cooler Part of the House
Heat usually rises upwards so the upper stories of your house are more likely to be warmer. Therefore, storing your pet’s cage in the basement may be a good idea.
The bathroom is another cool place to keep your guinea pig’s cage in. This is because tiled surfaces do not absorb heat as much as wood, concrete, and brick.
If needed, walk around the house to assess which area is the coolest and store your pet’s cage there. Avoid placing the cage in areas with direct sunlight or near stoves, fireplaces, or heater vents.
- Use a Fan
You may also use a ceiling fan or a table fan to keep the air circulating in your pet’s cage. Make sure the fan’s air is not directly striking your pet as that could also be stressful to some cavies.
Instead, keep the air circulating by locating the cage a few feet away from a pedestal fan or table fan. If you have a ceiling fan, avoid keeping the guinea pig’s cage directly underneath it.
- Use an Air Conditioner
Keeping your guinea pig in a climate-controlled environment using an air conditioner is the best way to keep it cool.
The temperature setting can be between 55 F and 60 F. Please ensure that your pet isn’t too cold as guinea pigs cannot tolerate extreme cold too. Avoid keeping the temperature below 10 C or 50 F.
- Cover the Cage with a Damp and Cool Towel
Use this method in case you do not have air conditioning.
Wet up a towel and place it in the freezer. Once it is nice and cold, cover your guinea pig’s cage with it.
This will instantly lower the temperature and keep your furry pet nice and comfortable.
Do not cover the entire cage – allow some airflow.
- Provide Frozen Water Bottles/Ice Packs
You can also provide frozen water bottles or ice packs in your pet’s cage for your guinea pig to rest against them. To freeze a water bottle, simply fill it up with water and place it in the freezer.
Once it is solidified, cover it with a towel and place it in the cage. Your guinea pig will gladly lay near it or against it to cool off.
- Provide Plenty of Cool Water For Your Pet to Stay Hydrated
An important way to keep your guinea pig cool in the warmer months is by providing it with cool drinking water.
On normal days, guinea pigs need at least 100-200 ml of water per kg of body weight. On hot days, their water intake will be even greater.
- Provide Frozen Treats
Provide pieces of frozen treats like berries, kiwis, pineapple, and carrots to your pet. This will cool your little guy or girl on a hot summer day.
- Limit Your Guinea Pig’s Playtime
While guinea pigs need plenty of exercise to prevent obesity, you might want to limit their activity on hot days.
Your cavy cannot regulate its body temperature through sweating as humans do. Resultantly, it might overheat if it plays or exercises too much.
If you want your cavy to still get its daily quota of exercise, then try to limit it to the cooler parts of the day – such as the early morning or after sunset.
Can Guinea Pigs Stay Outdoors in Summer?
According to the PDSA, guinea pigs may stay indoors or outdoors as long as you provide them with proper housing and keep them protected from extreme temperatures.
It is essential to understand that guinea pigs are native to the cold Andes which makes them susceptible and vulnerable to hot weather. Furthermore, a lack of sweat glands also means that they cannot self-regulate their body temperatures.
If you plan to keep your guinea pigs outside, then make sure their hutch is not directly in the sun. Also, if the temperatures rise above 25 C or 77 F, please bring your pet’s hutch indoors.
Also Read: Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?
Are guinea pigs OK in hot weather?
Guinea pigs are usually not okay with hot weather as they cannot sweat and self-regulate their body temperatures. Resultantly, they can overheat if the temperatures rise above 25-30 C or over 77 F. Please use one of the methods above to keep your guinea pig cool.
How do I know if it is too hot for my guinea pig?
If you see your guinea pig panting, slobbering, not moving, and not eating, then it may be hot and uncomfortable. Please take the necessary precautions to lower your pet’s temperature right away.
Can I spray my guinea pig with water?
You could mist your guinea pig’s cage with a fine spray of water but avoid spraying water directly on your pet. Instead, use a damp towel to wipe down your pet and also keep the air circulating using a fan.
How can I keep my guinea pig cool without AC?
The best ways to keep your guinea pig cool without an AC are by using a fan, providing frozen treats, and also with the help of frozen water bottles wrapped in a towel or ice packs placed inside the pet’s hutch.
Conclusion – How To Cool Down Guinea Pigs?
Keeping your guinea pig cool in summer is essential to prevent heatstrokes and other health issues. Remember: guinea pigs cannot self-regulate their body temperature as they do not have sweat glands.
The best way to cool down your guinea pig is with a fan, AC, a damp towel placed over their cage, and frozen treats and ice packs.
We hope this guide helps you keep your pet nice and comfortable in the warmer months.