Not Cool!

Ok, well this post is part rant, part lesson to be learned. Whee were inspired to write this by June Buggie’s rant about dogs in hot cars over at RumpyDog, read the post for yourself here.

It got us started on one of our ‘pet hates’ or should whee rephrase that as ‘things pets hate’. You may or may not know, guinea pigs are like humans in their feeling of temperature. If it’s too cold for you out, then it’s too cold for us. The same, for hot weather.

So when it is that lovely hot Summer morning, and you put your guinea pigs out to play in the garden, that’s great. Sit out, enjoy the sun with us. Then when it gets a bit too hot, about midday, when the sun is at its highest point and you decide you want to go in, its too hot for us too. Don’t leave us out in the garden while you go in to cool down. Though whee are not sure of exact figures (having only read stories online and some probably aren’t put out there) whee are always shocked by the amount of guinea pigs that die every Summer due to heatstroke.

Though whee think its common sense whee are going to put these points together:

  • When in the garden, please give your guinea pig an area of shade and something to hide in. One per piggy is usually best. Whee have a blue tent, and small cuddly pet beds for our garden time.
  • If you are putting us out for longer than half an hour, please put out a bowl of water or attach a water bottle to the run, somewhere shaded to keep the water cool for us.
  • It is also good to give us some vegetables with a high water content such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, pepper etc.
  • This can be used in a cage or outside. Either get a pet safe cool pack for them to cuddle up to. Or make your own by filling an empty water bottle with water and freezing it. Then wrap that in a towel or blanket and put in the cage or run for us to cuddle up to.
  • Watch out for signs of heat stroke (or heat stress). Signs of heat stroke include panting, slobbering, weakness (floppy body), refusal to move about (lethargy), delirium, convulsions and eventually death. Yes, it is that serious.

Some fab advice and a very frank comment whee discovered may be useful (read the full post in the forum here – fair warning, it is distressing and does mention multiple details about the deaths of guinea pigs to heat stroke)

“Overheated pets are usually done for. It depends on how hot, for how long, and if emergency veterinary treatment for shock and such is instituted soon. I’ve not seen an overheated cavy or rabbit live yet. Some dogs. Some dogs with brain damage. You pretty much cook their neurological system (brain) and cause a lot of irreversible damage. The best way to survival is complete avoidance of the situations which cause overheating.

The first treatment on the way to the vet’s is to use some cooling methods. I go with lukewarm water, actually. The key is to cool gradually, but not too slow or fast. Then IV fluids and other medications as indicated. I think mannitol for brain swelling is on there. I haven’t dealt with one since last summer, so my brain is rusty. Some vets also give steroids. I think you don’t have a chance in the world with SQ fluids and this. It’s a true medical emergency. It’s kinda like putting a band-aid on a severed artery. “

With heat stroke your piggy will be floppy and lethargic, it is one of the scariest things to see. Best treatment whee can recommend is syringe room temperature water and place them on a cool wet flannel or cloth, somewhere shaded. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle of cool water and spray a light mist over the piggy. But the only real advice is get that piggy to a cavy savvy vet ASAP.

You see why whee think people need to learn to take precautions?! This is another forum page where a piggy owner talks about how she learnt a very hard lesson about piggies and heat (again this is very upsetting so beware)

If you need more advice on keeping piggies cool indoors in hot weather, there are some great links here. Whee hope this helps somefurry.

Please remember to keep all you pets hydrated and safe this Summer.

Be sensible.

Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil


About hutchagoodlife

Tales and adventures from the hutches of British blogging guinea pigs!

Posted on June 23, 2013, in Piggy Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. A timely reminder. We pets are too precious to be locked in cars or left out in the sun!

  2. Great post, piggies. 🙂

  3. We’re very aware of the problem for dogs and cats. Glad you’re getting the message out there for piggies – it’s a very distressing thing to cope with and as you point out, totally avoidable.

    • It is with any animal. Whee have heard about hamsters over heating because they didn’t have enough water or their cage was in direct sunlight. Completely avoidable. Of course with all the travelling you do, you must experience all sorts of weather conditions so you know exactly what whee are on about!


  4. Great tips, piggies. I hope all humans are sensible enough to let no pet in a car or a cage when it is too hot or too cold.

  5. We read June’s post too x. Well done for highlighting about piggys also

  6. We agree that humans should remember if they are uncomfortable, we certainly are too! It makes me so sad that people forget we depend on them to help us ALL the time – keep us safe, keep us healthy….we are at the mercy of our humans so hopefully they are sensible!! Well said Piggies!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  7. Thanks for a great and very informative post. It is crucial to get the word out there about this topic.

    • Thank you. It is something close to our hearts and a big issue that will be hitting piggies in the next couple of months. Whee don’t even reach horrible temperatures in the UK and some piggies still die, that’s how fragile whee are.


  8. I can’t imagine anyone would be so careless with intention. I hate the idea of any pets in distress. Great information to include today. You are just to sweet.

  9. I feel for dogs who are ALWAYS outside. It gets over 40C here.

  10. the same is true for us bunnies too,great post guys,xx Speedy

    • Pretty much all that advice would match up to bunnies too! Whee hope that rabbit and piggy owners can learn from this post. Hopefully the more whee raise awareness the more lives whee can save.


  11. Great post ickle piggies!

  12. Here in the US piggies are pets, but people seem to think of them as expendable. It’s very sad, and I appreciate how you’re changing the way people think about them. Good work!

    • People see piggies as disposable pets here too. It’s just not good enough and whee are determined to make people change the way they think about us.

      Thanks for inspiring this post!


  13. Fantastic post! My piggies live indoors and I keep a thermometer attached to their cage (on the outside) to keep an eye on the temperature. I can’t go by whether I am hot or not as I’m originally from southern Portugal and LOVE warm temperatures. If it’s less than 25 I’m cold :/

    • A thermometer is a great idea. Whee might get Mummy to get us one. It would be really useful for people who keep their piggies in outdoor hutches in particular to know, just what their piggies are living in!


  14. Great tips! I also want to warn people about leaving dogs in cars with the engine running and AC on. In my town, a dog was left in a running car while his mom ran in to buy a bottle of water. The car was stolen! A few days later, they found the car, but they never found the dog! 😦

  15. Even as someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about Guinea Pigs, I feel like this is really great advice! Awesome post – thanks for this. 🙂

  16. Very nice of you to mention this piggies. You guys have very sensitive body temperatures! I remember a sad story at work… a young piggy was brought in one summer and was very overheated. It was VERY hot last summer here. I don’t remember the full details from the humans, but I do know it was something ridiculous. The piggy’s temperature was so high, our thermometer couldn’t read it… It was reading at about 109 or 110… the piggy unfortunately did not make it. 😦

    • It really is terrible. Hoomans just seem to forget us or not do the simple things needed to protect us. Unfortunately whee are always the ones to pay the price and the hoomans just go out and get another one. Whee shouldn’t be thought of as disposable pets anymore.


  17. A brilliant post, thank you for spreading the message about heat stoke.

  18. This is an important message. I’m going to tweet the link.

  19. PAWSOME!! SIMPLY PAWSOME!!! What is it with humans who not only leave their dogs in hot cars, their piggies out in hot gardens…but they even leave their own little humans in a hot car “just for a second”…seriously

    • It is very silly. Even last year a policeman left his doggy in a hot car while he went inside to do some paperwork, came out and found the doggy had died. Safe to say he is no longer part of the canine unit anymore but it is still shocking.


  20. Amazing post, some great easy tips in there that are totally doable! Those pics just made it even better. :’) Awww in the high graaass.. how cute. And one piece of shade per guinea pig.. awww..

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