Cold Weather Care

Like most animals, whee piggies do not deal well with extremes of temperature

4

In hot weather whee are at risk of heat stroke so whee advise you check this page whee wrote to see how you can avoid that.

In cold weather whee are equally susceptible to ill health. Guinea pigs can, and do, freeze to death in cold temperatures with inadequate heating. Here are our top tips to caring for your piggy during a cold spell.

  • If it’s too cold for you outside then it is too cold for your piggies. You have the option to put a coat or jumper on to keep warm. The piggies do not.
  •  Bring outdoor piggies indoors during cold spells. Not only does this protect them from the fluctuating and extreme temperatures but you will also be able to spot illness or adverse reactions to the weather more easily. If you cannot bring them into your home they should at least be moved into a shed, garage or porch where they can avoid the worst of a frost.
  • The best tool you can have is a snugglesafe heat pad. Our hooman swears by them. For older piggies, arthritic piggies or piggies recovering from illness these are the perfect way to keep them warm. Alternatively if you don’t have one and need something to warm a piggy urgently – don’t risk using a hot water bottle – you can warm a small cold animal, by putting them on your bare warm abdomen. This transfers heat and if you put a blanket over the top of them too, should help warm them. If a piggy or any animal is seriously cold and showing signs of listlessness, weakness, or anything abnormal you should always call your vet for advice.
  • Cozy cups and fleece beds are brilliant! They are warm and cuddly for piggies and the perfect place to huddle for warmth.
  • Extra hay. Though they need lots of hay all year round with it being 70% of their diet putting extra in for bedding is a great way for them to hide and keep warm.
  • Wooden hidey houses are better than plastic. Try touching each in the cold weather and decide which you would prefer to cuddle up in!
  • Bottle snugs. If your piggies are outdoors in a shed of some sort a bottle snug will keep the water from getting too cold and some of them are also adapted to stop them getting too hot too. Whee have never used them but they are available in most pet shops.
  • Hutch snugs. Also something whee have not used but good for piggies kept in sheds or garages during cold weather. An extra layer of insulation to protect them! Alternatively you can  put over the hutch a layer sheet of radiator reflector foil, (available from most DIY shops). This helps to insulate the hutch and reflects any heat back inside.

Those are the basics. A few little ideas you could try are

  • Take an upturned cardboard box with a hole cut in the side and stuff it full of hay, then tuck the snugglesafe in there and put a fleece blanket cover over the whole thing. This creates a great hiding hole which is lovely and cozy.
  • As a very occasional treat the hooman will mush half a wheat-a-bix with boiled water to make a thick mixture then let us eat small amounts off a spoon. This is warming but also fattening so only as very occasional treat.

Most of what whee have said under the basics is transferable to other species, hamsters, cats, dog, rabbits etc. What are your top tips for keeping your pets safe and warm? Do your pets have a favourite spot to keep warm in the house? Us piggies find snuggling up on the hoomans is the warmest and nicest place to be, unless there is a snugglesafe, in which case, that!

Whee hope this helps somefurry and efurryone stays warm and safe

Happy Friday

Nacho

xxxx

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About hutchagoodlife

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

Posted on January 10, 2014, in Piggy Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I wish I had a giant hay stack too. That would be the perfect cave for a hibernation. Sadly hay in the bed is not allowed here. So I have to stay directly under the heater in my blanket-cave :o)

  2. Aww a heat pad must be sooo comfi for the piggies to snuggle on!

  3. Such great advice guys..we must be so careful with our anipals in extremes of temperature ..we have a heat wave instead coming and all anipals here will be kept inside cool and safe while the sheepies have been moved to the barer paddock with better trees and a shelter …their baths full of water and plenty of feed..they dislike water being sprayed on them but their fleece acts as a cooler as well as a heater! hugs Fozziemum xx

  4. Oh I do hope you boys are staying toasty warm and snug INSIDE….the days of outside time in the grass will come again – but not for a while – so meanwhile we’ll just be enjoying cuddles and warmth!

    Hugs, Sammy

  5. Great tips on keeping warm. We have the opposite problem here as it is mild but we need to be keeping dry. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. Great post my friends. Great post!! XOXO – Bacon

  7. These are great tips Thanks for posting them. Love, Cali, Andy, Tater and Shelly (C.A.T.S)

  8. Who would leave a pig outside in the cold? I wouldn’t leave a pig outside without watching it in any temperature. A hawk, bobcat, coyote or other predator could get it.

    • The worst whee have round here is foxes but in properly secured hutches piggies are fine through summer months. It’s just when it turns cold or gets extremely hot. It’s furry sad that some people leave their piggies out in all weathers and in the last snow, lots of piggies died due to owners not wanting to go out and get them in or not bothering to protect them in any way. It makes the hooman so mad!

      xxxx

  9. People keep piggies outside all year?? Didn’t know that but I guess some keep rabbits in outside hutches so why not piggies. Our piggy has a heater close to his cage. It goes on and off by itself and it keeps him warm and at night we cover his cage.
    Thanks for the tips!

    • Lots of people keep there piggies outside all year round in the UK (perhaps because whee don’t often have extremes of weather). If it’s in a shed or garage or something that keeps the worst of bad weather off whee can understand it but when it’s exposed and people don’t properly protect it, it makes the hooman mad,

      xxxx

  10. Wise words, N. If you don’t need to go out, stay in. Mom bundles me up and makes sure we don’t stay out too long. I never have to worry. She hates the cold more than I do!!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  11. SUSAN, SID, AND SHELBY WEINSTEIN

    You should write a book.

  12. This weather sure has been cold lately! Hope you all have been staying nice and warm. I don’t know about you but we’re looking forward to the return of spring! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  13. Ty for these tips and we live inside all year long cause our humans live in an apt.
    In hot weather we get ceramic blows to sit and lay in that have been kept in the freezer and covered with terry cloth and it keeps us cool all day.
    Our human change the freezer bowls a couple times a day to make sure we have a cool bed and they add a little crushed ice to our water.
    We are not by any windows or drafts, so we do not get drafts or over heated by the sun.
    Our humans buy special grass and dandilion greens for us at the feed store to make sure we do not eat anything tainted.
    Just a few more tips from Annabelle and MollySue.

  14. Pawsum tips n facts dere Nacho!! We finkz it wuud bee sad fer G-Piggiez to bee in a shed or garage tho’. Me finkz G-Piggiez shuud have their own room in a hosue wif da Hu’manz!! 😉
    me lubz me tote bed wif snuggie blankiez by da rad in da bedroom. me haz 6 of me own bedz all over da place n also Mum ‘z big bed to sleep in wif her!!! Mum will curl around me in bed n me feelz so guud!!
    Our Hu’manz are da best aren’t dey??
    Lub Nylablue xxxxx

  15. 😉 Dere wuud bee ALOT of G-Piggiez sharin yer *crib* wif ya den…
    Mum wantz to save da werld too!
    Lub Nylablue xxxx

  16. roll on summer and some warmth!I miss garden time,xx Speedy

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