How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Cool In the Summer
GD Star Rating
If you think this post deserves under 5 stars,
The summer sure can be a lot of fun for Humans and guinea pigs alike!
But along with the fun in the sun and time to relax comes an extra responsibility for guinea pig keepers: keeping our guinea pigs happy and healthy during the long, warm days of summer.
Guinea pigs are sensitive creatures and they particularly enjoy a properly adjusted heat gauge that is set to temperatures between 67° and 77°F (19.4°C and 25°C respectively). So whether you think it’s cool enough in your house or not, imagine how much more uncomfortable your cavy may feel, all dressed up in that warm and fuzzy coat, lying on absorbent bedding. Agh. Ew. Itchy.
The HappyCavy Family is fortunate enough to live in the Pacific Northwest USA, where the temperatures are mild and relatively free of super-high temps or freezing weather. But we sure do get our oppressively hot, too-sweaty-to-sleep heat waves from time to time.
It’s during these uncomfortable times that we break out an air conditioning unit and follow some of the advice we have collected below on how to helping your guinea pig stay cool in the summer heat.
|THE GUINEA PIG WEBCAMS ARE ONLINE
» view now
BUY AN INDOOR TEMPERATURE MONITOR
Buy an indoor digital display thermometer (like this one) to place near your guinea pig cage. If the temperature is above 78°F (25.5°C) you should turn on an air conditioning unit or use one of the heat management suggestions below.
Bring Your Guinea Pig Indoors
You can best help your guinea pig stay cool by keeping them indoors during the hottest months of summer. An indoor environment will provide the shelter and access to supplies your guinea pig needs to stay cool. Air conditioners, ice packs, and other cooling techniques can be more easily administered if your guinea pig is nearby, indoors, and outside the heat.
Access to Water
Your guinea pig can consume an excessive amount of water in high heat. Be sure to continuously check your guinea pig’s water level and fresh up their supply every so often: fresh, cooler water is much more refreshing than a warm and stale drinking supply. A word of advice: Don’t provide chilled water, as the change of temperature may shock your guinea pig’s body.
A reasonable supply of vegetables and fruit with a high-water content, like cucumber or cool berries, can help ease the discomfort in moderate heat (it will do very little to alleviate extreme temperatures). While feeing a large amount of high-water content fruits and vegetables to your guinea pig is NOT recommend, providing a little more than usual during the summer isn’t a terrible idea.
Fans and Air Conditioners
We’ve received a lot of questions over the years about how to properly care for guinea pigs during the summer, and the question that comes up the most is, “Can I use a fan?” The answer is, “Yes, Yes, YES!”
Fans and air conditioners are invaluable tools for taking most of the burden off your guinea pig when it’s hot outside. When you can begin to feel the heat of the mid-day through the walls of your home, a properly placed fan of air conditioning unit (A/C) is quite effective.
When using a fan or air conditioner to cool your guinea pig’s room, make sure the air is blowing AWAY from your guinea pig’s cage. To avoid the change of an upper respiratory infection (URI), the unit should not be casting air in any part of your guinea pig’s living environment.
Ice Packs, Gel Cushions, Cool Tiles
Besides having a small air conditioning unit installed in our room, The Humans also give us ice packs, gel cushions, and chilled tiles bought from a hardware store.
DIY Guinea Pig Ice Pack
A simple DIY alternative to buying ice packs or hidey ice pads:
You will need
• Empty plastic bottle with lid, any will do
• Regular kitchen “dish towel”
1. Clean the empty plastic bottle with a little soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly
2. Fill the cleaned bottle 3/4 full with clean water
3. Seal the lid on the bottle
4. Rinse the bottle again and pat dry, not too thoroughly as we want to keep the bottle a bit wet
5. Place the bottle in the freezer
6. Remove the bottle from your freezer in 2 to 3 days, or until solid
7. Wrap bottle in a towel and place in your guinea pig’s cage
8. Watch them explore and stay cool
*You can remove the towel after the bottle has cooled down, depending on your indoor temps
The Humans generally save any drink-sized bottle around and use them as on-the-fly cooling packs for summer. It’s super easy, doesn’t cost a dime, and can provide a quick fix to a really uncomfortable problem!
Cover Your Windows
I’m sorry, are my windows showing?
Not exactly, but close. By closing your window shades and drawing your curtains in the morning, you can prevent a lot of the sizzling summer heat from getting into your home. This means you’ll spend less money to cool your home and the risk of heat stroke or dehydration of your guinea pig can be significantly reduced.
And if you’re looking for a pro-top, you know we have one! Buy large sheets of dark, black fleece and hang them over your drawn curtains or shades before you leave for work in the morning. By providing an extra layer of heat protection to your home’s largest windows you can block even more dangerous heat from adversely effecting your sweet, fuzzy cavy babies.
Shout out to Guinea Pig Australia for an excellent article about how to handle guinea pig summer heat management along with some suggestions on first aid treatments for guinea pig heat stroke. Jump to the article.
How Do You Cool Off Your Guinea Pigs
How do you make sure your guinea pig stays cool during the summer heat? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Cool In the Summer,
If you think this post deserves under 5 stars,
please let us know why in the comment section! :)