How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Warm in a Winter Power Outage
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Two weeks ago, snow storm barreled into Portland, Oregon and dumped about a foot of snow on a city more adept at dealing with winter rain and wind than snow and ice. The city ground to a halt, an emergency was declared and everybody stayed indoors.
This got the HappyCavy humans thinking. What if power at the HappyCavy home went out? With temperatures well below freezing, how would the guinea pigs stay warm?
To help you deal with an unexpected winter power outage, we came up with a few tips you can use to keep your guinea pigs warm in the event of a winter emergency.
#1. Avoid Opening and Closing Doors
Once your power goes out, close all the doors in your house. Doing so can help prevent heat loss and help insulate your guinea pigs.
#2. Block Drafts
Older homes are drafty homes – cold air can find its way through poorly insulated walls and floors. Use towels or blankets under your doors to prevent heat from escaping from the room where your guinea pigs live.
#3. Move Your Guinea Pigs to the Center of the House
For guinea pigs that live in a cube and coroplast cage, consider moving their cage to a central area of the house, away from exterior doors and windows. Uninsulated or poorly insulated walls that face the outside will lose heat faster the center of your home.
Keep Temperatures Between 65 and 75° Fahrenheit
Guinea pigs should be housed in a draft-free room with a stable temperature range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius).
#4. Give the Guinea Pigs Extra Pigloos
If your guinea pigs don’t have a small hutch or plastic pet igloo (also called “pigloos”), buy one right away! These handy hidey places for guinea pigs can trap heat in the winter to ensure your guinea pigs stay warm and cozy, even on the coldest days. If you lose heat in your home, a pigloo or other hidey hutch can help even skinny pigs stay warm.
#5. Give Your Guinea Pigs Blankets
Break out the fleece! Once your heat goes out and you’ve closed your doors, blocked drafts, and moved your guinea pigs to the center of your home, give them a bunch of extra fleece pieces. We always keep several small pieces of fleece on hand to give to the HappyCavy guinea pigs in the winter. They love curling up in the fleece and using them to block the entrances to their pigloos.
Plus, there’s nothing cuter than a guinea pig snuggled up to a warm piece of soft fleece.
Need Help Keeping Your Guinea Pigs Cool?
It’s winter here in January, but it’s the middle of summer where many of our friends live. Get tips for how to keep your guinea pigs cool in hot summer weather by reading “How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Cool in Warm Weather“.
#6. Buy Fleece Pouches to Prepare for Winter
Step up your fleece game with a handmade snuggle sack or fleece pouch. Depending on how long your power is out, your house may lose a significant amount of heat. A guinea pig can bury itself inside the warm comfort of a soft fleece pouch for hours at a time.
#7. Use Shredded Newspaper in Cage
Don’t have a pigloo? No fleece or cozy sacks? Then rely on the old-school method of shredding newspaper and placing it in your guinea pig’s cage.
Guinea pigs can use shredded newspaper to build a nest, which will help them keep their bodies warm, even if the power goes out.
#8. Use Warm Water Bottles Wrapped in Towels
Have a few empty plastic bottles in your kitchen? Fill them with warm water (but not boiling hot!), wrap them in a towel, and place them in the cage. Your guinea pigs can snuggle up to the hot water bottle towels to keep warm while they wait for your power to be restored.
#9. Have a Basement? Bring Your Pigs Downstairs
Well-insulated underground basements are naturally temperature-regulated. Because they are underground, well-insulated basements can retain heat much longer than other living areas of the house. If you can manage it, bring your guinea pigs to your underground basement where they can escape the eventual heat loss of your upper floors.
Last but not least, there’s nothing better than an excuse to cuddle with your guinea pigs! Even if it may only last for a few minutes until your fuzzy friend has had enough human love, wrap your cavies up in a towel, put them in your lap and get down to snuggle time.
You can only do so much to keep your, but there’s still much you can do!
Do you have any tips to add to our list? How do you keep your guinea pigs warm when you lose electricity in the winter? Share your tips with us in the comment section below!How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Warm in a Winter Power Outage,
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