Guinea pigs do not hibernate, and their hibernation process is different. Generally, guinea pigs hibernate in a state of inactivity and deep sleep. The temperature range in which guinea pigs torpor is slightly different, too. Torpor can be entered when an animal conserves energy and lasts for a shorter duration.
Taking Care of Your Guinea Pig in Winter
As winter sets in, guinea pigs will start to slow down and may even go into torpor. This means they’ll want to stay cozy and less active. Ensure your guinea pig is healthy and happy during inactivity, and ensure they have their regular food and water and a warm place to go when temperatures drop below freezing.
There is no set time frame, and they can undergo torpor at any time of the year. So if your guinea pig doesn’t seem to be eating or drinking, it’s probably asleep and likely fine. Touching them only makes them more active, and they’ll eventually wake up on their own when it’s springtime!
Relocate the Habitat
Guinea pigs need a warm and dry place to hibernate in the winter. Guinea pigs do not need bedding in the winter, but they may enjoy a warm and cozy bedding area. Make sure their habitat is big enough to move around quickly and small enough so they cannot escape!
One of the best ways to reduce drafts in your home is by keeping a heating pad set on low near their bedding and providing them with hay, fresh vegetables, and water. Shutting all house doors and windows will also help reduce drafts.
Optimize Home Temperature
Ensure enough hay, water, and food are available to ensure your guinea pig’s health and well-being during the winter months. Keep them in a warm place with plenty of bedding – guinea pigs like to be surrounded by warmth!
Check their temperature regularly, and immediately bring them into the warmth if it falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Guinea pigs need a temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to torpor properly. If you think your guinea pig might not be feeling well because its temperature is low, please seek veterinary help ASAP!
Monitor Your Guinea Pig
As guinea pigs are ectothermic animals, their body temperature should remain stable in cold weather – so provided they have a warm and dry place to stay, hibernation shouldn’t be an issue. It can take up to six weeks for their body temperature to adapt fully, but patience will pay off in the end!
Access to the Run
Guinea pigs are lively and playful animals that need plenty of exercises. They also need access to a run so they can scamper around and have some fun. It’s essential to ensure their food and water are top-notch while providing them with a warm bed, hay, and treats in the form of pellets or fresh vegetables. If you notice any signs of illness (diarrhea, lethargy), take your guinea pig to the vet for treatment as soon as possible!
Keeping Your Guinea Pig Warm
Guinea pigs need a warm enclosure in the winter to keep them healthy and happy. They can be covered with a blanket or duvet, ensuring enough ventilation so they don’t overheat, and water and food should be available at all times.
Guinea pigs like to curl up in warm bedding, and providing them with the right bedding can help ensure they get a good night’s sleep. Hay, straw, or other materials make significant sleeping areas for guinea pigs as they are temperature-sensitive animals. The best time to give your guinea pig its new bedding is during the winter months when temperatures are cold outside.
Consider Heating Pads
A way to heat your guinea pig’s cage is by using a heating pad or hot water bottle. Heating pads are a great way to keep your guinea pig warm and comfortable in winter.
For your guinea pig to hibernate correctly, he needs to be kept warm and comfortable. You can heat his bedding or cage using heating pads or a blanket. Ensure the temperature is adjustable as your guinea pig changes his body temperature – for example, during the night or summer months.
Hypothermia in Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are capable of inactivity, and it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with hypothermia. To monitor your guinea pig’s temperature and ensure they torpor properly, you should take their rectal temperature daily.
If the temperature falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to take your pet into a warmer environment. Please note that guinea pigs will not hibernate if they are in cages in cold weather, so ensure their habitat is friendly and draft-free.
A few signs can help you identify if your guinea pig suffers from hypothermia. One of the most common problems guinea pigs experience during cold weather is shivering. If you see your pet shivering more than usual or not eating, it’s time to take him to the vet for a check-up.
Other indications of hypothermia include lethargy, decreased activity, seizures, shivering, slow heart rate, abnormal behavior (such as hiding), slowed breathing rate or panting/gasping for air, etc. Always ensure your guinea pig has enough food and water and keeps warm at all times – even in winter!
Proper Response to Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a hazardous condition and can be fatal in guinea pigs. Ensure their living space is warm and dry, provide food and drink, and keep an eye on their temperature. If you notice these symptoms in your guinea pig, immediately take them to the vet!