This is advice on winter care for guinea pigs. This advice is given from own experience and others may have different opinions, but this is what I have found successful over many years.
Guinea pigs find the winter hard. They do not develop a winter coat as many species do- such as dogs, rabbits, cats etc. They are very susceptable to draught and cold.
Guinea pigs need shelter in winter, they cannot survive outside without help. They need bringing into a shed or indoors.
If keeping in a shed it is required that they have lots of bedding. A good base of wood shavings and then plenty of hay. I have used straw in the past over very cold periods. Many will say never to use straw, but in cold weather it provides excellent bedding as they will not eat it. The problems it can cause is sharp edges and hurt a guinea pig. I have never had this problem. A layer of newspaper can be added under the shavings to provide extra warmth. Ensure the bedding area is seperated or provide a house where bedding can be packed in.
It is essential the hutch is lifted from the ground. You can easily do this using bricks or wood. It is much wamer of the ground.
It is also a good idea to cover the front of the hutch to prevent any draughts. This can be done using greenhouse insulation, bubblewrap or an old blanket. Stapling it to the roof so it drops over the front is the most popular way.
All too often piggies get forgotten about in winter. Come rain or shine guinea pigs need regular handling and checking on several times a day. it is so important in winter to do this. How would you like being stuck outside seeing no-one? Not nice is it.
it is very important to check for illness daily as any illness unnoticed in winter will progress very quickly in the cold. Ring us for advice 07814204221/email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a vet.
Cover the water bottle in a thermal sock. This will prevent it freezing and will ensure water is always available.
Blankets and snuggle beds are also appreciated in winter.
Bring your piggie inside for lots of handling and play. They wont get out in the run much, so its essential they have this interaction to prevent boredum.
Vegetables/fruit must be given in winter. it is more important as grass wont be available as run time wont be given and it is essential the right diet is given to prevent illness.
If your hutch is made of thin playwood, you would find it beneficial to add extra boarding to the hutch to prevent it being cold and draughty.
Please, please dont forget about your piggie in winter, because its cold, snowing or raining. You wouldnt like it, so neither do they.
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