Guinea pigs thrive when they live in temperatures ranging from 64 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Animal Welfare League. That means leaving your guinea pig outside is probably not a good idea, especially in winter and summer. When it comes to keeping your guinea pig warm during the winter, remember that "warm" and "hot" are not the same thing. Very high temperatures are just as bad for Ginny as cold ones.
Keep the cage in a room that doesn't have constant drafts or high humidity, as this can cause your guinea pig to get cold. The garage, the laundry room and the bathroom are not good choices because of that. Neither is an outdoor porch, unless it's heated. If you want to keep an outdoor area or cage, make it a daytime one -- then move your guinea pig in at night, when the temperature goes down. You won't be able to keep him warm enough to stay safe outdoors during winter nights.
Add extra bedding to the cage or hutch. Wood shavings are the most common type of bedding, but you can add shredded newspaper or small pieces of cut-up fleece to the cage. As the temperatures drop, your guinea pig will bury himself in the bedding, helping him to keep warm. Make sure you keep the bedding clean and throw away bedding that are wet -- that could cause your pet to feel cold when he buries himself into it to sleep.
Buy a heating pad made especially for rodents. These come in microwaveable form or the kind that plugs in. If you buy the plug-in type, make sure to use it only when you can monitor. Although the cord is supposed to be chew-resistant, a persistent guinea pig who has nothing else to do might eventually get through. The microwaveable type of heating pads are good for overnight use and will maintain their temperature for hours.
Two Guinea Pigs Sniffing image by Curtis J. Alexander from Fotolia.com
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.