Care Advice: Are guinea pigs able to live outside?

 If you're contemplating getting a guinea pig or already have one and want to keep it outside your home, but you are unsure if it will survive or not? It's okay, though; I asked myself the same question a few months ago, and here is what I learned.

Care Advice: Are guinea pigs able to live outside?
Care Advice: Are guinea pigs able to live outside?

Can guinea pigs be kept outdoors? A guinea pig can live outside if you can give it the proper kind of shelter, so yes, it is possible. However, where you live will also play a role. They can withstand temperatures as low as 16 °C (65 °F) and as high as 24 °C (75 °F).

 Although they can work very well in much higher or lower temperatures if properly housed. If you plan to keep your guinea pigs outdoors, there are a few things to consider.

 The first and most important factor is that your guinea pig should be secure, completely out of reach of any predators like an eagle, vultures, snakes, dogs, rats, and many more depending on your area. You would also ensure that the temperature of their home remains stable.

 So, now that you know that you have decided to keep your guinea pigs outdoors, you would definitely want to know more about their housing needs, how can you keep them safe outdoors, and much more.

Don't worry, keep reading, and in the end, I will make sure you have no doubts in your mind.

What temperature should guinea pigs live in?

 Temperatures between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius are ideal for guinea pigs. Your pig might become cold if the temperature falls below 15 degrees. Your pig may experience heatstroke if the temperature rises above 26 degrees.

 When a guinea pig is cold, blood flow to the skin decreases to conserve heat. If they are hot, the flux to the skin increases to cool them. Guinea pigs cannot sweat, as they do not have eccrine sweat glands on their bodies. It's up to you to make sure your pig doesn't get too cold or too hot.

Can guinea pigs live outside in the cold?

 Recommended temperatures below 15 degrees are too cold for guinea pigs, and they should be kept indoors. Therefore, if you choose to let your guinea pig live outside in the winter, you need to make some changes to his hutch and environment to keep him warm and happy:

  • If your guinea pig is going to spend the winter outside, make sure its hutch is well-insulated and sheltered from strong winds.
  • You can insulate your guinea pig's hutch by covering the roof and exterior walls with a blanket, tarp, or rug. Try nailing it down to hold it in place. However, remember to make sure the hutch is always ventilated.
  • Consider moving the hutch to a shed or outbuilding to reduce its exposure to the factors like wind and rain. Avoid putting the hutch in a garage with a lot of car fumes. Our furry friends can become seriously ill from car fumes. Additionally, check that all wires are out of the way because your pig might be tempted to nibble on them.
  • Provide plenty of extra hay for your pig to snuggle up to. If you have a large enough hutch, try adding a box or even a cat carrier, with plenty of warm hay inside. This will give your guinea pig an extra place to snuggle up.
  • Make sure your pig's water doesn't freeze. You can buy bottle covers, however, it's often the cold metal spout that causes the water to freeze, so you'll always need to keep an eye on it.
  • Check your guinea pig's water before going to bed and first thing in the morning.
  • Buy a Snuggle Pad if you want to. To reheat these pads, simply place them in the microwave. It can be used as a warm-up space for your guinea pig. They frequently come with a cover. Pet supply stores and online merchants both sell Snuggle Pads.
  • Make sure any wet areas inside your guinea pig's hutch are cleaned out promptly, as they will soon become cold and damp. Not only could this chill your pig, but it will also attract slugs and other insects.
  • Finally, avoid putting your guinea pig on the ground, be it concrete or grass. The cold and humidity might give them chills.

Can guinea pigs go out in the summer?

 In the summer, a guinea pig will happily live outdoors, as it allows him to do a lot of exercises - he needs about 3-4 hours of play a day. Ideally, you should keep guinea pigs in pairs or small groups, caring for them outdoors will also be easier and cleaner.

 In extremely hot weather, you should be aware that your pig has heat stroke. Common signs of heat stroke to watch out for include:

  • Restlessness.
  • Dribbling.
  • Drooling.
  • Weakness and lethargy.
  • Gasping.

 If you spot any of the above signs or notice your pig misbehaving in hot weather, we advise you to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Outside housing for your guinea pig

 Guinea pigs should be able to fully stretch, run and stand on their hind legs. A garden pen is a great place to do this.

 Guinea pigs love to play. So, you need to give them places to hide while they're playing in their run. The reason for this is that guinea pigs dislike grazing in the open air. Tunnels, boxes, and houses can all be used as hiding places.

 You can also provide them with mental enrichment by hiding their hay and other foods in these places for them to find.

 You should make sure to keep your guinea pig in a predator-proof hutch and run around in a shaded area of your garden.

 Guinea pigs are vulnerable to temperature extremes, so you need to take this into account when finding a suitable location.

How to keep guinea pigs comfortable in the summer?

The following list is of tips that owners of indoor and outdoor pigs should find useful. You should:

  • Make sure the hutch and run are in a shady part of the garden and not in direct sunlight.
  • If you have a north or east-facing garden, these areas are good for your pig because they don't get the sun all day.
  • Be sure to refresh their water regularly. You can try putting a few ice cubes in the water to cool it down.
  • Don't keep your guinea pig in a shed or garage, as there is poor air circulation, which means the area can get too hot.
  • Cooling mats designed especially for small animals are available in many pet stores. These are a fantastic option, but watch out—they can be alluring as snacks.
  • You can make your own cooling mats by tightly wrapping an ice pack or bottle of frozen water in a towel and giving it to your pig.
  • If it's very hot, consider bringing your pig inside.
  • Draw the curtains if your pig is inside to help keep the heat out. This will aid in the room's cooling.
  • Use a fan or air conditioning if you have them. However, make sure the draft is not pointing at your guinea pig, as drafts are not good for him.
  • Provide your pig with food and fruits with high water content, such as cucumber and watermelon, but remember that fruits are high in sugar, so feed them in moderation.
  • Next to your guinea pig, place a pan with ice cubes. To calm down, he can go up to it. To prevent your curious pig from exploring and falling in, keep the lid on the pan.
  • Brush your pig to remove excess hair. You can also trim their fur to help them feel lighter.


When can baby guinea pigs come out?

 Wait until your pig is about 400 grams in weight (about 6-8 weeks). When the weather is pleasant and there are no forecasts for cold or rain, you should let your pig out.

 The ideal temperature range is from 15 to 25 degrees. After walking on the floor for five minutes, it should also feel warm and dry.

 Keep in mind that your pig is similar to a young child in that it is more delicate and less able to regulate its body temperature than an adult. So make sure the weather is suitable. In cases of uncertainty, we always suggest speaking with a veterinarian.

Can a guinea pig eat grass outside?

 Since grass is a significant part of their diet, guinea pigs can eat it outside. Before choosing a location for your pig, there are a few things you should check for:

  • You shouldn't feed your pig grass clippings - "cutting the grass can cause the grass to ferment". This can cause bloating in your pig's belly. Therefore, if you have just mowed the grass, clean the cuttings away from where your pig plays.
  • The grass should not be wet.
  • Grass should be free of dog or cat poop - as this may contain parasites.
  • If there are any weeds or plants nearby, you need to make sure they are safe for guinea pigs.
  • You should avoid the grass that may have been polluted by car exhaust or any other pollutant.
  • Avoid any grass that has been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.
  • Remember that while the grass is great for your pig, hay is always better. Hay should always make up the majority of your guinea pig's diet, even if it is kept outdoors.

Can a guinea pig be left outside of his hutch overnight?

 No, is the straightforward response to this question. Your guinea pig could be attacked by foxes or other predators. At night, they must be kept locked inside their hutch.

Can guinea pigs live indoors?

Yes, they can. However, if you are going to keep your guinea pig indoors, you need to remember:

  • Make sure your guinea pig has a big enough hutch.
  • Your guinea pig will need plenty of exercise - 3-4 hours a day. You will need to provide a safe place away from other pets and hazards.
  • Place the hutch away from drafts and direct sunlight.
  • Place your guinea pig away from loud noises because they have sensitive hearing. TV, for instance.
  • If you keep your guinea pig indoors during the winter, avoid putting it outside during the day. That's because the impact of the cold, after the heat of your centrally heated home, could be a shock!

Can you put an indoor guinea pig outside?

 Although we advise following the tips in this article to prevent them from getting too hot, you may want to do this in the summer when the days are warmer.

 To avoid shocking your guinea pig with a sudden temperature change, you can try gradually increasing the amount of time he spends outside if he is used to living inside. Again, we urge you to seek further guidance from a veterinarian if you are ever unsure.