Naturally, you’ll have questions like Do guinea pigs hibernate? if you’re new to owning them. Although it is known that many rodents spend time in this state of inactivity each year, will this be a concern or something you will need to take into account? So, in order to assist you a little, I decided to do some research.
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Do Guinea Pigs Hibernate?
No. Guinea pigs do not hibernate, and keeping them at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is not recommended.
When it gets cold, they will require special attention. Even some early-fall days might be too chilly for guinea pigs.
Keep your pet guinea pig warm at all times to prevent potential health issues.
What Temperature Is Best For Guinea Pigs?
The ideal daytime temperature for guinea pigs is between 65 and 75°F (18 and 24°C). They should be kept in temperatures greater than 60°F (15°C) at night.
If the air is dry, guinea pigs can survive in temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C). Even at higher temperatures, they might begin to experience cold-related problems if there is condensation all around them.
Difference Between Hibernation And Torpor (Deep Sleep)
Hibernation is frequently at the top of the list when discussing the various strategies used by animals to survive the winter. However, in actuality, not many animals actually hibernate. Many people fall into torpor, a milder form of sleep. What distinguishes the survival strategies known as torpor and hibernation, then?
Animal hibernate in order to save energy, survive during times of food scarcity, and reduce their exposure to the elements during the chilly winter months.
Visualize it as a very deep sleep. It is a physiological state characterised by low body temperature, slower heartbeat, slow breathing, and low metabolic rate. Depending on the species, it might last for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months.
Torpor is a survival state used by most animals to get through the colder months. Reduced body temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and metabolic rate are additional factors.
Unlike hibernation. Torpor also only lasts a short while, sometimes just through the night or day, depending on the animal’s feeding habits.
How To Care For Your Guinea Pig In The Winter
In order to keep your guinea pig comfortable throughout the winter and prevent potential cold-related issues like hypothermia, you need to ensure that it has the best living conditions. In the winter, guinea pigs need extra attention and care.
It implies that you must choose the ideal spot for your guinea pig’s hutch or cage, offer sufficient insulation to keep it warm, and take other steps to ensure that it is comfortable throughout the chilly winter months.
Outlined below, her are some other things to do.
Ensure that the environment is free from any draughts.
Therefore, it is generally a good idea to keep them away from any windows or doors.
Access To The Run
Even in the cold, guinea pigs still require exercise.
Make sure your guinea pigs can access their run all day long.
They are by nature very playful and active animals, so they just need a little extra motivation to stay active during the winter.
Optimize Home Temperature
The room’s temperature should then be set between its ideal range of 65 and 75 degrees.
Additionally, you must watch that the temperature does not swing too far in the other direction; guinea pigs dislike both hot and cold temperatures.
Indoor thermometers are available that give precise readings of the temperature and humidity in your home.
Try out this product on Amazon because it is very reasonably priced, connects to your phone, and notifies you if the temperature drops below a certain threshold that you set.
Make Sure To Relocate The Habitat
By moving your guinea pigs’ residence and adding the necessary insulation to their cage and hutch, you can make sure that their living conditions are suitable for the cold weather and keep them warm and cosy throughout the winter.
Monitor Your Guinea Pig
Even with safety measures in place, you should be vigilant and watch for any symptoms of illness, taking your guinea pig to the veterinarian right away if necessary.
How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Warm
You might think about keeping your guinea pig inside for the winter if your pet’s hutch is outside. Unless, of course, your home is too small or you cannot find enough room there.
Alternately, you can relocate their hutch to a garage or a shed, or any other location where it will be shielded from the elements. If neither are available, a porch will suffice.
In essence, you’re attempting to shield your guinea pig from the harshness of the outside world.
Your guinea pig will experience a colder climate due to winds, snow, and rain.
There you have it, then. guinea pigs do not hibernate. Even though guinea pigs have warm blood and are native to hot, humid climates, keeping them in an environment with a temperature of 59°F (15°C) or lower is thought to be dangerous for them.
They do, however, have a few ways to withstand the cold, such as torpor. You’ll notice that instead of hibernating, your piggies start to sleep for extended periods of time.
They conserve energy and stay warm in this manner. Your guinea pigs may appear lethargic (sluggish) during this time, act slowly, and have a lower heart rate—all of which are very unusual for the normally active animals. They might even seem half-dead.
Especially if there is a sudden drop in temperature, make sure your guinea pig pet have a nice, cosy home to stay in and plenty of bedding to burrow into. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have a way to maintain a constant body temperature.
However, they’ll require your assistance to stay warm during the harsher winter months.