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Home > Guinea Pigs > How to Keep Guinea Pigs Warm in Winter: 11 Effective Tips

How to Keep Guinea Pigs Warm in Winter: 11 Effective Tips

hand holding guinea pig wrapped on towel

Guinea pigs are extremely sensitive to temperature changes, which is a big deal when the weather starts to cool down. You can’t rely on a guinea pig to regulate their body temperature during the coldest months, but there are some things you can do to help them stay warm. So, We’ve highlighted 11 tips you can follow to help keep your guinea pig warm the next time winter rolls around!


The 11 Tips on How to Keep Guinea Pigs Warm in Winter

1. Add Extra Bedding

A simple way to keep your guinea pig a bit warmer when things start to cool down is to add a little extra bedding to their enclosure. Your guinea pig can use this extra bedding as insulation, which helps them stay warm during the coldest parts of the night.

2. Use Pet-Safe Heating Pads

While you can’t just use any heating pad out there to keep your pet warm, there are plenty of pet-safe options for you to pick from. Pet-safe heating pads provide an external source of warmth your guinea pig can use, and when you combine this option with a few of the other tips on our list, you can keep your guinea pig warm during some of the more severe temperature dips during the winter.

guinea pig in a cage
Image Credit: ZIRIUS STUDIO, Shutterstock

3. Give Them an Insulated Hideaway

Your guinea pig needs somewhere to escape from the elements to stay warm, and if you insulate their hutch, it can trap the heat they give off and keep them warm even as the temperatures outside get really cold.

But keep in mind that this still limits their activity to inside the hutch, so it needs to be big enough to let them move around even when it’s cold outside.

4. Give Them a Friend

One mammal gives off some heat, two mammals give off even more! Guinea pigs are naturally social creatures that prefer to be around more of their kind, and when you give them a partner, they can snuggle up together to stay warm when it’s cold outside. This doesn’t help with extreme cold spells, but it will help them with moderate temperature drops.

5. Lift the Hutch

While it might not make much sense at first to lift the entire hutch a few inches off the ground to keep them warm, it’s actually one of the most effective methods out there. Lifting the hutch helps prevent dampness and it allows for airflow. Another perk is that it helps keep the hutch from rotting.

red stripped guinea pig sleeping inside the cage
Image By: AnastasiaMS, Shutterstock

6. Keep Them Dry

Nothing makes you colder than being wet, so if you can keep your guinea pig dry it will go a long way in keeping them warm. While they might be able to handle a little cold if they’re dry, the same temperature conditions can be deadly for your guinea pig if they’re wet.

7. Use Fleece Bedding

During the summer months, you can use hay or shavings as bedding for your guinea pig, but when things start to get cold, you should consider swapping this bedding out for fleece. While fleece is going to cost a bit more, it’s also a much better insulator, so it can help keep them much warmer.

But when things start to warm up again, you’ll need to swap out the fleece; otherwise, it can lead to your guinea pig overheating.

8. Bring Them Inside

If you’ve tried everything you can to keep your guinea pig warm outside and it’s just not working, you might need to bring them inside to help them warm up. Find a warm, temperature-controlled spot inside your home for your guinea pig until things start to warm back up outside.

Pregnant guinea pig inside the cage
Image By: AllaMosurova, Shutterstock

9. Give Them Extra Food

When your guinea pig is cold, they burn through more energy and need extra food to help them replenish all these spent resources. This isn’t going to keep them warm all on its own, but if you don’t give them extra food, they’re going to get more lethargic, and it can have disastrous consequences.

10. Give Them Lots of Space

When you don’t move your body temperature starts to drop, and the same is true for your guinea pig. The more they move, the warmer they can stay, so ensure they have plenty of space to move around. Of course, they can’t stay moving all the time, so this isn’t a permanent solution to extreme cold temperatures. But for short-term bouts of cold, simply having enough space to get moving might be all they need!

11. Find a Warmer Place

Just because you don’t want to move them inside doesn’t mean there isn’t a warmer space outside for them. If you find them a place that’s out of the elements but gets plenty of sunlight, it will keep them warmer than if you put them in a windy location or keep them in the shade.

Finding the perfect outdoor location can make at least a 10- to 15-degree difference, so consider a different location outside if your guinea pig is getting too cold.

rex guinea pig
Image By: Jolly-Sunshine, Pixabay



While you can’t rely on your guinea pig to keep themselves warm during the winter, if you follow the tips on our list, there’s no reason you can’t help them maintain the perfect body temperature all year round, even when the cold snaps hit.

It will take a little work and preparation, but once you have everything your guinea pig needs to stay warm, they can take care of the rest!

Featured Image Credit: Pogodina Natalia, Shutterstock

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