As the winter weather brings cooler temperatures, the best plan is to bring your guinea pig inside. You can bring them into the garage if it is never used for car storage (as any exhaust fumes will be very dangerous). Indoors, make sure they are not too close to a radiator or sunny window as the ideal temperature is 15-18 Celsius. If they are to stay outdoors, provide extra bedding and cover the hutch with a waterproof, insulated cover (available from good pet stores).
During this period, provide new places for your guinea pig to hide and burrow: perhaps some plastic pipes and extra bedding to allow them to display their natural tunnelling behaviour, and to encourage exercise. Make sure they continue to get a high fibre diet and resist the temptation to give them too many ‘treats’.
Handle your guinea pig daily and check for any signs of ill health. Respiratory problems can cause persistent sneezing and discharge from the eyes, causing your guinea pig to feel unwell and lose appetite. They also commonly suffer from ringworm which can be zoonotic (passes to humans) – this causes scaly skin with sores and may be very itchy. Guinea pigs can also carry mange and the burrowing mites will cause severe itching and hair loss. Please contact us immediately if you have any concerns.