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Thread: Let's talk ice packs

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Let's talk ice packs

    So, my girls cage is on the second floor of the house on the "landing", which makes a difference because there are no air vents for the a/c there. There is a ceiling fan and my daughters try to keep their bedroom doors open so the a/c can get out there but it does sometimes get warm in that location. Yesterday I provided the girls a couple of ice packs in socks to lay by in case they got to warm but this afternoon I noticed one of them had chewed through the sock and into the ice pack. I don't think she ate much of the gel, which was thankfully nontoxic but I wouldn't want that to happen again. I was reading up on homemade ice packs an found a version that doesn't contain alcohol. It's made with water, salt, cornstarch and optional food coloring. While I plan to make nice fleece sleeves to put them in, do you think that recipe would be safe if they did manage to get at it? I just want to be sure they safe because I'd like to be able to leave them in there at night because that's when it would be hottest in their cage. What do you think? I really like that this recipe stays cold but flexible so if I make a little bed with a sleeve in it, it would still be soft to lay on. My other idea was that I could slide it between the layers of fleece that cover their grid tents so they wouldn't be right on them. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I don't think it would be safe. Can you move them to a lower level of the house when it's hot? Another option might be to get a fan to place in one of the doorways and point it up into the hallway, not directly on the cage.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Moving them indefinitely not an option. Which of the ingredients do you think would be a problem?
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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Do you have extra grids? You can bend two and make a tunnel and place the ice pack on top or even a bottle of water. that is what I do and the have never bothered them. You can buy floor tile and lay them in the cage for them to lay on, they are cheap. With the tunnels and ice packs, the cool air drops down onto them. The tiles just naturally stay cooler. If you freeze bottles of tap water , just wrap in fleece. In one of my huge cages I built a insert that was like an H to hold the bottles and had tiles, they chose the cooling room.
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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I'm still wondering what about the recipe is unsafe?
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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    The salt and the corn starch would be unsafe. Corn starch is a thickener, its what I use to make gravy. If they ate any of it, it could bind them up and cause bloat imo. The salt for the same reason as too much is bad for us. I would just use frozen water bottles if you are worried about it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I have learned they really don't want to lay on the fleece under the coolers either, since I do not use full fleece, they seem to pull out the fleece pads under their tents now.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Those hard ice packs aren't expensive at all, and I doubt the pigs would be able to chew them. You can find them at any sporting goods store, hardware store, or Walmart or Target.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I have some of the hard ones so I'll use those instead. I have some tiles I can dig out as well. I guess I'll buy a good thermometer to put up there. I don't think it's gets super hot up there but I just worry about it. I want them to be comfortable. Better safe than sorry sort of thing. Thanks for you're help!
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    Cavy Newbie springhillsarah's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I used to just freeze 2 liter pop bottles with water for my rabbits and they would lie right on top or next to them. Makes sense that piggies may do the same.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    My pigs like to lay next to the ones I had. I'm pretty sure the girls only chewed the one because it was a different material. I don't think they would chew it covered in fleece. At least they never had. I was looking for something soft and squishy cause they scrunch it up. They'll just have to use the hard ones if that's safest.
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    You could try folding up a wet washcloth and put it in a plastic baggie then freeze it. Make a fleece cover for them that closes up. It would be squishy after a few minutes but it would stay cool for a while. That's my my mom always used as ice packs for us when we had a bump or bruise.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    When I used cobblestones in my cages, my guinea pigs used them as pillows. They might do the same if you use smaller hard ice packs. I have some that are shaped like big M&ms. Maybe you can find something like that. I think I'd still run a fan into the hall to get some air circulation. Small fans are really cheap. We have a/c but add small fans in each bedroom because our upper level is never as cool as the lower ones and I don't want to rake up the a/c more than I have to.

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    Cavy Slave CavieGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Another option- During heat waves, I freeze some water bottles and cover it with an old sock. My piggies never have chewed the sock, all they do is lay right next it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Ok I'm a Florida cavy owner and I was wondering at what temps indoors do you start using ice packs. We have a two story house and our upstairs is between 73-74 F. Everything I've read said nothing over 80. Maybe someone can shed some light for me.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    I'm a Floridian, and when our air conditioning went out last summer, I broke out the ice packs as soon as the temp rose into the low 80s. I used hard packs with no trouble, and the girls most definitely hung out around them as the temp rose into the mid 80s. If you live in FL, I recommend having an alternative arrangement in case your air is out for an extended period. We were able to keep the girls cool enough, but I had permission from a snowbird neighbor to move them into her house (I have keys) if necessary.

    My nightmare is a power outage caused by something like a hurricane, as that means everyone would be without air, with no means to keep freezing ice packs. Fingers crossed that never happens!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Quote Originally Posted by mufasa View Post
    I'm a Floridian, and when our air conditioning went out last summer, I broke out the ice packs as soon as the temp rose into the low 80s. I used hard packs with no trouble, and the girls most definitely hung out around them as the temp rose into the mid 80s. If you live in FL, I recommend having an alternative arrangement in case your air is out for an extended period. We were able to keep the girls cool enough, but I had permission from a snowbird neighbor to move them into her house (I have keys) if necessary.

    My nightmare is a power outage caused by something like a hurricane, as that means everyone would be without air, with no means to keep freezing ice packs. Fingers crossed that never happens!
    Yes hurricane season is no fun but I will tell you, I have a small window unit and I'll have AC! I refuse after Hurricane Ivan to be without air ever again. So the boys will just be moved into the window unit room if (and I hope we don't get one any time soon) we get a hurricane. When our home ac went out I broke out the window unit as well.

  18. #18
    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Unfortunately window units are forbidden by our HOA. Otherwise I'd have one for the pets, as the girls and my bird all have their own room. Thankfully the ice packs worked better than I thought. I really thought I'd have to take them to the neighbor's house, but they came through three days in the summer with no air unscathed.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    @mufasa, you can get room units that don't go in the window. That's our fallback for hurricane season, as my husband has heart disease and can't tolerate the heat. Window units won't fit our windows, so we have a roll-around room unit that has a drain that goes into a bucket or out the window or down the bathtub, depending on where he is.

    @AnnikasMommy, they can die of heat stroke at 85 degrees, and are definitely in uncomfortable range around 80, or even less.

  20. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  21. #20
    Cavy Slave SquigglyPigs's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk ice packs

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    you can get room units that don't go in the window.
    We have the same thing. Our windows slide open and a window unit just wouldn't fit so we have one on wheels as well. I want to say it cost us around $100. We have it so the tube can drain out the window and then use a thick wooden dowel to bar the window so no one can open it from the outside. We have the most horrible, controlling apartment management company and they allow us to do this so maybe your HOA will too @mufasa

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