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Thread: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

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    Cavy Slave
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    How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Our boiler went out last night. It was below freezing last night, which means my house is now pretty cold. I don't know when the service people are going to decide to come out and fix it. I've wrapped fleece around the pigs' cage so that they're at least somewhat insulated, but it's in the upper 50s inside here right now, and it could get a lot colder if the people don't come out for a few days pr until next week (although temps are supposed to be in the 40s during the day at least). I know guinea pigs are supposed to do better in the cold than in the heat, but how cold is too cold, and is there anything more I can do to keep them warm in the meantime?

    The cats can burrow under blankets, and the boys and I are in layers. I just worry about the oinkers.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    You can put extra hay or smaller fleece blankets for them to burrow under.

    If you have a plug in heater, maybe you can all huddle in the gpig's room.

    Hope you get your heat back very soon.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Guinea pigs shouldn't be in temperatures under 73 degrees.
    Try putting a towel in their cage for them to burrow in and drape fleece on the sides of their cage. Maybe try putting hot water bottles in their cage.

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    cozy caves (you can wrap an extra layer of fleece around them with a binder clip at the side or top.

    igloos with fleece or fleece pillows on the bottom, wrap some fleece around the sides.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MochaAndMoo View Post
    I would say 73 degrees as being too cold.
    Try putting a towel in their cage for them to burrow in and drape fleece on the sides of their cage. Maybe try putting hot water bottles in their cage.

    I've got the fleece draped already, but 73 is too cold? Really? Our house isn't even that warm when our boiler is working. We usually keep it around 68 or so.

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    Cavy Slave cavy_jdas's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Do you have a space heater you can use nearby? Can you move them to a friend's or neighbor's house? I personally would not take the chance of low 50's temps with the piggies.

    In other countries, there are folks that keep them outside in lower temps, but those pigs have had a longer period to acclimate, and I would guess the coat would be thicker. This is a pretty sudden change for your pigs.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by cavy_jdas View Post
    Do you have a space heater you can use nearby? Can you move them to a friend's or neighbor's house? I personally would not take the chance of low 50's temps with the piggies.

    In other countries, there are folks that keep them outside in lower temps, but those pigs have had a longer period to acclimate, and I would guess the coat would be thicker. This is a pretty sudden change for your pigs.

    No space heater, but it was upper 50s when I woke up. Hopefully as the sun gets higher, it'll warm up considerably. They've had their cage wrapped in fleece since last night when the heater first went out, and I'm in the process of doubling up on cozies and everything in there. I think I will add a few fleece-wrapped hot/warm water bottles to increase the overall cage temp.

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MochaAndMoo View Post
    Guinea pigs shouldn't be in temperatures under 73 degrees.
    Try putting a towel in their cage for them to burrow in and drape fleece on the sides of their cage. Maybe try putting hot water bottles in their cage.
    Incorrect, the appropriate temp is between 65-75 degrees (approx 18-24C).
    And they do handle colder temperatures much better than warmer ones, as long as there's no draft. I'd say that 60 is fine as well as long as they have warm hideys and protection against drafts. A comfortably warm water bottle or safe heat pad is also great.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    In the 4 years I have owned pigs, I have always lowered my thermometer at night and when I leave the house (for almost 12 hours every night, and I live in upstate NY) to 50-55 degrees and not a single pig has ever gotten sick or been adversely affected. Give them lots of cozy fleece things and hay to cuddle in and they will be fine. Get some hand warmers and put under the coroplast if it gets below 45 or so.

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Hand warmers are a great idea! Thank you!

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    @HannibalLecter Thanks for clearing that up. I keep my thermostat at 70 in the winter and 68 in the summer. I saw the post that said no lower than 73 and almost went into a panic thinking I've been freezing my loves.

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    If u have an electric blanket u could drape it over cage while its on(making sure cords r unreachable),hot water bottles,towels/fleece/cozies fresh from the dryer just some ideas

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    @MochaAndMoo, where did you find that 73 degree information? Pigs do much better in cold than in heat -- they're descended from animals that lived in the Andes mountains. And we have one user on here who rescued a guinea pig from under a thorn bush in her yard where it had been for two nights in a snow bank in zero degree weather.

    Mine live happily in 65 degree temperatures with no adverse effect and don't huddle in any cozies or under any fleece, and I have no doubt they could go much lower than that if necessary.

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by asnnbrg View Post
    No space heater, but it was upper 50s when I woke up. Hopefully as the sun gets higher, it'll warm up considerably. They've had their cage wrapped in fleece since last night when the heater first went out, and I'm in the process of doubling up on cozies and everything in there. I think I will add a few fleece-wrapped hot/warm water bottles to increase the overall cage temp.
    Oh, brrrr!!!! Uggh this is one of my worst nightmares now that we have the pigs -- losing heat in the winter or AC in the summer. I hope you get your heat back soon!!

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    My pigs seem pretty oblivious to the temperature, and it's warmed up to about 65 in here thanks to a me deciding to go on a laundry marathon and muffin-baking extravaganza. My curtains are also all open, and since we have huge windows everywhere, they're letting tons of sun in. The furnace guy has been here and gone -- a pump has apparently gone out. Hopefully an easy fix. This boiler is about 60 years old, and I do NOT want to replace it! Thanks for all the advice you guys!

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    Cavy Slave Carissa6729's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by asnnbrg View Post
    My pigs seem pretty oblivious to the temperature, and it's warmed up to about 65 in here thanks to a me deciding to go on a laundry marathon and muffin-baking extravaganza. My curtains are also all open, and since we have huge windows everywhere, they're letting tons of sun in. The furnace guy has been here and gone -- a pump has apparently gone out. Hopefully an easy fix. This boiler is about 60 years old, and I do NOT want to replace it! Thanks for all the advice you guys!
    Yay for muffins! Hopefully it is an easy fix for you. If not, bring everybody down to Arizona! It's 80 degrees out and I've got the AIR CONDITIONER going !

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carissa6729 View Post
    Yay for muffins! Hopefully it is an easy fix for you. If not, bring everybody down to Arizona! It's 80 degrees out and I've got the AIR CONDITIONER going !

    Ha, not looking forward to summer heat! But it's all nice and fixed now -- apparently a part on the pump went out. The guy said it was in great shape, too, other than that, that he sees boilers last 100 years or more. Hoping that's a good sign for us.

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    Cavy Slave Carissa6729's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by asnnbrg View Post
    Ha, not looking forward to summer heat! But it's all nice and fixed now -- apparently a part on the pump went out. The guy said it was in great shape, too, other than that, that he sees boilers last 100 years or more. Hoping that's a good sign for us.
    Awh fine, but I was hoping you'd bring some muffins! My oldest would love you FOREVER .

    That's great about your boiler, knock on wood, hopefully you will get another 40+ years out it!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalLecter View Post
    Incorrect, the appropriate temp is between 65-75 degrees (approx 18-24C).
    And they do handle colder temperatures much better than warmer ones, as long as there's no draft. I'd say that 60 is fine as well as long as they have warm hideys and protection against drafts. A comfortably warm water bottle or safe heat pad is also great.
    Sorry for the incorrect information. I had to convert it from degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit and made a mistake, thanks for clearing that up.

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    Re: How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?

    I see you posting mocha. I miss you !! Where you been?!

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