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Keeping Warm Extreme weather conditions- how to keep cavies warm?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Aug 19, 2009
Hi everyone, I hope I put this in the right section of the forum, apologies if I didn't!

There is a storm watch on my area(eastern Ontario) because of an extreme snowstorm and ice rain, I am extremely worried as last time this happened, the power was out for a long time.

The ice rain is just ended, so no one can drive anywhere(so there is no way of buying a heater that doesn't need to be plugged in, which I don't have). We're supposed to be getting a minimum of 20 cm of snow and 4-6 mm of ice rain. My big concern(and it's a concern because the probability of it happening is high) is that it will flash-freeze, which would be a huge problem.

Im worried because the last big storm we had, the power was out for several days. Without power/Heating, I don't know how to keep the pigs from freezing.

How can I keep the cavies warm when the power goes out? I guess we're going to have to start a fire or something, but Im not 100% sure how to do that safely, but if the power will be out for multiple days it is inevitable. The drinking water wont be safe, or heated and the whole town will be cold. They fix the power lines for the larger towns of the district first, and since Im in one of the smallest communities(about 600 people, give or take), we won't get our power back for a while when(and if) it goes out.
Hmm, I'm not sure how to solve this problem right now, but maybe in the future, you should invest in a woodstove or natural gas furnace? I know that my boyfriends house has a woodstove they run basically throughout the winter, and it keeps the whole house nice and toasty. Also, in a room above the garage, that doesn't get the heat from the rest of the house, they have a propane-run heater mounted into the wall, which makes the whole room go from 30 F to 70 F in half an hour. I know this doesn't help much right now, but hopefully you can invest in something like this in the future, since it seems like ice-storms and power outages are common by you. Check out this link How to Make a Power Outage Bearable: 11 steps - wikiHow for tips on making a power outage work for you.

Edit, is your stove gas or electric? If it's gas, you can probably just heat up pots of water, put that in bags and put that in their cage with them, as like hot-water bags they could cuddle with.
We're under a storm warning here, too. They said 8" but now they're saying more. Get some hot water bottles. In an emergency, you can heat water on your stove top which you can light with a match if it's a gas stove. Don't boil it but warm it up until it's almost hot. Cover them with fabric covers and put it in the cage. Reheat it as needed. You can also cover the cage with sheets and put a down coat or comforter over it and put pigloos in the cage. We lost power once and I took out the fleece and replaced with really thick regular bedding so they could burrow if they needed to. They stayed warm, although it was really cold in our house. We have a private, electric powered well so we lose water when we lose power. We fill our tub with water when we think there might be a power outage so we can use buckets of tub water to flush our toilet. We don't drink tap water so we always have plenty of bottled water for the guinea pigs and us to drink. Good luck.
If your heat is out for an extended period of time, be sure you've got hideys in the cage that have all sides closed in except for an entrance hole. The hidey should be not much bigger than the pig, so that it will keep the body heat in. Cover the hidey on three sides with towels for insulation.

Cover the cage with blankets to help trap the heat. You can put a lot of blankets over it and it will insulate very well. Move the cage away from any windows or doors so there won't be any drafts.

Guinea pigs do much better in cold weather than in hot, unless they're skinnies -- they require much different treatment. They're just small balls of fat and fur, and are pretty well insulated on their own. As long as they've got plenty to eat and small snuggly places they can huddle in, they should do fine. After all, their ancestors originated in the Andes.
If you have a fireplace then move the cage to the room it's in, but not directly near the fireplace. They can put off crazy heat and it would be too hot for them. Go buy some wood now, dry wood not wet. One bundle will last a night roughly, depending on the size of the fire. Buy a newspaper if you don't have one too. Make a small tee-pee shape with small pieces of wood/bark, and roll up/ball up the newspaper and put it in and around the teepee shaped stack. Light the newspaper on a few sides and wait for the wood to catch(repeat newspaper stuffig if the wood doesn't catch, smaller pieces of kindling work best). Once the fires going put a small log on, and add larger ones after. Don't overload it or you'll burn all your wood fast. You just want a steady medium height flame that will warm the room up.
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