If you’re thinking about owning guinea pigs at some point you’re going to wonder where to keep them. After all, are guinea pigs indoors or outdoor pets?
In this article, you’re going to find out where to keep your piggies, as well as the pros and cons of both.
Are Guinea Pigs Indoor Or Outdoor Pets?
Guinea pigs can live happily both indoors and outdoors, as long as certain criteria are met. However, there are definitely big pros and cons to both.
The most important things to remember when deciding where to keep your guinea pigs are whether they have enough space, they’re warm enough, and that they’re getting all the social interaction they need.
Now that you know guinea pigs can live indoors and outdoors, the decision really rests on you. So here are the pros and cons of both.
What Are The Advantages Of Keeping Your Guinea Pig Indoors?
Keeping your guinea pigs indoors does come with some problems, but also some advantages. Here are some of the main benefits of keeping a guinea pig indoors.
When you keep your guinea pigs indoors you’re not going to have to worry about predators getting to them. The area where I live is rife with foxes, so it’s always a worry that they’re going to get into the hutch.
Even if you have an extremely secure hutch, at some point human error is likely to happen, and you may leave the door open.
It only takes one time for this to happen for your guinea pigs to meet an untimely end.
When you house your guinea pigs indoors you never have to worry about this, because predators are never going to get inside.
You Have More Control Over The Environment
As well as safety from predators, you also have SO MUCH more control over their environment. Being indoors they’re completely sheltered from the elements. If it’s raining, snowing, or freezing outside, it’s going to have no effect on your piggies.
Unlike us, they’re terrible at regulating their own temperature, so being able to keep the temperature around them consistent is extremely important.
And it’s not just cold or hot temperature that can affect them, but fluctuations in temperature as well.
It’s Easier To Notice If Something’s Wrong
When you keep your guinea pig outside, there are times where you’ll only see them once or twice. However, if you keep them indoors, then you get to see them a lot more.
This means if something goes wrong with them, you’re going to be much more likely to notice it.
On top of this, as you know they’re also quite vocal. So if there is a problem you’re much more likely to hear it when you’re keeping them inside. An outside piggie might be crying for help, only for their cries not to be heard.
You Can Spend More Time With Them
And lastly, carrying on from the last point, you’re going to spend much more time with your guinea pigs when you keep them indoors.
They’ll bond with you a lot quicker, and before you know it, they’ll see you as part of their herd. While some people don’t care about this, it’s nice to have a pet you can spend a lot of time with.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Keeping Guinea Pigs Indoors?
Keeping your guinea pigs indoors does have some GREAT perks. The most important being safety. However, there are also a lot of disadvantages that need to be considered as well.
It Can Become Smelly
One big disadvantage is that it can quickly become smelly. And for the most part, it’s not even your guinea pig that will smell but they hay itself.
If you keep them in a room you frequently use, then the smell can become tiresome fast.
(Find out what to do when your guinea pig smells.)
There’s no denying that guinea pigs can be messy. Obviously, they’re going to need to go to the toilet, but in most cases, that’s not where most of the mess will come from.
Most of the mess will come from their food, hay, and shavings spilling out of the hutch and being spread around.
While frequent cleaning can stop this from happening, if you’re not in the mood for the constant mess in your house, then keeping them outside may be your best solution.
They Might Chew On Things They Shouldn’t
Guinea pigs need to chew on things to stop their teeth from growing too long. Just like rabbits, they’re teeth never stop growing so this chewing is essential. However, there are a lot of things in your house that your guinea pig DEFINITELY shouldn’t chew on.
Electrical wires are a prime example of things they shouldn’t chew on, but they’re not the only thing. Chemicals and sharp objects left lying around can also pose a risk as well.
They’re Going To Take Up A Lot Of Room
A guinea pig hutch is going to take up a lot of space in your home, so you’ll have to consider whether it’s worth keeping them indoors.
If you don’t have much space anyway, then this can become frustrating quite quickly.
They’re Not Going To Have A Lot Of Space
And on top of taking up a lot of room, guinea pigs aren’t going to have much space either. While keeping a guinea pig inside is going to provide them shelter and safety, they’re definitely not going to have as much room to run around.
You Can Suffer From Allergies
If you’re allergic to your guinea pigs or their hay, then keeping them inside may agitate your allergies and make them worse.
Obviously outdoors, you’re going to be able to get away from the constant allergens, but inside they’re going to be stuck in your home. If you’re not constantly cleaning, then they can quickly overrun your house.
Your Other Pets Might Not Like It
If you have other pets, then they may not like having guinea pigs in the home. For example, you may notice that a dog constantly barks at them, or your cat just doesn’t stop trying to get into the hutch with them.
When this is the case, keeping them outside can often provide them a lot of welcome relief from the attention.
They Won’t Get As Much Peace And Quiet
Guinea pigs often like to spend time by themselves in a quiet environment. This helps them to relax and feel safe. If your house is quite loud (especially when it’s due to children) then they’re going to have a hard time relaxing.
What Are The Advantages Of Keeping Your Guinea Pigs Outdoors?
It may seem like there are some great reasons to keep your guinea pig inside, and there are. But it doesn’t mean that keeping them outside is all bad. In fact, there are many reasons you should consider keeping your guinea pigs outside.
Here are a few of them.
A Lot More Space
One of the biggest advantages of keeping your guinea pigs outside is that you’re going to give them a lot more space. Unlike when they’re cooped up in your home, outside normally has room for a much bigger hutch!
And it’s not just a bigger hutch. Normally, your garden is going to have a lot more room to roam around in than your house does!
Obviously letting your guinea pigs live outside is going to be a lot more natural for them as well! They’re going to have access to grass to chew on, sunlight and fresh air.
While this isn’t the be-all and end-all, it is definitely going to make for some happy piggies.
You Can Keep Them In A Bigger Herd
If your hutch is bigger, and you have more space, then it’s a lot easier to make a bigger herd. Your piggies are going to be much happier when they’re in a bigger herd (as long as they’ve all got the space they need). Not to mention that you’re going to have a lot more fun with more guinea pigs as well!
It’s Probably Going To Be More Peaceful
Keeping your guinea pigs inside, they’re going to constantly hear everything that’s going on in your house. For example, if your TV or music is playing too loudly.
By keeping them outside they’re going to live a much more peaceful life. They’ll be able to sleep in the quiet when they want quiet. And they’ll be able to retreat whenever they need to retreat.
It’s much less likely they’ll get this luxury when living indoors.
(Does your guinea pig lick a lot? Find out what it means!)
What Are The Disadvantages Of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside?
Just like with indoors, there aren’t just positives to keeping guinea pigs outside either. In fact, there are some pretty serious problems that can crop up if you’re not careful.
They’re More Likely To Escape
While it’s not overly common, guinea pigs have been known to dig on occasion. If your guinea pigs do dig, then they may be able to escape their pen.
This is more likely to happen when something has their attention on the other side, although it can happen at any time.
Unlike your home which is normally set at a standard temperature. The temperature outside can fluctuate massively. Unfortunately, guinea pigs aren’t as well equipped for temperature fluctuations as we are.
If the temperature fluctuates too much, it could cause them to become unwell, and in rare cases, cause more severe symptoms.
Extreme Heat & Cold
Ideally, a guinea pig needs to be kept between 68-72°F, although they can live comfortably in temperatures between 65-75°F.
If you’re keeping them outside, often times the temperature can rise higher than 75°F and easily fall below 65°F. When this happens, you’ll need to make sure that your guinea pig has places to stay cool or warm.
This can be harder when you’re keeping them outside, and if you don’t meet their requirements it can cause them to become ill.
They Could Eat Something They Shouldn’t
There are many things in your garden that your guinea pig probably shouldn’t eat. The number one thing being certain plants that are poisonous to guinea pigs.
However, if you’re using slug pellets and other chemicals to remove pests from your garden, your guinea pig could accidentally end up eating them.
This, in turn, can cause them to become sick, and in some cases, could result in death.
Of course, another thing you’re going to have to worry about is predators. Foxes are going to be your main concern, but in some cases, even birds can attack them.
And sometimes it can even be your own pets. If you have a cat or dog that’s particularly predatory, then they may try to attack your piggies as well.
They Can Be Forgotten Easier
You’re never going to forget them completely, but sometimes you may forget to top their water up and not check on them as often.
If you do plan on keeping your piggies outside, you’ll need to frequently check on them to make sure they have everything they need. For example, food, water and that they’re not hurt or sick.
There Are Times Where You Won’t Want To Go Outside
And lastly, there are times when you’re really not going to want to go outside. Especially if it’s raining or snowing.
However, even in these times, you’ll still have to go out and check on your guineas to make sure they’re all okay.
(Find out more about keeping your guinea pig outside.)
Now you know that guinea pigs are both inside and outside pets! And you get to choose where you want to keep them. You should weigh up both options, before deciding what you want to do.
If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise have a great day!