Are you wondering where to keep your guinea pigs? If you’re not too keen on keeping them in the house then you may be wondering “can guinea pigs live outside?”
In this article, you’re going to find out whether it’s possible. And more importantly, how to increase the chances of success keeping them outside.
So keep reading to find out everything you’ll need to know!
Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?
Guinea pigs can live outside all year long, but it’s important to remember they can be sensitive to temperature. If you live in an area where the temperature drops too low or rises too high, then you may be better off keeping them inside.
What Temperature Can Guinea Pigs Live In?
Ideally, you should only keep your guinea pigs outside when the temperature is between 64-73°F. However, they can survive in temperatures as low as 59°F and as high as 78°F. Provided you’re giving them adequate protection from the elements.
Unfortunately, guinea pigs aren’t able to regulate their body temperature too well. And this is the reason they can only survive in mild conditions.
So remember, sometimes it is going to be best to bring them inside.
Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside In The Winter?
As long as it doesn’t get too cold outside, then your guinea pig will be fine outside in the winter.
However, make sure that you’re investing in a high-quality hutch that’s well insulated from the cold and damp. If either of these can seep into the hutch, then they’re going to drastically drop the temperature inside as well as your guinea pigs’ body temperature.
Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside In The Summer?
Once again, as long as it doesn’t get too hot, then your guinea pig can live outside happily throughout the summer.
If it does get hot, then you should make sure you’re providing them with plenty of shade to cool down in. Even then this may not be enough. If you have an air-conditioned home, it may be better to keep them inside if the temperature begins to soar.
(Find out the pros and cons of keeping your guinea pig indoors and outdoors!)
Are There Any Risks To Keeping Your Guinea Pig Outside?
While your guinea pig can live happily outside, it doesn’t mean it’s without risks. There are always going to be risks of keeping your guinea pig outside as you don’t have as much control.
Here are some of the main risks you can expect.
The number one thing you’re going to need to be cautious of is predators that will try to get to your piggies.
Where I live foxes are the biggest risk, however, it’s not uncommon for cats and even rats to try and get to your guinea pigs. If you’re keeping your guinea pigs in an open-topped pen, then there’s also the risk that birds will try to get them as well!
This is one of the reasons it’s necessary to buy an extremely well put together hutch.
They Could Escape
If your guinea pigs are able to get out of their hutch (such as if you accidentally leave it open) or by them digging, then they’re going to try to escape.
Not only does this mean the risk of them getting attacked increases, but they may also get too cold or hot, eat something they shouldn’t, and get lost.
As you can see a guinea pig escaping can become disastrous, especially when you’re not around to check on them.
They Could Eat Something Poisonous
There’s always the risk that your guinea pig is going to eat something they shouldn’t. For example, maybe you’ve left anti-pest pellets out and your guinea pig has eaten them while grazing.
In other cases, you could think certain plants in your garden are harmless, but actually they turn out to be rather poisonous.
Whatever the case, it’s much more likely that your guinea pig will eat something they shouldn’t eat when you leave them outside.
(Should you put your guinea pig in water and do they like to swim?)
What Are The Benefits Of Keeping A Guinea Pig Outside?
It may seem like keeping your guinea pig outside is all doom and gloom, but that isn’t the case. In fact, there are also many benefits to keeping your guinea pig outside as well! Here are some of the main reasons you might consider keeping them outside.
One of the best parts about keeping guinea pig outside is that they’re generally going to have more space. Not only will you be able to buy them a bigger hutch to live in, but they’ll also have more room outside to roam too!
Obviously, it goes without saying, the more space that your guinea pig is going to have the happier they’re going to be.
A Bigger Herd
With more space comes the opportunity to increase the size of your piggie herd. Guinea pigs are social animals, and they don’t like being on their own too much. However, when you leave them outside, you’re going to be able to give them a much bigger herd to live with!
If you are keeping them in a bigger herd though, make sure that you’re giving them the space they need. They can become stressed if they don’t have their own space to retreat too.
They Get To Experience Nature
And lastly, keeping them outside lets them experience nature a lot more. They’ll get to spend more time in the sun as well as breathing a lot more fresh air.
On top of this, they’re also going to be able to graze on any fresh grass in your garden which they’ll absolutely love!
(Find out why guinea pigs lick and what it means!)
How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe Outside
So, now that you’ve decided you want to keep your guinea pig outside, you’re going to want to make sure that they stay safe and comfortable. So this is what you’ll need to do, to make sure your guinea pigs are safe and happy.
Purchase A High-Quality Hutch
One of the best things you can do is purchase a high-quality hutch. You want a hutch that’s going to protect them from the environment outside, as well as a hutch that’s going to stop predators getting in.
Where possible, you want to place metal on the corners. Rats and mice will be able to chew through the corners of most wooden hutches, so this is a great pre-emptive measure you can take.
Try To Keep Their Bed Off The Ground
You should never place a piggies bed directly on the ground. When it’s on the ground they will lose massive amounts of heat when it’s cold or damp. If possible, add a ramp or platform inside the hutch where they can sleep higher up.
Or if that’s not possible, place their hutch on something and add a ramp going into the hutch. This way you’re going to help keep them a little bit warmer.
Let Them Eat Grass
If it’s warm enough outside, you should place their pen on top of grass. This way they can graze to their heart’s content. However, it is important to move the pen every few days as they’ll probably eat all the grass in a small amount of time.
It’s important to do this, as not only is the grass going to be a great source of food for them, but it’s also going to help keep the pen comfortable.
Buy A Pen With A Wired Floor
If you’re going to keep them in a pen during the summer, then make sure you’re using a wired floor. We’ve talked about how predators are going to try and get in or they may try to dig their way out.
So a pen with a wired floor is going to keep them a lot safer.
Just remember to make sure that the wired floor is always cushioned with grass. The grass is going to make it more comfortable for you piggies.
Make Sure There’s A Roof
And lastly, make sure you’re putting a roof on anything your guinea pig is living in. You can protect your guinea pigs from predators coming from underneath and the sides, but if a bird wants to get them, they’ll have no problem doing so if you haven’t put a roof on their pen.
If you’re going to use a wired pen then go for a wired roof, however, on hutches obviously you’ll use a wooden one.
Now you know that guinea pigs can live outside! And you should also know the benefits of leaving them outside, the disadvantages, and most importantly, how to keep them safe and happy!
Here are some of the main things you’ll need to remember.
- If you’re going to keep your guinea pig outside make sure the temperature is between 64-73°F.
- Guinea pigs can live outside all year as long as it isn’t too hot or cold.
- When left outside, guinea pigs are at risk from predators, escaping, and eating something poisonous.
- They do get to benefit from more space, a bigger herd, and more sunlight, fresh air, and grass though.
- To keep them safe and happy make sure you buy a high-quality hutch, keep their bed off the ground, let them eat fresh grass, buy a pen with a wired floor and make sure there’s a roof.
If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!