A Word of Warning for Guinea Pig Owners for VERY HOT Days on the Gold Coast

The following is with thanks to Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue ( click here for original status update on Facebook )

 

Two abyssinian guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus).

Two abyssinian guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A WORD OF WARNING: It’s going to be over 30deg on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas today so the usual precautions are needed to keep your piggies cool and out of the harsh sunlight.

LAST WEEK ONE OF OUR ADOPTERS CAME HOME FROM WORK TO FIND THE WIND HAD BLOWN OFF THE SHADECLOTH SHE HAD SECURED TO THE PLAYPEN AND ALL THREE PIGGIES HAD DIED FROM HEATSTROKE  🙁

If your piggies are going to be outside today:

  • Securely cover the playpen with a light coloured sheet, covering the sides as well but leaving enough space around the bottom for air to circulate. Then cover with shadecloth – use a large piece that completely covers the playpen and drapes onto the ground. Place bricks or something heavy on that part of the shadecloth which is sitting on the ground surrounding the playpen, again leaving several gaps for the air to circulate. (Shadecloth is very slippery and if secured with pegs will easily become free).
  • In the playpen place one or two large heavy ceramic bowls of fresh cool water. Or you can fill one with water and one with icecubes which of course will melt before too long but the piggies will enjoy licking them and the melted ice may stay cooler longer than just water. Also put in one or more plastic bottles of frozen water (depending how many piggies are in the pen).
  • Put in a large upturned cardboard or polystyrene box with holes cut in all four sides for air to circulate and for them to run in and out of. You can place a brick on top of the box to stop it moving around (if cardboard make sure it’s strong enough to hold the weight of the brick!). I don’t recommend giving them plastic domes as even with all this provided shade the domes heat up and become like little saunas!
  •  You can also add a couple of large ceramic tiles (white if possible) as these remain cool and the piggies will lie on them.
  • A huge ball of hay will provide them food AND something to hide under.
  • Even taking precautions, any set-up in the glare of the sun for an entire day is at risk of not providing enough protection for the guinea pigs.  I don’t recommend putting the playpen in an area where there is no shade from trees etc AT ALL during the day!

If you are able, leave the piggies inside your house in the air con. Alternatively, inside your house in a cool well ventilated room or on a shady patio/deck/verandah, (still providing frozen bottles etc as the air will still be hot).

You can view more tips for Guinea Pigs on Very Hot Days ( here )

FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THIS LIST OF WAYS TO KEEP YOUR PIGGIES COOL!!!!

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