Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue’s TOP TIPS to help your piggies survive the heat

English: A Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus). Españ...

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We’re in the midst of a heat-wave it seems as yesterday and today were both very hot days.  Tomorrow looks to be another one.

The following is couresty of Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue…. believe it or not, some of these top tips can be adapted for other pets.

I hope everyone’s piggies survived today’s heat! Apparently we have more days like this to come. Thanks everyone for your suggestions on how to keep your piggies cool. Here are some of your suggestions and a few of my own:-

  • Put frozen water bottles, large frozen icecream containers (if leaving your piggies all day), or esky ice blocks in their cage (don’t use the soft gel type as they will chew through them). You can either wrap in a towel or leave uncovered – they do like to lick the condensation off the container as the ice melts.
  • If housed indoors with no aircon, partly cover the cage with a thick wet towel and place a pedestal fan a few feet away from the cage. The wet towel will help cool the air as it blows on the cage. Put the fan on slow with no oscillating.
  • If outdoors, ensure the cage is in the shade for the entire day. Many piggies have been lost when left initially in the shade but by the time their owners returned from work, shopping etc the cage had been in full sun long enough to cause heat stroke.
  • If you place your piggies in a playpen or similar, cover completely with a pale coloured sheet then shadecloth (even if the playpen is in the shade). Apart from helping keep your piggies cool, it will also protect them from predators such as birds and cats. This does NOT protect them from snakes and dogs unless the enclosure has been snake and dog proofed!
  • Keep on hand plenty of fruit and veg with a high water content such as cucumber, watermelon, celery and crisp cos or gourmet lettuce. These will help keep your piggies hydrated.
  • Add an extra water bottle to your piggy’s cage, freezing one the night before and adding ice to the others.
  • Place one or two large heavy ceramic bowls full of fresh cool water in the cage/playpen (can add ice cubes) . Even if your piggies don’t drink it, they like to put their front paws in to help cool them down.
  • Finally, whatever you do, PLEASE don’t think that the enclosed bedding area of a wooden/lawn hutch, or a plastic dome, is sufficient protection from the sun! These types of areas become like saunas and your piggies, while trying to find refuge from the hot rays of the sun, will die in these conditions. You MUST cover all types of cages, hutches, pens, with shadecloth, preferably leaving space between the cage and the shadecloth to allow airflow.
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