Guinea pigs need a minimum temperature of 15°C to be comfortable and well. As the weather starts to improve lots of people are either buying guinea pigs with outdoor hutches or thinking of moving existing guineas outdoors.
STOP! The forecast this week is 13° max, 1° min so tumbling down to near freezing at night and not warm enough at all during the day. Thermal hutch covers don't do enough to keep piggies warm. Other good reasons to house guinea pigs indoors include safety from predators and far better owner interaction with them.
In the warmest part of these spring days, in a dry, sheltered spot, it's nice for your piggies to get a bit of time outside in a run, but it's not warm enough to live out.
“Grass time” needs to built up gradually. Grass is rich and needs to be introduced slowly to avoid tummy problems like bloat or diarrhoea. Start by bringing some fresh grass inside and giving it to your guinea pigs after a meal, so they donʼt eat too much.
*Once outside, limit the time they are on the grass, starting with 15 mins. If their poo remains unchanged, then you can gradually increase the time by 15 mins a day.
*Only put them out on dry grass and bring them inside before it gets damp - their bodies are close to the ground and this makes it easier for them to get pneumonia.
*Provide shelters inside the run ( like an upturned box with an access hole ) to give security while they explore their new environment.
*Put shade over the run and have drinking water available.
*Check the area for weeds that are toxic for guinea pigs, like buttercups.
*Donʼt put them out on grass clippings or grass thatʼs been treated with chemicals.
C&C Guinea Pig Cages provide outdoor runs that can be used during the day to let your guinea pigs explore. Place in a shady position and secure with tent pegs or similar. Easily assembled using cable ties and can be folded away once the lid is removed.