Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

I love guinea pigs, but I live in a small apartment, so can my guinea pigs live outside? The answer is yes, they can.

Guinea pigs need lots of care and attention from humans, but they need extra care and attention when they are kept outdoors. 

Because guinea pigs are prey to lots of animals in the wild. Hence, keeping them outdoors will expose them to danger than keeping them indoors. 

As a matter of fact, by keeping your pet guinea pigs outside, you will have succeeded in giving them a habitat that simulates their wild environment.

At the same time, they are predisposed to some health issues as they are very vulnerable to extreme weather. 

How do you keep your pet guinea pig outside with no issue if this is the case?  If this is you, then you have come to the right place to seek answers to your perplexing questions. Read on to learn more!

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

Yes, guinea pigs can live outside or outdoors, but they need a proper habitat that’ll keep them safe. The reason is that guinea pigs are vulnerable to lots of things such as extreme weather conditions and attacks. 

Therefore, a hutch that is too hot or too cold is not an ideal environment for guinea pigs to thrive.

Also, a hutch that doesn’t guarantee their safety with a strong body and ventilated wired section/opening can be easily ripped apart by predators.

Pros of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside

Pros of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside

Guinea pigs are social animals, and they are better raised in the company of other guinea pigs. Hence, if you live in a small apartment with very little or no space to keep your piggies indoors, keeping them outdoors is ideal.

Aside from having enough space to roam about and explore their curiosity, they tend to enjoy the natural environment as though in the wild. 

Some of the other good sides of keeping guinea pigs outdoors include:

  • Ample space: Keeping guinea pigs outdoors provides a more natural habitat for them. As earlier stated, it also gives them access to more space and fresh air. 
  • Guinea pigs have a short lifespan, especially in the wild. However, in captivity, they can live for a long time – up to 7 years. Their lifespan is enhanced when they have an excellent place to live with lots of brain-stimulating exercises.
  • Outdoor enclosures are easier to clean and have less smell in rooms.
  • Guinea pigs are happy whether kept indoors or outdoors, but they tend to be happier outside where they have freedom the most.

Cons of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside

Cons of Keeping Guinea Pigs Outside

Keeping guinea pigs outside is still being practiced by many piggie owners. There are many benefits to this as discussed earlier, but there are also some drawbacks. These include:

  • The risk of predators is higher outside than indoors, making them vulnerable to cats, foxes, dogs, hawks, and other animals that would eat them if given the chance. 
  • Guinea pigs can’t be left outside unattended for extended periods of time – which means you still need to give them as much attention as they would inside or in an indoor hutch. 

However, even if you were to provide them with lots of attention, the fact that their hutch is situated outside will make it stressful.

  • Your outdoor guinea pigs are more likely to develop health issues that will go unnoticed for a long time since you’ll barely spend quality physical time with them.
  • The outside weather also stands to pose a threat to your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are from Peru, South America, where the atmospheric temperature is warm all year round with a drop in winter to 50⁰ F or below in winter. 
  • Extreme weather conditions such as “too hot or too cold” are not ideal for piggies. Thus, they are at risk of either having respiratory diseases or dying from heat stroke and cold when kept outdoors.
  • Since your guinea pigs will be moving around in an open space where you created for them, they can eat poisonous plants or eat along with toxic chemicals from insecticides and weedkillers. 

To some extent, this can be minimized by using pet-friendly or safe-for-pet weedkillers to control weed around their hutch.

Outdoor Guinea Pig Cage and Related Information

Outdoor Guinea Pig Cage and Related Information

Undoubtedly, outdoor enclosures can give your piggie that “nature-like” feel, but if not done with its safety in mind, the animal may not survive for a long period. This is because guinea pigs aren’t as hardy as cats and dogs. 

In the wild, they are prey to lots of animals. So if housed in an unsafe hutch, you may wake up the next day and not find your cutie again. 

When building outdoor enclosures for guinea pigs, “safety and comfortability” are the key focus, and these two should never be compromised.

How long, healthy and happy your guinea pig will be will depend on the quality of its habitat. Below are some tips:

  • Get a large, predator-proof cage of about 5ft x 2ft x 3ft that can give your guinea pigs a roomy living space.
  • Ensure the cage is waterproof, insulated, warm, and dry.
  • Guinea pigs need proper cross-ventilation, and their cage shouldn’t be placed anywhere that is too hot or too cold. 
  • Ensure the cage is firmly built and nailed to the ground to withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow 
  • Do not keep the cage in direct sunlight nor in the direction of the wind. If possible, have a shed over the cage.
  • Across all the seasons, the ideal temperature range should be maintained at 60⁰ F – 70⁰ F. The temperature should never go above 75⁰ F in the summer and should not go below 50⁰ F in winter.

Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside All Year Round?

Yes, guinea pigs can live outside all year round. But you must protect them when the weather gets too bad. In winter, keep them safe from cold, rain, and wind. Keep them safe from sun, heat, and wind in the summer.

Can A Guinea Pig Survive Outside in the Summer?

Yes, guinea pigs can live outside in the summer. Housing them outdoors in the summer seems to be a novel thing to do. But just as they are prone to becoming cold in winter, they can also get too hot in summer

With this in mind, you have to care about where you place their hutch – it must be away from direct sunlight and wind. 

Also, insulate the outside of their cage walls with tarpaulins or blankets. Keep their cage where there is proper ventilation and provide them lots of drinking water. 

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Can A Guinea Pig Survive Outside in the Winter?

Yes! If well cared for, guinea pigs can survive in the winter. Guinea pigs have poor tolerance to cold weather; hence when it’s wintering, you must keep their hutch warm, dry, and comfortable for them to sleep. 

To achieve this, you must insulate their hutch by covering the outside walls with blankets, carpets, or tarpaulins. Also, give them lots of hay to eat as this will increase their calorie intake and keep them warm.

Also read: Guinea Pig Hay: Everything Need to Know and 4 Top Picks

Can Guinea Pigs Stay Outside at Night?

Yes, guinea pigs can stay outside at night. But this applies mainly to outdoor piggies. If your guinea pig isn’t staying outdoors or used to living outdoors, Do Not let your indoor guinea pigs sleep/stay outside at night. 

However, if for any reason you want to house your indoor guinea pig outdoors, ensure you follow these tips:

  • First, place the hutch in a secure location away from the wind, snow, rain, and direct sunlight.
  • Also, make sure to insulate the hutch with plenty of hay beddings.
  • Cover their cage’s exterior walls and roofs with tarpaulin, carpet, or blanket to keep them warm.
  • Nail the hutch to the ground deeply to ensure that it remains in place and is immovable.

Also read: 4 Best Guinea Pig Bedding

Do Guinea Pigs Like Indoors or Outdoors?

It’s hard to say which one exactly guinea pigs like the most. Since they can’t talk to make their feelings known, we can only rely on their behaviors and reactions when in these cages. 

Guinea pigs generally love to play with other piggies – this means they will prefer a hutch with lots of floor space to roam. They also love a safe, warm, and cozy hutch with lots of hay to graze on.

 That said, whether you provide them with this ideal habitat indoors or outdoors, they’ll like it.

FAQs

At what temperature can guinea pigs be outside?

Between 64°F and 73°F are ideal temperature ranges where guinea pigs can survive outside.  Temperature below 50⁰ F (15⁰ C) is considered too cold, while 79⁰ F or above is considered too hot.

During extreme weather conditions such as summer and winter, when it gets too hot or cold where you live, you’ll need to build your guinea pigs a shelter indoors or move their outdoor hutch to a shed.

Can a guinea pig survive outside in the winter?

Depending on the outside temperature, guinea pigs can survive winter temperatures up to 50⁰ F (15⁰ C). Anything cooler than this will cause complications in health.

How do you house a guinea pig outside?

You need to take several things into consideration, and all these things hover around ensuring safety for your pigs. The first thing you should do is to ensure that you position the hutch in a safe place and against the direction of the wind, snow, rain, and direct sunlight. 

Also, ensure that you insulate the hutch by providing lots of hay beddings and covering the exterior walls and roofs with tarpaulin, carpet, or blanket. To ensure that the hutch is in a fixed position and immoveable, nail it deep to the ground.

Should I cover my guinea pig’s cage at night?

You can cover part of your guinea pigs’ cage but not all the parts to allow ventilation. If you cover their cage at night, it might hinder ventilation and affect their breathing.

However, if your piggies are housed outside during winter, you can cover their hutch to prevent excess cold. But then, still, give room for ventilation.

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Wrapping Up

Many people have different opinions about keeping guinea pigs outdoors.

While some breeders believe that housing guinea pigs outside gives them a habitat that mimics their wild environment and gives them lots of space to run around; other people saw it as outright cruelty.

Because it predisposes their pets to dangers such as attacks from predators and health complications. 

That notwithstanding, guinea pigs can live both indoors and outdoors. But keeping guinea pigs outdoors comes with lots of responsibilities and to be successful at it you must give it special attention and care.  

The most important of these responsibilities is that you must ensure that the outdoor hutch is safe for them to live in. You must also ensure that they’re comfortable and warm, especially during winter. 

On a final note, if you have some space indoors and can conveniently keep your guinea pig without compromising your living space, we would advise that you house your pet indoors. 

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