Do you have a Guinea pig? These guys are very fun and cute pets. However, you’ll need to take extra care with your little buddy in summer. Guinea pigs really don’t do well in the heat! As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I discuss keeping cavies cool in this article.
Make sure your cavy always has cool water. Getting an insulating cover for their water bottle, which can help. I’d also recommend adding extra water dispensers. (Tip: keep one in the freezer at all times, and just swap them out.)
Everyone likes a cold treat in hot weather! Offer some frozen apples, strawberries, or watermelons. Cucumbers are also great summer snacks. (Bonus: they have a high water content.) You can also freeze fruit juice in ice cube trays. Just don’t offer anything with sweeteners or artificial flavors, and don’t go too crazy with sugary treats. Ask your vet for specific advice on safe and unsafe foods.
Keeping your cavy’s cage at the right temperature is very important. Fans help, though you don’t want to point it directly at your pint-sized pal. You can put a wet towel over the cage. Just wring it out first, so it isn’t sopping wet. Also make sure your furry friend’s cage isn’t in direct sunlight!
Brush your tiny buddy regularly to remove dead fur and tangles. You can also wipe your pet down with a cool, damp cloth on hot days.
Cavies often like laying on freezer gel packs. Wrap it in a towel, so your furry pal can’t chew it, and put it in their cage. You can also do this with frozen veggies and frozen bags or bottles of water. Another option is to freeze a ceramic tile for your pet to lay on.
Tunnels can provide a cool respite for your cute pet. Just avoid plastic ones; they don’t really offer any insulation.
Watch For Heatstroke
Many pets are at risk of heatstroke in summer. Guinea pigs are no exception! Warning signs include panting, restlessness, lethargy, drooling, elevated pulse, and/or discolored gums. If you notice any of these issues, immediately bring your tiny pal to a cool area, cover them with a damp towel, and contact your vet.
As your Marion, IA area Lexington, KY veterinarian, I’m dedicated to offering great care. Contact me anytime!