Your garage can be a perfect place for keeping guinea pigs outside your home, in a safe and sheltered environment. This is often the case if you need them to live outside due to someone having an allergy in your home. In some cases, you might just want your pet guinea pig to live in your shed or garage over winter as they might be negatively affected by you having your heating on for extended periods.
It is worth noting that most domestic garages have walls that do not have adequate insulation or predator protection. So in most cases, they are not often considered to be a suitable location for homing your guinea pig.
If you live in an area where the temperature drops very low during the winter months, you may need to consider putting your hutch in the garage. Although the garage may not create an enclosed environment like indoors, it will shield the hutch from rain and snow, lowering temperatures.
If your guinea pigs need to be housed in a different environment but still be easily accessed, then your garage space might be just what they need.
In this post, I have put together a few quick easy tips to keep your guinea pigs warm in a garage.
Plush blanket beds and comfortable canvas hiding holes in the hutch are a perfect choice to keep your guinea pigs warm within the garage. Extra blankets and an indoor playpen are both excellent choices.
Some people opt for just a wrinkled blanket on its own coupled with a hot water bottle and that combination might be sufficient in giving your guinea pigs all the body heat they require to sleep in peace.
Blankets lining their favourite tunnels and surrounding treats will also provide the best warmth.
A good heat pad is also perfect for the guinea pigs to keep them warm. Most of them will emit up to 10 hours of heating and in some cases only need to be put into a microwave to heat up.
Prior to giving it to your guinea pigs, measure the temperature. Usually, some people bundle the heated pad in another blanket to not be too hot for the guinea pigs.
Keep Your Garage Dry
Guinea pigs are susceptible to numerous respiratory infections, including colds, influenza, and respiratory disease. So when you put the hutch in the garage, keeping it dry will also help to keep your guinea pigs warm as this is enough to avoid any infection induced by the cold weather.
You should do your best to find out the symptoms of any respiratory condition that may be lethal to guinea pigs.
Get Extra Hay
It goes without saying that guinea pigs enjoy hay! They eat it, sit in it, play in it, and roll in it. Hay is not only a fantastic boredom breaker and a source of nutrition for your guinea pig; it helps keep your guinea pig warm. It's like an oversized white duvet for your tiny pets.
Extra hay will always be a welcome addition in the winter months. Tucking in a fistful of hay into the many corners of their hutch and lining their bed areas with hay is a perfect way to give them more warmth. It will also prevent them from getting bored in the winter months.
Keep the Doors and Windows Closed
Constantly opening and shutting doors and windows will also lead to cold air entering the garage, which would lead to a quick drop in the garage's temperature.
You should aim to limit how frequently you access the doors and windows so that the temperature inside the garage remains stable. A lot of fluctuation in temperature can be detrimental to the health of your guinea pig.
It is also a smart step to take, in the event of a power outage where maintaining a stable consistent temperature may prove to be a challenge.
Quality Hutch Lining
The quality of the hutch lining will also play a very important role in keeping your guinea pigs warm. In a cold environment, having high-quality bedding that can soak the urine and keep the cage dry is necessary. It goes without saying that wet bedding can make the guinea pig easily fall ill.
Many pet owners opt for this very popular bedding for their guinea pigs. If you topped it off with some hay or shredded paper bedding that allows a deep 2-3 inch layer where guinea pigs would nestle in, it will help.
Using a waterproof cover to shield the hutch while in your garage will serve as additional protection from rain and help to ensure your guinea pigs are kept dry. The guinea pigs can suffer from a temperature drop if the hutch becomes wet, so it is better to put a cover to keep the rain out.
Failing that, you should definitely consider covering the front of the hutch with an old blanket at night. This will help ensure that the heat stays in and the cold air stays out.
You can often either use basic items around your home like a foil bubble wrap (that's the silver bubble wrap) or the polystyrene sheets to protect the hutch from both angles. This would provide an extra level of insulation that will keep the hutch warm on certain cold days.
Check to make sure that the roof is adequately sealed as the heat can escape through the ceiling. If you want to keep pets in your garage, then having a well-insulated roof is a must.
Guinea pigs are small creatures and susceptible to severe drops in weather. So we need to look after them and ensure they are protected. The appropriate enclosure and all necessary supplies would allow your guinea pigs to get through these cold days relatively quickly.