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DH wants to put the Guinea Pigs back outside.

(24 Posts)
ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 16:52:14


I brought them in a week or so ago when we had a lot of snow coming and it was cold. I am not sure how happy they are being in their inside cage as they spend most of their time hiding. I have also noticed funny little coughing/choking sounding noises that are different from their squeaks.

I don't know if they can go back out and if they need a vet and would appreciate any advice. My guide books don't help.

peggotty Sat 11-Dec-10 16:58:35

I'm not an expert but I don't think guinea pigs should be out at all in the winter. Have you got a garage or shed they could go in?

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 17:00:38

The shed is too small but there is room in the garage. When they are outside they have a lovely big hutch and a lovely fleecy warm bed.

peggotty Sat 11-Dec-10 17:02:53

Could you move their outside hutch into the garage? I think they are very sensitive little beasties and hate the cold intensely!

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 17:04:02

If they were going to go in the garage I would rather they stayed in the lounge tbh as the garage is still cold. Maybe dh can go in the shed hmmgrin.

peggotty Sat 11-Dec-10 17:05:19

grin sounds like a plan! THey will be fine in the garage though, seriously!

ChippingIn Sat 11-Dec-10 17:05:59

They can't go outside in this weather - it's far too cold. I wouldn't put them in the garage either. They need to be somewhere warmer than that (unless you are prepared to put a heater in the garage to keep the chill off).

Why does DH want them out of the house? Is there somewhere else you could put them in the house that it would be less of an issue for him?

pinguwings Sat 11-Dec-10 17:06:39

Keep them inside! Even in the garage would be better. The minute they wee their bedding will be damp and will take on the outside temperature. They are small little things and can very easily freeze or develop chest infections.

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 17:11:52

He thinks it is unhygenic.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Sat 11-Dec-10 17:12:45

does he think they smell?

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 17:15:43

Not them, their toiletting but I clean them out but will do it more often so he can't complain. It was the blinking cat who weed in her last week as she didn't want to go out int he snow hmm.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Sat 11-Dec-10 17:19:18

reason I was asking is that I thought when they were new to us, the smell was quite strong - ammoniac but I think that may have had something to do with adjustment/fear/possibly change of diet. After a while, that strong smell went. As you say, smell from the bedding/hutch or cage lining.

GruesomeShellChillingTortoise Sat 11-Dec-10 17:31:44

My Guinea pig is outside and have been for 5 yrs. As long as there is a sheltered side of the hutch with warm bedding i think they are fine. Have to keep checking the water because it keeps freezing!

Merle Sat 11-Dec-10 17:41:00

Our two are in their hutch, in the garage. They seem to be fine. They have a lot of blankets over the sleeping area and a hot-water bottle on very cold nights. They have been running about inthe garden today, as all the ice has gone.

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 17:41:30

Their water would be fine as I have a cover on it. Keeps the water cold in summer and from freezing in winter.

ChippingIn Sat 11-Dec-10 18:21:31

Merle - you really shouldn't let them run around even when the ice has gone, when they get damp/wet they can get very ill & die quite quickly. If you let them run around you need to bring them in until they are warm & dry, but then putting them back out in the cold is very harsh

How can they be 'unhygenic' if they are in a cage?

Merle Sat 11-Dec-10 22:03:08

Honestly they are fine. It was a really pleasant afternoon here and they seemed to like being outside; after several weeks in the hutch. I cleared it out and they went in with loads of hay and sawdust and then about 6 blankets wrapped around the sleeping area.

goodmanners Mon 27-Dec-10 18:24:04

mine live outside but over winter in the kids wooden play shed, when the snow has gone mine have enjoyed a bit of freedom on the garden even when wet then gone in of own accord - mine are obviously ard as they have doen this for years. I would not however have outside piggies have em inside then let them outside again mid winter as the sudden move from warm to cold might not be so good.

GypsyMoth Mon 27-Dec-10 18:28:21

don't they nibble through hot water bottles??

BranchingOut Mon 27-Dec-10 18:31:12

Can you insulate the hutch at all? Maybe with some large sheets of bubblewrap.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 27-Dec-10 18:34:28

Once they have been inside it will be a terrible shock for them going outside again. It also sounds like they have some sort of chest infections/colds so they may be even more vulnerable. I would be very reluctant to put them outside again now until the spring.
If you keep them in a coolish room, away from a radiator they won't smell as much, although they do need cleaned out a lot more often inside.
They do adjust to being inside. Ours ran for cover when they first came in again but now squeak like mad if they hear a bag rustle as they think they are going to be fed.
There were threads on the Small furry section about absorbent bedding that reduces the smell.
Good luck with dh - mine is a bit the same and last year had to put up with 10 guinea pigs and 4 rabbits in the kitchen! grin

midori1999 Mon 27-Dec-10 23:08:45

Our piggies used to live in the conservatory in their hutches all winter and then go back outside in Spring when it got warmer with a hutch cover for cool/wet/windy nights. It was quite cool, but we never had temperatures like this, but they were out of any draughts in there and we spot cleaned daily to keep damp patches to a minimum.

Would they maybe be OK in the garage if you got a Snugglesafe to keep them warm overnight?

My DH is resigned to my animals, although I recently agreed to move most of my rodents (200+) into a heated shed in the garage. That still leaves 50 odd snakes, 4 pet rats, 2 cats, 4 dogs and a hamster in the house mind... grin

silver73 Tue 28-Dec-10 02:33:15

I'm sorry but I think it would be really cruel to put them back out now. You should leave it until when it warms up in the spring. The shock of going from a house to a garden at this time of year could kill them.

As humans we choose to have pets and we really need to do the best thing for them - not ourselves - as they rely on us to look after then properly.

Have they seen a vet yet?

toeragsnotriches Thu 30-Dec-10 21:17:16

Just looked in my piggy book and I don't think you should put them back outside. Not while they're coughing and stuff.

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