If you are looking at getting a Guinea Pig, or you have one/several already you may be wondering where to house them. You may even be wondering if a Guinea Pig can live outside. Is it safe to do so, is it beneficial for them or yourself as the owner? Having owned various Guinea Pigs over the years, I have spent a lot of time considering this dilemma myself. I decided to put an end to the contemplation and have spent some time thoroughly researching the topic. I’d like to share that information with you here today.
So, can a Guinea Pig Live outside? It is possible to house your Guinea Pigs and let them live outside. However, you are going to need to ensure you undertake the appropriate measures to ensure they are safe, comfortable and are protected. This includes getting an appropriate and secure cage, warm bedding and that you can house them inside during extreme weathers.
Let us now look at the various factors that you will need to consider if you are contemplating leaving your Guinea Pigs outside long-term.
Can A Guinea Pig Live Outside?
You adore your pet; so you want to ensure it is as safe, protected and healthy as it possibly can be. It’s funny to think that the little creature you are so keen to protect from the element descended from something that was meant to live in the wild. Times have certainly changed, and many pets, including the modern Guinea Pig, aren’t even found in the wild anymore.
Just because they are largely domesticated doesn’t necessarily mean they hate the outside. Does this mean they should be outside?
While Guinea Pigs can live inside as well, many people let their Guinea Pigs live outside. This is a perfectly safe thing to do so long as you take the necessary measures.
If you are looking to house your Guinea Pigs outside, then you are going to also want to make sure that you check up on them often. Ensuring they have plenty of hay, food and water is something that you should always think about and have in the back of your mind at all times.
You’ll also want to be attentive to their squeaks and noises, as being outside will likely result in them not being heard more often than not. These noises are of course how are Guinea Pigs communicate, so its important to ensure that they are not trying to tell us something that we can no longer hear when they are outside.
Does A Guinea Pig Prefer To Live Inside or Outside?
A Guinea Pig’s preference for indoors or out is not so black and white. There are several other factors that you need to take into consideration before setting up their home.
For one thing, you will need to consider whether or not your home is the best place for a Guinea Pig. Guinea Pigs like things to be rather quiet. They are easily worked up and don’t like loud noises. If you have a bunch of young children that are always home or several dogs, this may be something to consider.
If your home has the space to allow the Guinea Pigs to have their own rooms that are sectioned off for a portion of the day, this may even be preferable.
When giving a Guinea Pig their own space, you need to make sure that they still have some access to sun. Keeping them cooped up in a windowless closet may be their only chance at indoor peace, but this is not something that is good or beneficial for them.
While lack of sun is one of the reasons why this living arrangement wouldn’t work out, it is also the fact that they need some ventilation. No one likes to have stuffy air- Guinea Pigs included. They don’t want to be cramped in a stuffy room that would exasperate the smell. They need fresh air.
That goes for the owners as well. If you live in a smaller quarters, it may make sense to not add an animal to the mix. This is especially true when someone in the family has allergies to the rodent or the bedding. In these cases, your Guinea Pig is probably best outside.
The same preferences for a Guinea Pig go to outside as well. If you live in an area that is very noisy (such as a busy city), it might be stressful for the Guinea Pigs if they are forced to listen to cars going by all day.
It is also not a great idea to have your Guinea Pigs living outside when you have extreme variances in weather.
If you live in a region that is experiences negative degree conditions, it snows regularly or is even under ice, it can be outwardly dangerous to leave them in such conditions. Guinea Pigs require a warmer temperature as they descended from South America and have evolved in such a climate.
On the other end of the extreme, scorching heat is not preferable either and can prove stressful for your Guinea Pigs. Without adequate access to water, they can even be subjected to hydration which can be very dangerous for them.
While Guinea Pigs thrive in a stable climate, it doesn’t mean that they can’t handle bad weather. You just want to ensure that they are as protected as possible particularly in the more extreme weathers around the calendar.
What Do You Do During Bad Weather?
If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can always move your Guinea Pig in during the winter, but this shouldn’t be necessary. With the proper housing (and bedding), a Guinea Pig should be able to comfortably live in their enclosure all year round.
There are some things you really need to keep in mind to ensure their safety and health though.
First, you need to make sure that your Guinea Pigs are living in a proper enclosure. Your typical wire cage is not enough to keep the elements out (and your Guinea Pig in, for that matter).
Setting them outside in one of those small animal aquariums could prove lethal. The solid glass will not offer any holes for water or snow to escape through. This means your Guinea Pig could easily drown if there was too much rain, or collection of liquid inside.
While this type of set-up may at least keep the warmth in, this also spells additional problems during the summer months. The glass will literally cook your Guinea Pig in the hot summer heat. Even if the tank is not in direct sunlight, it will make the heat much worse and will mean that heat cannot escape.
You need to have an enclosure that is especially designed for outdoor living and one that will protect them all year round.
Appropriate Outdoor Living Enclosure
When it comes to housing your Guinea Pig outside, it is essential that you provide them with a durable, protected, concealed and secure cage. It really needs to be well designed and it needs to give them plenty of space to live, play and sleep. It needs to be able to keep them warm during the colder months but it also must be ventilated to ensure that they can cool down in the hotter months.
Below are some of the best options that experts recommend to Guinea Pig owners and come with a plethora of positive reviews:
#1 Lovupet 2 Story Outdoor Wooden Guinea Pig House
This well-constructed living space is a great option. It comes with two levels so your Guinea Pigs can have some freedom moving around as well. This is a sturdy design that is weatherproof and will not corrode and both floors are very protected meaning that it will last you for several years.
The sliding pan can easily be removed too making it ideal for quick and effortless cleaning. Plus, this is very secure; the door opening locks securely with a metal slide bolt to ensure your Guinea Pigs cannot escape.
Lastly, if you have several Guinea Pigs it is ideal because there are separate sleeping and living areas. There is plenty of living space for your Guinea Pigs to play, and they can enter the enclosed and private area for rest and warmer protection.
Click here to see the product listing on Amazon.
#2 Petsfit Outdoor Enclosure
The Petsfit enclosure is another great option and is ideal if you are looking for one a little more aesthetic. The area for flowers is a nice touch and can help bed this enclosure into any green garden.
Again, this enclosure features a pull out tray and a hinge roof that can be opened for easy cleaning and sturdy ramp so that your Guinea Pig(s) have plenty of room to play and explore.
This cage is renowned for being easy to assemble, and it even comes with pre-drilled holes to make the process easier.
This is fully weatherproof preventing rain from getting inside and keeping the area completely dry at all times.
Click here to see the product listing on Amazon.
#3 Merax Outdoor Enclosure
The Merax Outdoor enclosure is another popular favorite and includes a lot of space for your Guinea Pig(s). This design features a “run” which is only surrounded by wire and will allow your Guinea Pig a lot of freedom and space to play.
With this design, your Guinea Pigs will be directly on the ground when they are in the bottom layer. This also means there are no removable trays involved, so clean up can be a little tricky. However, it does enable them the opportunity to snack on some safe, grass, clover, and dandelions (so long as they have not been treated with pesticides).
Click here to see the product listing on Amazon.
Sufficient Warm Bedding
For dealing with the winter months, you need to prepare additional bedding. While Guinea Pigs are good at keeping themselves warm, they will need some additional help.
Offering extra bedding is like giving them some spare blankets. You can then add them to the enclosure and provide them with a warm nest that will keep them warm and safe.
The Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding is my go to that I routinely purchase on Amazon.
Plus, if you was to locate the enclosure within an area that is already fenced in, this will greatly reduce the exposure of your Guinea Pigs to the elements.
Do You Need To Worry About Predators?
Guinea Pigs are vulnerable to being eaten by other animals. Which animals can eat them depends on where you live and what animals live locally. In a typical residential area, the culprits are generally foxes, coyotes, and outdoor cats.
If you get a proper, well designed and constructed outdoor enclosure, you will not need to worry about any predators. This is perhaps the best advice that I can give. If you do not have one at present, I suggest taking a look at those referenced above.
If you really want to ensure your Guinea Pigs are not frightened or even experience a predator trying to get to them, you can deter predatory animals by placing the enclosure on your porch or in the close vicinity of your house.
Of course, if you live in an area that has much larger predatory animals regularly, this could be a problem. For example, enclosures are not built to withstand bears or wolves. Generally, these animals are rare and avoid residential areas so this should not be a problem.
For the most part, it is perfectly safe to house your animals outside so long as they are in the correct enclosure.
If you were wondering whether your Guinea Pig can live outside, then you’ll be pleased to hear this it is possible.
That being said, you’ll need to ensure that you have an appropriate enclosure, you provide them with enough bedding and that you do not neglect their needs. Just because they are living outside does not mean that they require you any less.
It also does not mean that they do not want as much attention from you. Guinea Pigs are very sociable animals and require constant contact and interaction.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is the health and well-being of your Guinea Pig(s). If you can ensure this while they are living outside, then you have nothing you need to worry about. Its perfectly fine. If you have any reason to believe they are not safe in this setting, then you may want to consider bringing them inside.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.