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Should I get a guinea pig?

Species: Other
Breed: N/A
Age: Less than 3 mon
Dear Dr. Marie,

I live in Seattle, Washington, USA. I'm interested in having two female guinea pigs as pets.

I'm concerned about going ahead with the purchase because my apartment has a very primitive heating/cooling system. Namely, it has one baseboard heater and the tempature is regulated through opening and closing the windows.

I know from my childhood guinea pigs that they are quite sensitive to tempatures and drafts.

Would it be safe for the guinea pigs to live my apartment?

Thanks!

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for a great question!

The answer to your question depends on how hot it is likely to get in your room. Guinea pigs are relatively tolerant of a cooler house. So, in the winter time I wouldn't be too concerned.

But, if your house gets really hot in the summer then this is not a good thing for a guinea pig. While no one knows for sure what temperature is best for a guinea pig, if the temperature is regularly over 80 F then it is likely too hot. Guinea pigs really don't handle heat well.

So, if you can keep your house below 80 the majority of the time, I would say to go ahead!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.