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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!


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.