‘When the weather gets hot, so do our furry friends and, unfortunately, they aren’t as adept at keeping cool as us humans are. This means that it’s up to us to provide them with relief from the summer heat.
So, that being said, you might be thinking to yourself “Can I give my guinea pig ice cubes?” since ice is cold and used to cool everything from water to boiling hot soup.
In short, yes! You can give your guinea pig ice cubes but there are a few factors to keep in mind when doing so.
Today, we’re going to discuss this topic in-depth so that you can feel confident when offering your furry friends a crunchy, extra-cold treat this season.
Can you put ice in guinea pigs water?
Putting ice in your guinea pig’s water is a suggestion that you’ll come across on various forums and online platforms. You’ll likely also find just as many small animal owners and veterinary professionals who warn against the practice.
So, what gives?
When it comes to putting ice in your guinea pig’s water, the short answer is that yes, you can put in it. However, the judges are out on whether you should or shouldn’t.
The argument that many people have about the practice is that ice cubes can rapidly cool your guinea pig’s water, which can lead to quite the shock to your guinea pig’s system.
Of course, there’s no guaranteeing that this will happen so it’s really up to you.
If you opt to use ice cubes in their water, you could always air on the side of caution and only put in one or two depending on the size of your pet’s water bowl and how much liquid is inside.
Can guinea pigs eat ice cubes by themselves?
Despite being a similar concept, there are very few debates regarding whether allowing your guinea pig to lick and crunch away at ice cubes is a good idea.
So, again, we’d like to say that yes, guinea pigs can eat ice cubes plain. In fact, this might actually be a safer practice than giving them ice cubes in their water, because they aren’t able to get as much of the extra-cold liquid by licking the cube as they would drinking from a bowl of water, which could be, in theory, easier on their system.
How do you keep guinea pigs cool in the summer?
If ice cubes aren’t sounding very appealing to you as a potential cooling solution for your guinea pig, don’t worry! There are other ways that you can keep them cool.
Fans are a great solution for keeping your pets cool and can be very effective. Using a fan boosts air circulation, leading to the room feel cooler.
You shouldn’t point the fan directly at your guinea pig’s enclosure, though, because small animals are prone to respiratory problems, which can be brought on by a multitude of factors including extreme breezes.
When placed in a shady area, tiles and slabs of slate retain a cooler surface temperature than other materials. This makes them great for cooling small animals!
By lying on tiles or slate, guinea pigs can benefit from the feeling of the cool surface. Just remember that when placed in the sun, tiles and slates can get just as hot as they do cold.
Ensuring proper hydration
To kickstart your guinea pig’s innate cooling response, it’s important to keep them hydrated. You can do this by providing leafy greens that have been soaked in water or a small handful of berries, which are full of water.
You should also ensure that your guinea pigs have a full water bowl at all times and be diligent with refilling and replacing it. It’s amazing how fast a bowl of water can evaporate in warm weather!
Relocating your enclosures to less sunny areas is one of the easiest methods for keeping pets cool. This makes a lot sense when you consider the fact that shady areas tend to be noticeably cooler than those that have the sun beating down on them.
Relocating your guinea pigs can mean moving them further away from a window, to another room, or to a different level of the house.
Using damp towels
If you can’t relocate your guinea pig enclosure to an area with less sun, you could try covering their enclosure with damp towels. After wetting the towels and ringing them out, hang them over the enclosure.
This will effectively block out some of the sun’s rays, as well as insulate the enclosure. In addition, as the water on the towels evaporates, it will cool the air inside the enclosure, which can bring the ambient temperature of the space down a few degrees.