Princess Piggy Poo is blissfully unaware that Southern California is having a heat wave. She is a pampered guinea pig living in her temperature-controlled cavy castle. For Princess Piggy Poo, every day is springtime or fall.
It’s my job to keep Princess Piggy Poo comfortable. Someone asked me if guinea pigs sweat when it gets hot outside, and only thinking of my own cavy, I answered, “No.” It seems, however, that may be the truth for all guinea pigs. Similarly to how dogs pant to relieve heat instead of sweating, guinea pigs only have sweat glands on the bottom of their feet. Cavies can also regulate their body heat with their blood flow. If Princess Piggy Poo gets warm, her pink ears will redden. Supposedly, she may lay down with her legs stretched and feet out so the sweat glands can get air.
Some guinea pigs live outdoors and have to deal with the heat. To help keep outdoor cavies cool, it’s recommended to freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place it in their cages. Then if a guinea pig gets hot, it can get near the frozen bottle to cool off.
The best thing though is to keep the temperature regulated for your guinea pigs. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor space for your guinea pig, always make sure there is fresh water available.
Princess Piggy Poo seems to enjoy having the air conditioner set to 78 degrees in the summer. And, conveniently, that works for me, too.