This is a topic that has sparked curiosity among avid guinea pig installers. Guinea pigs do not fall into hibernation. On the other hand, the same guinea pigs are falling into hibernation.
Winter sleep is a physiological state of the body’s numbness, in which there is a periodic slowdown of life processes. There is a drop in body temperature, decreased nervous excitability, slower metabolism, heart rate, and brain activity. The signal for the beginning of winter sleep is the threshold temperature, different for each species. Changes occur in the functioning of the endocrine glands.
Before the animal goes into a state of numbness, it must first accumulate an abundant supply of brown adipose tissue, which is responsible, among other things, for producing heat in the body. However, it is worth noting that some species fall into the so-called intermittent sleep – from time to time, they are awakened to feed on the reserves accumulated in the shelter. In this case, excess brown adipose tissue accumulation is not necessary.
Guinea pigs vs. hibernation
Guinea pigs have a terrestrial lifestyle, digging burrows in the wild, but they cannot climb. The guinea pig is active both during the day and at night. They originally lived in groups – usually 5-10 individuals, so it is advisable to choose a company for your guinea pig so that it doesn’t feel lonely.
It’s also known that wild guinea pigs are like cattle. They live on grassy plains. This suggests that it has its own pattern with the cows of South America. This is one of the reasons why people believe that pigs do not hibernate. Have you seen cattle hibernate before?
Being a species, pigs have a marine average body temperature that is slightly higher than humans, ranging from 38 to 40 degrees celsius. Therefore, it should have a temperature between 18 and 24 degrees celsius.
This is since guinea pigs tolerate cold better than heat. If the suffering has 32 degrees celsius, these animals may suffer from hyperthermia and die. Humidity levels can also play a role in their survival. It was not less than 30 percent or more than 70 percent.
An equator runs through a part of the Andes where wild pigs live. It must be found that the peaks of this mountain range reach about 22,838 feet. The points taking location will also not be the equator for pigs living in the higher Andes. In fact, indigenous Andean communities environment guinea pigs as a storage tool.
These groups were high on the plateaus of the Andes. To make it more extraordinary than you think. If guinea pigs can go into hibernation in these environments, you know that guinea pigs can go into these environments.
Generally, rodents use are obligate winterers. This means they can hibernate regardless of the lower plant or the unavailability of computer resources. Among the many animals that science has determined to hibernate are rodents, ground squirrels, European hedgehogs, mouse mice, bagworms, stoats, and insectivores.
The guinea pigs are marine, Order Rodentia within the Cavida family. Science has not yet provided guinea pigs on that they fall into hibernation. But controlling for the logic that rodents are obligate hibernators and guinea pigs are rodents, guinea pigs are also obligate hibernators.
Based on all this logic, hibernating guinea pigs is possible. However, the guinea pigs we have in our homes do not resemble those in the wild. So there is still doubt about whether or not these domesticated animals go into hibernation.
Guinea pigs do not go into hibernation, but they slow down their metabolism and activity to stay warm in lower temperatures. This slowing of the heart rate also helps them conserve energy and stay warm. However, if it gets too cold, there is a risk of hypothermia. Therefore, it is essential to have shelter and bedding for guinea pigs to keep them warm.
Why don’t guinea pigs hibernate?
Few people know how sensitive guinea pigs are, unlike other rodents. Any significant change in outside temperature can make guinea pigs sick or even die. Guinea pigs need a specific range of temperatures to stay comfortable and healthy, ranging from 18 ° C to 24 °.
How low is too cold for a guinea pig? Any temperature drop to 16 °C or below – is deemed too cruel for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can usually tolerate cold better than heat. However, at this point, it is already too cold for your guinea pig to maintain body temperature (and stay warm).
You will notice that your guinea pigs begin to go into sleep (numbness) for long periods – rather than hibernating. This way, they use less energy and maintain their body heat levels. At this time, guinea pigs may appear sluggish (slow), slow to respond, and have a lowered heart rate (which is very unusual since they are active animals). They may even appear sluggish and half-lived.
If your piggies are left too cold for too long, they will get hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when their body temperature is so low that it causes serious health problems and can even cause death. It is so important to properly care for your guinea pigs. You can tell by their appearance and behavior if your piggies are too cold.
Hibernation risk for guinea pigs
Hibernation preparation is a protective mechanism carrying out conservation activities to preserve maintenance management and account management. For guinea pigs, if you want, if you drop -10 degrees celsius, there is always a risk of freezing to death. If the temperature is than 15 degrees Celsius, the product pigs cover with hay to keep them from getting cold.
Pigs tolerate cold well but do not do well with drafts and humidity. These two can melt the temperature. There is a danger of causing stress to the little one in his hypothermia. The outstanding line between hibernation and death may be crossed.
In the wild, hibernating pigs are at the mercy of prowling predators. These large animals know that prey often hides during the winter. A hibernating animal will be inactive and appear dead. To make it more vulnerable to being eaten by a predator. You don’t have to get this in a “deep sleeper” domesticated guinea pig.
Do guinea pigs go into hibernation? If you rely on our arguments, guinea pigs can go into hibernation. However, when it comes to different texts, man and science still have a lot to discover.
What does a guinea pig get stressed about?
The guinea pig is a very terrestrial animal. If you put it into an aquarium with a narrow bottom, limiting its ability to run around. If you don’t place any additional accessories or toys in this aquarium, you can expect that the rodent will not be very happy. Stress in a guinea pig can be caused by inadequate “housing .”
You can also put the pig under stress by placing the cage in the wrong place. The wrong place, which is, above all, noisy. But also such where there are drafts or sudden temperature changes. The area should not lie on the floor.
Not only because in the colder months, but the temperature near the bottom is also usually lower. The main reason is that piggies don’t like to be observed above – they feel threatened by birds of prey.
Although piggies are gregarious animals and feel comfortable with other piggies, care should be taken in choosing companions. Bloody fights can occur between males from different litters (needless to say, these are very stressful for the rodent?).
How to reduce stress in a guinea pig?
The only way to eliminate stress is to remove its cause. The cage should be large enough (for one individual cage with dimensions of at least 80×50 cm). Place it in a calm place, on a low elevation, e.g., in the room on a table, far from a radiator or a frequently opened window. Let’s put some toys and gadgets inside, e.g., a house, a hammock or a lair, a swing, a tunnel, a ball with a bell for entertainment.
But let’s also remember that the piglet is very sociable and needs our attention. Let’s devote her time, stroke her, and let her explore the apartment (under our supervision, of course). Do not make any sudden movements.
Do not shout. If possible, provide her with a companion to play with in the form of another pig, but – as mentioned above – pay attention to its appropriate selection. It is better to choose two females or two males from the same litter. You can also choose a male and a female, but one of the pigs should be sterilized if you don’t plan to start breeding.
Don’t forget that a happy piggy is, above all, a healthy piggy. Regularly cut its claws (if you don’t have the skills – go to the vet), give twigs of fruit trees, on which your pet will be able to rub constantly growing incisors, comb the fur, especially in long-haired pigs. Let’s take care of a balanced diet, which should consist not only of high-quality pellets but also fresh vegetables and fruits, additionally give vitamin C.