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Pros And Cons Of Keeping Guinea Pigs Indoors Or Outdoors?

sparkle

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#1
I have 2 guinea pigs who are living outside and I am considering bringing them in permanently. I have another forum post where I was asking a bit about bringing guinea pigs indoors however, I decided to make another one asking for the pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs indoors or outdoors.

If anyone has any tips on keeping guinea pigs indoors or outdoors I would be happy to hear them c:

Thanks for reading!
 

Beans&Toast

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#2
:wel:

I have two sows who are kept indoors in my bedroom. I did consider putting them outside when I first got them but I never did and they've been in my room from day 1.

I personally wouldn't keep guinea pigs outside, I know plenty of people do, but that's just my own opinion. Both of my girls have had several emergencies requiring urgent vet care - which always seems to happen in the middle of the night/early morning, if I kept them outside I would have missed these and they may not be here today. Having them in the house, particularly in my room means I spot any issues more or less right away.

Yes it can get a bit smelly with all the hay and poo etc but it's easily dealt with, I hoover a few times a day and just make sure I keep the hay bags folded up and their cage clean. I use fleece as bedding which I change every 3-4 days and spot clean the cage a few times a day so the only smell really is the hay, I do have severe hay fever so it can be a bit of an issue sometimes but it doesn't bother me if I keep on top of cleaning.


I don't think there are any pros to keeping them outside over inside - again that is just my own opinion, no judgment to people who do keep them outside. I just like the idea of having them in the house, I get to see all their funny behaviour and antics. They are free to roam around the house during the day (when I'm in of course) so I have developed a very close bond with them.

I suppose a pro of keeping them outside would mean you could have a permanent run attached to their hutch so they could get a lot of grass time freely, as opposed to having to take them out and put them on the grass if you keep them inside.

Lastly I'd just say if you are going to keep them outside think about the weather, make sure the hutch is rain/wind proof when it's cold and that it doesn't over heat in the summer. :)
 

*kate*

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#3
I also agree that inside has loads of pro's and, for me, no con's.

When they are inside you can keep an eye on them all of the time and easily pick up on illness in it's early stage.

Also, they are so much fun to watch!

You can also ensure that they are not too hot/ too cold when kept inside.

You don't have to go and feed them/clean them out/spend time with them outside in all the bad weather!
 

sparkle

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#4
:wel:

I have two sows who are kept indoors in my bedroom. I did consider putting them outside when I first got them but I never did and they've been in my room from day 1.

I personally wouldn't keep guinea pigs outside, I know plenty of people do, but that's just my own opinion. Both of my girls have had several emergencies requiring urgent vet care - which always seems to happen in the middle of the night/early morning, if I kept them outside I would have missed these and they may not be here today. Having them in the house, particularly in my room means I spot any issues more or less right away.

Yes it can get a bit smelly with all the hay and poo etc but it's easily dealt with, I hoover a few times a day and just make sure I keep the hay bags folded up and their cage clean. I use fleece as bedding which I change every 3-4 days and spot clean the cage a few times a day so the only smell really is the hay, I do have severe hay fever so it can be a bit of an issue sometimes but it doesn't bother me if I keep on top of cleaning.


I don't think there are any pros to keeping them outside over inside - again that is just my own opinion, no judgment to people who do keep them outside. I just like the idea of having them in the house, I get to see all their funny behaviour and antics. They are free to roam around the house during the day (when I'm in of course) so I have developed a very close bond with them.

I suppose a pro of keeping them outside would mean you could have a permanent run attached to their hutch so they could get a lot of grass time freely, as opposed to having to take them out and put them on the grass if you keep them inside.

Lastly I'd just say if you are going to keep them outside think about the weather, make sure the hutch is rain/wind proof when it's cold and that it doesn't over heat in the summer. :)
I also agree that inside has loads of pro's and, for me, no con's.

When they are inside you can keep an eye on them all of the time and easily pick up on illness in it's early stage.

Also, they are so much fun to watch!

You can also ensure that they are not too hot/ too cold when kept inside.

You don't have to go and feed them/clean them out/spend time with them outside in all the bad weather!
Thank you so much for your replies they really do help!
 
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#5
I am not able to reply correctly because here it is forbidden to have certain pets living outside, there is a long bureaucracy for getting permissions and I honestly don't know anybody who keeps the pet outside (don't forget we have a lot of criminals, too who are hungry enough for eating cats and rabbits...).
I think that you have wonderful houses with a garden and your pets feel fine into their hutches. Maybe you also spend a lot of time outiside in the shadow, reading a book, eating and so on. But if the life of the family is only indoor, I would not see the point of getting a pet far from our eyes. The pleasure of having a pet is looking at it, stroking it, enjoy his company... I spend hours just staring at my sows... in fact I have been reading less books since the arrival of my piggies at home...:roll:
Another subject is the safety: a cold or hot weather is dangerous for such delicate creatures...
 

Beans&Toast

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#6
I am not able to reply correctly because here it is forbidden to have certain pets living outside, there is a long bureaucracy for getting permissions and I honestly don't know anybody who keeps the pet outside (don't forget we have a lot of criminals, too who are hungry enough for eating cats and rabbits...).
I think that you have wonderful houses with a garden and your pets feel fine into their hutches. Maybe you also spend a lot of time outiside in the shadow, reading a book, eating and so on. But if the life of the family is only indoor, I would not see the point of getting a pet far from our eyes. The pleasure of having a pet is looking at it, stroking it, enjoy his company... I spend hours just staring at my sows... in fact I have been reading less books since the arrival of my piggies at home...:roll:
Another subject is the safety: a cold or hot weather is dangerous for such delicate creatures...
I do this too! I spend so much time just sitting with the pigs, watching them and interacting with them. They follow me around the house, sit at the fridge to wait for their veg and follow me to the front door because they know they'll get grass :drool:
 
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#7
I do this too! I spend so much time just sitting with the pigs, watching them and interacting with them. They follow me around the house, sit at the fridge to wait for their veg and follow me to the front door because they know they'll get grass :drool:
you are a lucky slave! Unfortunately my piggies don't follow me, but run away from me...:soz: I need to walk far from them and move very slowly... but I enjoy them as well! They are so funny... when I have the bag of the grass or I am chomping some fruit they hear the typical noise and would like to come near me, but their instinct suggests prudency; therefore they come towards me walking with only their front legs, keeping still the rear ones! they stretch their neck and become extremely LONG!:))
so funny!:D
 

Beans&Toast

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#8
you are a lucky slave! Unfortunately my piggies don't follow me, but run away from me...:soz: I need to walk far from them and move very slowly... but I enjoy them as well! They are so funny... when I have the bag of the grass or I am chomping some fruit they hear the typical noise and would like to come near me, but their instinct suggests prudency; therefore they come towards me walking with only their front legs, keeping still the rear ones! they stretch their neck and become extremely LONG!:))
so funny!:D
I love how all pigs seem to know that the rustling of a bag must mean food and come running :xd:
Oh it took a very long time for them to trust me so much, around a year before they fully came out their shell. I was very patient with them :P But it is the main reason I wanted them in the house - so I could develop a good bond with them. They're definitely a part of the family, My Mum, who refers to herself as their Nana adores them also :))
 

TheLottiediarys

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#9
Hi!
I'm in an interesting position, because I have two Guinea Pigs Living outside in a hutch,
And three Guinea Pigs living inside in a C and C cage,

A lot of good points have been said about living inside and I couldn't agree more,
In some ways I feel I have a closer relationship with my Girls inside as they are pretty close constantly,
But my Hutch is right next to the floor to ceiling glass doors of my Living Room which means I see my Pair outside almost more then my girls inside in some ways, as I'm spending a lot of time in the living room so I see them a lot! :)

A pro of having them in a hutch for me, is space, I know a lot of people don't have the space for a large set up inside, and my pair outside have more space per Pig them my girls inside,
A cage inside can be messy, but then so can a hutch outside,
A pro of outside is they get fresh air, and sunlight more then my girls inside,
I worry about the girls inside getting not enough fresh air and sunlight as they are behind a closed door for then their safely from out cats,
But a con is the worry of predators,
I'm pretty lucky because we don't get foxes in our garden because we have very large enclosed garden, fox's just can't get in.

I think it's a hard choice, I'd prefer my guineas inside but I have my pair outside in the summer because it works out better for me with space that way, the plan was to have all the guineas outside in the summer but my girls got sick before I moved the pair outside so I kept them inside :)
 

eileen

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#10
i like to keep my piggies outside in the spring and summer,as i spend alot of time in the garden at this time of year,i like to place piggies in a heated shed or be inside in the autumn and winter months.also factors like, if you are renting property,will only allow pets if they are outside.
it is down to personal preference
 

Kylie80

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#11
I can only comment on the pro's of having them inside which is they get more interaction as someone is constantly walking past all day and talking to them, they are in the lounge so they are used to everyone's voices now and the tv, I also find it a lot less stressful that they are not having to be harassed by predators as we have snakes in summer and a couple of stray cats around looking for a feed which is why I do not house them outside as they would attract snakes for sure plus I take medications that I have to stay out of the sun with so I do not go outside often only to hang out laundry and take out rubbish.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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#12
Again I'm an indoor person, I don't see any pros for outside myself. Especially not in winter, it gets too cold in the UK for piggies from exotic Peru to endure our bitter winters.

It's a lot easier to regulate temperature indoors, plus keeping an eye on them as they're close by. Also enjoying them, I wouldn't be sitting outside in freezing conditions talking to the pigs every winter, but I sit and talk to them all the time because they're indoors. I'm not saying people with pigs outside neglect them but I don't think they get the amount of interaction as indoor pigs.

They're pretty clean animals so I don't have a problem, hay on the floor is the only issue and that usually my fault :))
 

Cbdawg

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#14
Hi All
I totally agree with all your points above, if I could have mine inside I would but the cons for me are I have major hayfever, space, and I have a labrador, who although will sit lovely with them and isnt bothered really when we bring them in for snuggles of an evening, I know if I am out this wouldnt be the case. So outside, I have a huge 6x4 shed, which I have insulated, it has levels, play spaces and hiding spots, as well as a huge space outside attached. For me this works, but I do appreciate others may not think this is a great idea.
 

Tiamolly123

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#15
:wel:

I have two sows who are kept indoors in my bedroom. I did consider putting them outside when I first got them but I never did and they've been in my room from day 1.

I personally wouldn't keep guinea pigs outside, I know plenty of people do, but that's just my own opinion. Both of my girls have had several emergencies requiring urgent vet care - which always seems to happen in the middle of the night/early morning, if I kept them outside I would have missed these and they may not be here today. Having them in the house, particularly in my room means I spot any issues more or less right away.

Yes it can get a bit smelly with all the hay and poo etc but it's easily dealt with, I hoover a few times a day and just make sure I keep the hay bags folded up and their cage clean. I use fleece as bedding which I change every 3-4 days and spot clean the cage a few times a day so the only smell really is the hay, I do have severe hay fever so it can be a bit of an issue sometimes but it doesn't bother me if I keep on top of cleaning.


I don't think there are any pros to keeping them outside over inside - again that is just my own opinion, no judgment to people who do keep them outside. I just like the idea of having them in the house, I get to see all their funny behaviour and antics. They are free to roam around the house during the day (when I'm in of course) so I have developed a very close bond with them.

I suppose a pro of keeping them outside would mean you could have a permanent run attached to their hutch so they could get a lot of grass time freely, as opposed to having to take them out and put them on the grass if you keep them inside.

Lastly I'd just say if you are going to keep them outside think about the weather, make sure the hutch is rain/wind proof when it's cold and that it doesn't over heat in the summer. :)
I am all for keeping them inside they get more stimulation. I can't see the point in having them outside, l always worry about the weather, I have never had any smells. Unless I'm immune to them. Lol
 

Flamestriker

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#16
My herd is inside. The C&C cage takes up one wall in the back room, with storage boxes underneath. Storage units opposite hold the smaller items, such as scales, first aid box, etc.

I have always kept hamsters, and always in my bedroom. I like my animals close. The piggy cage is too big for that, so the best option is in the back room. I know there are advantages of keeping animals outside, But I do not like hutches. Wood and urine = smelly mess. Hutches have never been an option because I don't like them. All of my friends hutches when I was growing up always stank. A shed is a possibility, but again I like my animals close. So I can keep an eye on them.
 

Lady Kelly

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#17
my piggies are outdoors. I can't really comment on the current ones as only Daisy has ever been indoors for a short period while she was left on her own but the four that I originally moved outdoors showed more character and were less nervous after settling outdoors than they had been indoors. I go and see mine all the time and still spend a lot of time with them. Whilst having them indoors was more convenient to me I found that four of them got a bit pongy (even with regular cleaning and daily spot cleaning) and being outdoors seemed to suit them better. They also have more space outdoors.
 

Louise's Zoo

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#18
I have no choice as I have no outside space but it wouldn't matter. Indoors always for me. I love watching them an constantly interacting with them. I'd miss them so much if they were outdoors. I would also worry so much about them that I'd probably end up living outdoors with them :lol!:
 

Kindness

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#19
I think both are great options, I've seen a few shed conversions and they offer so much space. The pros of outside would be tonnes of space, no hoovering up, happier piggys who get to graze on fresh grass daily, lots of fresh air which minimises the smell of ammonia because piggies have very sensitive noses, no loud tv blasting and kids going wild all day, no cats or dogs scaring the life out of them when you leave home, being able to store all their supplies outside along with the cage such as huge bales of hay, being able to have more of a herd due to more space. I think it would be more peaceful and calming for piggys although there are cons to outdoor housing.
So the cons of outdoor housing mean that piggys can easily be forgotten, they drink water so fast and you forget to fill up, or it leaks everywhere they have a wet cage if you don't check it 2x a day minimum, if their hutch is not secured well then predators and God forbid burglars may get to them, they may get too hot or too cold without you realising, there is no temperature control outdoors except in a heat controlled shed where you can monitor the temperature, a piggy may get injured and again you may never know when glancing at the hutch daily, they can quickly become a burden in the winter, the thought of going out in the snow 2x a day to check them, clean the cage omg too chilly for some!

There are also pros and cons of Indoor cages, but you have to go with what works for you and your piggys. The pros of indoors are obviously all the reverse of the cons of outdoor, when mine were outside they were less bonded to me but I guess that can be seen as a human need and not a benefit for the piggys.
The draw backs of Indoor cages is that they take up a lot of room and this is room I would rather give to my children not my pets, where as outdoor space they can have it all if they like! The smell of ammonia will be there in the air even if you can't smell it, constant hoovering and cleaning daily, lack of fresh air and circulation around the cage, hay going everywhere, piggys begging for veg when they have already demolished a whole water melon and won't stop squeaking, if you have a baby or young children they may be too noisy at night, they may cause allergies to flare up indoors, they can also shed a lot and leave fluff everywhere! Kids may pick up their germs or poops by accident.

However having said all this if you have the space and you clean the cage every other day and keep the area 100% sanitised and in a nice calm environment in the home then I personally believe indoors is best if you have the space because putting them out in the run is a pain to do and I would much prefer a large cage than have to keep transferring them every day for exercise outside. I know this seems anti indoors but I find indoors works best 80% of the year and outdoors 20% because they get the best of both worlds so to speak.

You don't have to make up your mind and never go back, keep both options open, this year may suit you to bring them in but next year may suit the pigs to get them out in the garden.
 

Caviecrazy

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#20
Outdoors us their natural habitat. Keep them in a sheltered place and you should be fine. Provide extra hay, and close the ramp of your hutch at night, so there's lots of heat in the top. You can also put in heat mats, which are good for temperatures below 12 degrees. I think it's better to house them outdoors.
 
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