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The temptation to overfeed watery veg and fruit in hot weather!

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Wiebke

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#1
Humans regulate their body temperature by sweating. This means that they have a much higher water intake in hot weather to replace what they lose in order to not overheat.

Guinea pigs DO NOT SWEAT; they regulate their body temperature by increasing the blood flow through their ears!
This means that they do not necessarily suddenly drink a lot more when it gets hot.

Their need to drink increases however with very dry air (air conditioning, desert climate, radiators) or in very humid, tropical conditions.


Since guinea pigs have evolved to use temperature controlled abandoned deep sets in their territory and to use the relatively stable morning and evening hours for feeding outside, it is far more important to keep the ambient temperature as stable and cool as possible and to keep their water supply as fresh and cool as you can.

Use crushed ice in the bottles to keep them cooler for longer while you are at work and keep any filtered water in the fridge. Make sure that the bottles are full (i.e. don't heat up as quickly), don't leak and are out of direct sunlight at all times. We don't like to drink hot water on a hot day, and neither do guinea pigs!

For the same reason, watery veg from the fridge is mostly appreciated for their cooling effect, not just for their water content. Keep in mind that ALL veg consists of mostly water. However a fresh cold piece of melon or cucumber is usually very welcome during the worst of the heat; it cools and rehydrates at the same time.
Use veg as a refeshing treat by rather giving a little more often or by leaving one larger piece of cucumber from the fridge in the morning that is keeping cool at the core for longer if you are out for the day - all still as part of the regular daily veg allowance!

Please do NOT overfeed watery veg massively and do NOT syringe water to unwilling healthy piggies that are not drinking - they simply do not need it and it can make them ill!

Too much veg in the diet can cause fermentation in the gut and can lead to a higher risk of digestive problems in the longer term (diarrhoea, bloat, increased risk of GI stasis). Hay still needs to be the mainstay of the diet.

The more watery veg you feed, the less will piggies drink water because they do not get any thirstier the more water you provide in whichever form.

LOTS of tips on how to keep your guinea pigs as cool as possible - which is the really important thing - and how to spot heat stroke via this link here: Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes
All About Drinking And Bottles
Guinea Pig Facts - A Short Overview
 

PigglePuggle

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#2
Humans regulate their body temperature by sweating. This means that they have an increased water intake in hot weather.

Guinea pigs DO NOT SWEAT; they regulate their body temperature by increasing the blood flow through their ears!
This means that they don't suddenly drink a lot more when it gets hot. Their need to drink rather increases in dry air (air conditioning/radiator heat).


Since guinea pigs have evolved to use temperature controlled abandoned deep sets in their territory and to use the relatively stable morning and evening hours for feeding outside, it is far more important to keep the temperature as stable and cool as possible and to keep their water supply as fresh and cool as you can. Use crushed ice in the bottles to keep them cooler for longer while you are at work.

For the same reason, watery veg from the fridge are mostly appreciated for their cooling effect, not for their water content. Keep in mind that ALL veg consists of mostly water. Use it as a refeshing treat by rather giving a little more often or by leaving one larger piece of cucumber from the fridge in the morning that is keeping cool at the core for longer if you are out for the day - all still as part of the regular daily veg allowance!

Please do NOT overfeed watery veg massively and do NOT syringe water to unwilling healthy piggies that are not drinking - they simply do not need it and it is harmful to their digestion!
Too much veg in the diet can cause fermentation in the gut and can lead to a higher risk of digestive problems in the longer term (diarrhoea, bloat, increased risk of GI stasis). The more watery veg you feed, the less will piggies drink because their need does not increase.


LOTS of tips on to keep your guinea pigs as cool as possible - which is the really important thing - via this link here: Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

Guinea Pig Facts - A Short Overview
Thanks for stating that so clearly Wiebke- I will make sure my husband reads this as I woke up to find he'd served the piggies what could be a lethal amount of spinach for breakfast, like 2 whole days veg allowance before 8am :(
 

Wiebke

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#7
Thanks for stating that so clearly Wiebke- I will make sure my husband reads this as I woke up to find he'd served the piggies what could be a lethal amount of spinach for breakfast, like 2 whole days veg allowance before 8am :(
Please stay off too much spinach anyway. It is very high in calcium and can contribute to the formation of bladder stones in the longer term. The UK are a hard water country, so you need to be very careful in this respect.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
 

PigglePuggle

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#8
I'm always very careful but my husband isnt, he feeds the piggies like they are goats or giant snails... I will make sure he reads all the feeding guides this weekend!
At least he understands the unlimited hay bit, but he doesnt quite understand that unlimited hay neednt mean an entire £5 bag of burgess excel shared between 2 hutches in one feed... honestly couldnt even see the piggies for hay and spinach leaves this morning!
Its just 1 slice of cucumber each for their afternoon snack today and no more spinach for at least a week :)
 
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