Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside California?

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Do you plan to go on vacation or live outside California? While it may seem easy for you to travel, you also have to consider your pet.

So is it possible for guinea pigs to live outside California?

Yes, guinea pigs can live outside California as long as all their needs are provided. This includes a well-kept shelter, enough food supply, and a good environment.

If you plan to put them outside, make sure that your guinea pig feels safe and the climate is comfortable for them.

Remember – extreme temperatures can cause stress!

But before you decide to leave California, it’s important to know what factors can affect your cavies.

Continue reading below to get some tips!

Factors To Consider Before Moving Your Cavies Outside  California


Temperatures of 64.4 – 73.4℉ are ideal for guinea pigs. If the temperature dips below 59 degrees, your cavy will become chilly. 

If the temperature rises over 80.6 °F, your pig may suffer from heatstroke. When your guinea pig becomes chilly, blood circulation to the skin decreases to save heat. 

When they’re heated, the blood flow to their skin rises to help them cool off. Guinea pigs cannot sweat because they lack eccrine sweat glands throughout their bodies.


Cold Environment

If you decide to keep your guinea pig outside California in a cold place,  you’ll need to make some adjustments to its shelter and surroundings to keep them warm and happy.

Here are some tips to follow in a cold-climate environment:

  • You should keep the hatch properly insulated from the cold
  • For solid wind, flow paths ensure the guinea pig hatch is properly ventilated
  • If you have the shelter outside, shift it to an outdoor enclosure to keep it from the wind and harsh weather.
  • Hold the shelter in a stable position to avoid injuries to all affected parties
  • Ensure that your pig’s water does not freeze, you can buy container coverings
  • Make sure your pig has enough hay to cuddle in
  • Think about getting a microwavable snuggle pad to keep warm, your guinea pig and cozy it up
  • First thing at dawn and before going to sleep, check your guinea pig’s water
  • Do not place your guinea pig on the ground, neither concrete nor grass to avoid shivers from the cold
  • Clean all moist places within the guinea pig’s hutch space as soon as possible. 

Warm Environment

Warm climate for guinea pigs may not be ideal

Guinea pigs are not used to being outside in the heat and that may cause stress to them. This means that it is important to be careful during the summer months. 

You should keep your guinea pig cool and its enclosure below 86 °F.

You must be aware that your pig might suffer from heatstroke in hot locations. Here’s where you can learn about the ideal temps outside California. 

Here are some tips to avoid too much heat in your guinea pig’s cage:

  • Put your guinea pig’s cage out of direct sunlight as much as possible. 

When the cage is exposed to direct sunshine, it may quickly heat up to an unpleasant temperature. 

  • Avoid placing your guinea pig in a garage or shed. 

In situations like this with limited ventilation, the heat may be twice as unpleasant, particularly when the humidity level increases. 

  • Keep the cage cool by using fans and air conditioning. 

When using a fan, aim it far from your guinea pig to avoid stressing your guinea pig. Monitor the temperature of the cage using a thermometer placed next to it. 

To get the most accurate reading of the cage’s inside temperature, place a thermometer right next to it.

Fill the cage with ice cubes or frozen water bottles. When it becomes too hot, the guinea pig will appreciate resting around these objects to cool off. 

  • Consider using moist cloths and towels to partly cover the cage. 

The moisture in the cage may help insulate cold air and preventing heat stress.

Diet: Source of Food

When keeping guinea pigs outside California the diet doesn’t change much. Just remember to have a constant supply of food. 

Let’s discuss each of your guinea pig’s primary food:

  • Water
Guinea pig needs constant supply of water

You should ensure that your guinea pigs have a constant supply of water to avoid dehydration. 

In guinea pigs, dehydration can cause organ damage and even death. We recommend obtaining a bottle dispenser with a metallic nozzle and a tight bottle lid to keep the water cold.

  • Hay

Hay is an essential component of your guinea pig’s diet. They need this type of fiber for healthy digestion. Thus it must be present all the time. 

Chewing on hay helps in the wear and tear of your pet’s teeth, which are continually growing. 

Make sure to choose clean, high-quality, fresh hay which is dry, sweet-smelling, and mold-free.

  • Pellets

I would also recommend a commercial guinea pig diet. Pellets are precisely made to offer balanced nutrition and the optimal amount of Vitamin C and many other necessary components.

Choose veterinarian-tested and authorized pellet food and use the feeding directions on the label as a reference.

Guinea pigs may eat up to 1 cup of veggies every day. Introduce new veggies to your guinea pig one at a go. The best choice is to use fresh, organically cultivated greens. 

Food doesn’t really change much depending on the location. However, when you move the food availability might differ from the one in California. 


Depending on the location, ensure your guinea pig is safe. Predators are a real threat to guinea pigs. Check that your cavies’ cage and run are predator-proof, whether raining or shining.

If your cavies have started eating their enclosure, perform frequent inspections and repairs. This will prevent them from escaping and predators looking for a meal from getting in.

When you are not there for your guinea pigs, look for the right person to take care of your guinea pigs.

If you’re boarding them somewhere else, keep the guinea pigs together and bring familiar objects like toys. 

Guinea pigs love regularity and might become upset if there is a loud noise and a lot of activity around them.


The location of your guinea pig doesn’t really matter as long as you maintain all the conditions. A healthier and longer life for your guinea pig depends on your careful planning and devotion.

How do you keep guinea pigs?

Make sure they are in a clean and safe environment. We look forward to hearing from you, particularly if you have any advice on putting up an outside cage.

Traveling to Hawaii? Check out our full guide on “Are guinea pigs illegal in Hawaii?”!

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