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Question
So can you take your guinea pigs outside like in the sun and feed them vegetables thats high in water so they dont get dehydrated?Thanks in advance.

Answer
This is a yes and no answer. Guinea pigs enjoy grazing on grass. The danger is the sun. If they're left in the sun and have no shade they will die in minutes.

If you want to make some kind of enclosure for them perhaps under a tree where there is shade, or can put something like a very low umbrella so they can get away from the shade they will be fine. Think of them as a tiny human infant. They need shelter from the hot sun. No amount of vegetables will help if they cannot get away from the hot sun.

Even on a day when it seems nice outside, that sun's rays can be harmful. Louisiana is well known for both heat and humidity. So putting your pigs outside with good shelter for them to get under is imperative. But they do enjoy the grass. Just make sure that if they are going to graze there is no weed spray or chemicals on the grass.

If you're wanting to permanently house them outside the same rules apply. They can stand very low temperatures, but heat and direct sunlight are their enemies.

Most people have no idea that guinea pigs can swim. Of course that doesn't mean toss them in the pool, but if you have a small wading pool and just put enough water that their feet can touch if they need to, they enjoy paddling around a bit. Of course you should never leave them alone in the water, but if you want to give them a  treat in the heat, you can even put a couple of inches of water in the bathtub and watch them paddle around.  

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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