Benefits of Heat Pads for Guinea Pigs
Heat Pads for Guinea Pigs, especially younger ones or those without a lot of fur, are incapable of regulating their body temperature.
Broadly speaking, guinea pigs are attracted to warmth and warm places – anything below 15.6 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), is too cold for a guinea pig. A heat pad is an easy and effective way of keeping your pet warm, especially during the winter months.
In this blog, we will cover the key advantages of heating pads for guinea pigs. Other than that, we will also talk about the main types of heating pads and the pros and cons of each.
Benefits of Heat Pads for Guinea Pigs
1) Greater Immunity
Much like humans, guinea pigs are quite sensitive to the cold weather. If your pet spends a good chunk of their time outdoors during winters, the cold weather may affect their immune system and make them more vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other illnesses.
The use of a heating pad can counter these effects of the cold weather, and help your guinea pig stay strong, healthy, and resilient to sickness.
2) Heat Pads for Guinea Pigs create Greater Mobility
For some guinea pigs, especially senior ones, a drop in mercury often comes with increased stiffness and reduced flexibility in the joints. Besides, regardless of age, guinea pigs can feel quite stiff during the early morning or when they first wake up.
The warmth and heat from a heating pad will help your pig loosen their legs and other body parts that may have become stiff or tight. In fact, joint stiffness is one of the main reasons many veterinarians recommend the use of heating pads at specific times of the day or year.
3) Sense of Safety
Many pets, including guinea pigs, find heated pads to be a comfortable resting or napping spot. The warmth produced by heating pads mimics the kind that results from cuddling, touching, or coming into contact with another animal or human being. Naturally, your pet cannot expect this kind of warmth and comfort while resting on the floor or on a piece of furniture.
This also means that your guinea pig will feel less scared and alone when you are away from them during extended periods of time.
Types of Heating Pads for Guinea Pigs
1) Thermal Heating Pads
Thermal heating pads are made up of material that helps reflect your pet’s heat towards their own body, keeping them warm as a result.
The major advantage of thermal heating pads is that they present no risk of your guinea pig burning themselves. This is because these pads ensure that the temperature of the heat does not go beyond your pet’s own body temperature.
Besides, since thermal pads do not use electricity, you do not have to worry about electrocution or strangulation by the electric cords.
2) Electric Heating Pads
These pads are quite similar to the electric heating pad used by humans. The key difference is that pet electric heating pads operate at lower wattage. Moreover, most such pads come with a cover that can either be wiped or removed. The pad uses AC (Alternating Current) to deliver heat.
Before buying an electric pad, consider your guinea pig’s habits and general behavior. For instance, if there are no electric sockets close to where your pig prefers to sleep, an electric heating pad may not be the right choice for you. Likewise, if your guinea pig has a propensity for chewing things, they might chew the electrical cord and put themselves at risk of serious, possibly fatal, shocks. Apart from that, chewing the wire will eventually damage it and put you, your pet, and your household at risk of electrocution and fires.
Overheating is another concern with electric pads. This can be remedied by purchasing an electric heating pad whose temperature does not exceed your pet’s body temperature. Physically assess the heating pad’s temperature at regular intervals; if the pad feels excessively warm to the touch, it may burn or scorch your pig’s skin. If you are uncomfortable holding the pad against skin for an extended period of time, chances are your pet will feel the same way.
Also keep an eye on your pet’s behavior while on the heating pad; if they exhibit signs of pain or discomfort (such as excessive panting), there is a high chance that the pad has overheated.
If you are looking to buy an electric heating pad for your guinea pig, we recommend getting one with a thermostat, since it will prevent the pad from overheating and potentially harming your pet.
3) Microwaveable Heating Pads
The third kind of heating pads for guinea pigs are microwaveable pads. These pads contain materials like rice or grains that can retain heat for around 30 minutes to an hour.
If you are concerned electric pads these maybe for you although they are not the best. A microwaveable pad may be a safer alternative. However, once again, you must make sure that the pad temperature does not exceed that of your pet’s body.
These pads can be dangerously hot for your pad when they are first taken out of the microwave. For this reason, you can either cover them with a thick cloth or wait until the pad has cooled down a bit.
Wrapping Up Heat Pads for Guinea Pigs
While heating pads serve as an excellent external heat source for your pigs, they can be used in conjunction with a number of other ways that serve the same purpose.
You can, for instance, give your guinea pig a blanket, towel, or any other material that will help keep them warm.
You should also ensure that your pig is getting a healthy, balanced diet – the more nutritious your pet’s diet is, the thicker their fur is going to be, and the more insulated they will be against the cold.
Finally, playing with your pet and getting them to move around can also be effective in raising their body temperature and keeping them warm.
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