Guinea Pigs

can guinea pigs hibernate

Can Guinea Pigs Hibernate?

Guinea pigs are small, lovable rodents that make great pets, but do they hibernate? That’s a common question that many Guinea pig owners have, and the answer is complex.

Do Guinea Pigs Hibernate in the Wild?

In the wild, Guinea pigs don’t usually hibernate. Instead, they huddle together during cold winter days for warmth and protection. They also consume food and water regularly during the winter months.

Can Domestic Guinea Pigs Hibernate?

Domestic guinea pigs, unlike their wild counterparts, can hibernate, but only under certain circumstances. In order for a domestic guinea pig to become dormant and enter a state of hibernation, it must be exposed to cold, dark, and dry environment in their cage. If exposed to these conditions, a Guinea pig may enter a state of hibernation and won’t eat or drink.

Dangers of Guinea Pigs Hibernating

If you have a domestic guinea pig, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of hibernation. Here are some of the risks associated with letting your Guinea pig hibernate:

  • Dehydration: Guinea pigs can’t drink while hibernating, so they need plenty of water prior to entering their dormant state.
  • Malnourishment: Guinea pigs don’t eat while hibernating, so they need to have a healthy, balanced diet before they enter their dormant state.
  • Injury: Guinea pigs may be vulnerable to injury while hibernating, so it’s important to provide a safe cage environment free of sharp objects.
  • Accumulation of Ammonia: Ammonia can accumulate quickly in a Guinea pig’s cage when they hibernate, so make sure to provide clean bedding regularly.


While Guinea pigs can hibernate under certain circumstances, it is not recommended. If you think your Guinea pig may be hibernating, make sure to monitor them closely and provide them with plenty of water and food.

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