Guinea pigs are small animals, but they are not low-maintenance. Guinea pigs require safety, food, and shelter. They also get bored pretty quickly. So, it is your responsibility to enrich your guinea pig’s life with mental and physical stimulation.
You must make sure that your guinea pigs get regular exercise and have a large enclosure. Your guinea pigs will also need toys that serve their instincts. Guinea pigs enjoy digging, burrowing, chewing, and climbing. Guinea pigs always enjoy social companies, so do not refuse their need for attention and company.
It is not easy to keep your guinea pig entertained as these animals can become bored. That can lead to the destructive and aggressive behavior of guinea pigs. You should make sure that you take every possible step to enrich your guinea pig’s life.
How do you entertain a guinea pig?
It is vital that your guinea pigs are happy and content. It means that you have a loving and docile pet. If you fail to meet the basic needs of your guinea pigs, it can lead to stress.
Your guinea pigs are critical to routine. Guinea pigs will want to know that their needs are fulfilled at particular times. They will become accustomed to a fixed routine. Carry on, and all will be fine. Your guinea pig will become patient if you have established trust.
Also, you should make sure that your guinea pigs are suitably stimulated. Guinea pigs have a larger brain compared to their size. If you do not provide your guinea pigs with sufficient entertainment, they will get bored quickly.
The two primary forms of stimulation that are important to your guinea pigs are physical and mental stimulation. It would help if you tried to strike a balance between these activities as it is essential.
Physical stimulation for guinea pigs
You must have noticed that guinea pigs are very active animals.
If you bring guinea pig to your home, expecting that they are low energy pets, you are mistaken.
Just because guinea pigs are small and they live in a cage doesn’t mean that they are lazy.
Guinea pigs in the wild hold the capacity to run around three miles a day. Even domesticated guinea pigs have similar energy levels. You should set free your guinea pigs to run for at least three hours a day.
Mental stimulation for guinea pigs
Your pet guinea pigs differ from the guinea pigs in the wild in many ways.
In others, they are almost identical. Guinea pigs are driven instincts. If you allow your guinea pigs to engage in their natural behaviors, they will be much more comfortable.
Basic urges that drive your guinea pigs are as follows:
If you can fulfill these needs, you will have a happy pet. It is not hard to provide your guinea pigs what they want. There is no need to spend a small fortune, and you will have to improvise.
25 enrichment ideas for guinea pigs
Give some attention and interact with your guinea pigs
You can enrich your guinea pig’s life by offering them attention. Your guinea pigs will seek your company always. They will be delighted and happy if you make them the centerpiece of your family.
We will advise you not to force your guinea pigs to interact if they don’t want to. If your guinea pigs need your attention, they will approach you and likely nudge you with their nose.
If you ignore this request of your guinea pigs, they will nip you gently. That is not an act of aggression by your guinea pigs.
They are just wondering if their cues were too subtle. Guinea pigs nip to make sure that they have your attention.
Provide some chew toys to your guinea pig
Chew toys are possibly the essential element of a guinea pig cage enrichment. Guinea pigs need to chew, but there are some things that they cannot eat. As guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing, if they do not file their teeth on toys, they can likely develop dental issues.
But it does not mean that you provide them with kinds of stuff and move away. Guinea pigs will lose their interest in the toys if they are not changed with time. You should provide a constant rotation in their toys so that they do not lose their investment.
Buying new toys from a pet store is not necessary as it might not be pocket friendly. Many natural guinea pigs toys will fulfill your pet’s need to chew. These includes:
- Branches of a tree: Guinea pigs enjoy eating on wood.
- Cardboard: You can make a great chew toy for your guinea pig using sturdy cardboard, such as a box from online delivery. Please do not use any glossy printed card as it may contain toxic ink, which can be dangerous for our guinea pigs.
- Balls from willow: Willow is an excellent material for homemade guinea pigs chew toys. Tie it up into the shape of a ball, and your guinea pigs will enjoy very much playing with it.
In addition to this, you can also buy chew toys from a pet store for your guinea pigs. Baby toys, such as plastic keys can also be used.
It would be best if you remembered to avoid anything soft. Your guinea pigs may tear down their toys and may choke on small, indigestible parts.
Never refuse your guinea pig’s demand to chew toys. If you do not provide them the chew toys, they may chew on the wire on the cage that can create holes.
Guinea pigs are very good at escaping as they can squeeze through gaps that look small to you.
Add some climbing gear to play and exercise
As guinea pigs are prey animals, they always like to be on the ground. For example, guinea pigs do not want to swim.
Despite this, guinea pigs can climb, and they may wish to do so recreationally. Some guinea pigs prefer to be on the higher ground, as it’s easier to keep an eye on their predators.
You can find guinea pigs climbing frames in many shapes and sizes in the pet store. You can also create your own from homemade materials like wood or card. Just make sure that it can hold your guinea pig’s weight.
You can also purchase a cat tree. It will provide two benefits to your guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs can climb on it.
- They can file her claws on the scratching post.
You must ensure that the platform is comprehensive enough, though.
Get your guinea pig a companion
Guinea pigs are not solitary animals. In the wild, they live in substantially large colonies. Even if tamed, we recommend you to keep guinea pigs in pairs or groups as they may grow lonely otherwise.
It may not be an option for everybody, but it is advisable always to keep them in pairs. The pro and cons of having two guinea pigs are as follows:
- Two guinea pigs will give an excellent company to one another. You can be stress-free about loneliness, which can lead to stress and anxiety.
- They will also fulfill each other’s grooming needs, which will make you work less. Fulfilling a guinea pig’s desire for grooming can be a full-time job.
- Keeping two guinea pigs will give you twice as much joy. You will never have a shortage of entertainment in your house.
- You will have an increase in expenses like the extra bedding and toys, double food, and a binary number of visits to the vet.
- The need for space requirement increases. You will have to make sure that the communal living space is large enough to fulfill the guinea pigs’ needs.
- Unlike humans, guinea pigs make bond for life, but they can fall out, though. If this happens, you will have to keep them separate from that point.
Serve some treat to your guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are food-focused animals. If there is a snack to be found, they will work very hard to grab it. You can turn this behavior into a game by giving way to your guinea pig’s love of foraging.
We will suggest you bury some fresh veggies under their hay.
As guinea pigs have a great sense of smell, they will try their best to find out the snack, which will turn into an activity they would cherish.
They will also enjoy the treats more because they were earned by them.
It would be best if you always made sure that the fresh vegetables do not turn moldy, as it can be very devastating for our guinea pigs.
You must never forget to clear out and change your piggies hay as it is the only way to ensure their safety.
Add some hiding space in their cage
Many wild animals consider guinea pigs as prey. Guinea pigs in the indoors live with the same fear as guinea pigs in the wild.
They always keep an eye on someone or something that can cause harm to them. That is why guinea pigs appreciate hiding places.
Keeping this in mind, you must provide these inside and outside their cage.
- Inside the cage: You can provide a hiding place for your guinea pig inside the enclosure by using a simple upturned cardboard box. That can make your guinea pig feel safe, as they can hide when they feel afraid. They can also use it as their bedroom or for privacy.
- Outside the Cage: Guinea pigs can use it to recharge themselves during their playtime. It will also stop them from running away if they discover loud noises or sudden movements that can scare them.
Guinea pigs are also natural comfort seekers, so if possible, turn their hiding place into a palace by adding some stuff like a box lined with cushions. If you can provide them with some more luxury, get them an indoor tent.
Mirrors could be a great distraction
Mirrors are not a permanent solution to their loneliness.
When your guinea pigs first discover a mirror, they will be fascinated, as they will think that they have a company.
Their reaction will be based on their temperament. They can be excited or can even fight with their reflection.
Guinea pigs are not stupid, though. They will very soon realize what is happening. Leaving guinea alone for a short period with a mirror may offset their anxiety.
Provide some large open area for play and exercise
Guinea pigs need exercise. We recommend you arrange approx 8-12 square feet of open space, which will let your guinea pigs roam around freely.
We would suggest you not to leave too much open space for your guinea pigs as they may find that intimidating.
A proper outside area will make your guinea pig excited, though. It will make them able to explore, which is the natural behavior of our guinea pigs.
We will advise you to let your guinea pigs run for at least 3 hours a day. But always keep an eye on the play, for their safety.
You can also use a netted playpen if you are planning to live them outside for some floor time.
Provide some Paper for shredding
Your guinea pigs will enjoy a lot by shredding paper as they can spend hours doing this. They enjoy tearing the paper apart because of the crinkling noise it makes.
Guinea pigs enjoy a lot playing with paper toys. You have to make sure that you cut the bottom to prevent your guinea pigs from suffocation.
If a telephone directory is available, which is not useful to you anymore, you can place them in your guinea pigs cage.
Your guinea pigs will not disturb you for hours as they will spend blissful time tearing the book apart into pieces.
You should always check the paper you are providing as cheap ink can be toxic to guinea pigs.
Keep this in mind before giving the paper to your guinea pigs that free newspapers and leaflets may contain harmful toxins, which can be very dangerous to our guinea pigs.
A large cage is preferably the best
Guinea pigs are territorial animals as they like to claim everything that they encounter. That can be any inanimate object or people. If your guinea pigs are rubbing their chin on you, they mark you with their scent glands.
You can also use this to increase your guinea pig’s quality of life. We will advise you to provide your guinea pig with its territory.
You can make that in the corner of the room, or even an empty spare room. We will advise you to increase cleaning in this space and prevent other pets from entering it.
If your guinea pigs have their territory without any dispute, they will be more comfortable.
They will know that they always have somewhere to retreat to if they feel overwhelmed. They will also be less likely to pee on your property to mark them theirs.
Give your guinea pigs some toilet roll tubes to play with
Toilet roll tubes, or kitchen towel tubes, are the ultimate natural toy for our guinea pigs as these objects can serve a wide range of purposes.
- Feeding tubes: You can stuff the tube with hay, and some treats in it. Your guinea pigs would enjoy searching out for food.
- Rolling: Guinea pigs enjoy rolling a toilet roll tube around a cage.
- Shredding: Guinea pigs enjoy shredding. They love to chew and tear apart a cardboard tube with happiness.
- Noises: We will advise you to add guinea pigs safe attachment tube that makes a noise. Guinea pigs often love throwing things around that create light sounds. Toilet roll tubes will be the best option for this.
Train your guinea pigs for simple tricks
In many terms, training falls under the same remit as attention. Guinea pigs will love any opportunity for face to face with humans. You can turn this into an advantage for you.
It is not that easy to train a guinea pig, but if you give your time and patience to them, you can train them well quickly. Some of the tricks you can teach your guinea pigs are as follows:
- Stop that.
Training provides benefits to everybody if you make time for it. Your guinea pigs will have fun, and you will have a more obedient pet.
In return, you will be pleased with your guinea pigs. They will likely start performing tricks whenever they see you.
A tunnel is also a great addition
Guinea pigs in the wild often live underground in deep warrens. That means that your guinea pigs will automatically enjoy traveling through tunnels. That is how your guinea pigs wild ancestors got from A to B.
You can also buy tunnels from a pet store. Please place it in your yard and watch your guinea pigs enjoying themselves.
If they are not willing to use the tubes, place a treat at the exit, and they will soon overcome their apprehension.
You can also construct your own guinea pigs tunnel by using cardboard concrete tubes. You can purchase this item from the wholesaler. The result will be the same, but this one will be budget-friendly.
You can also screw up some paper and put it into the tube. Your guinea pigs will like the noise. They will try to dig and burrow the tunnel, further recreating their wild experience.
Rugs and towels keeps them busy for hours
Guinea pigs get a lot of joys from towels and rugs as these products are soft and cozy to sit on. It can also be chewed and shredded.
It would be best if you kept an eye on your guinea pigs when the first time they are doing this.
You must make sure that they are not swallowing large chunks of fabric, as it can lead to intestinal blockage. If your guinea pigs are playing safely, there is no need to worry.
There is one more benefit to this. If guinea pigs have their towel or rug, there are fewer chances that they will chew yours. Whenever they have the desire to chew, they will quickly return to the familiar comfort.
Add some wicker baskets and containers
If you make wicker baskets available for your guinea pigs, they will praise you for this. Guinea pigs love wickers.
As it is hard, guinea pigs can chew it for hours without any give. Wickers are safe for our guinea pigs. They can eat it till they want, so there is nothing to worry about.
Baskets have many other uses too. You can line the basket with a blanket so that your piggie can hop in for a nap.
Knock it upside down and keep a treat inside so that your guinea pig will work to get it. You can even carry your guinea pig in the basket whenever you visit outdoors.
It is advisable that if you can find a wicker basket, bring it for your guinea pigs as they are very fond of it. You will not have to do anything as they will make their fun.
Wooden branches and rocks are perfect chew toys
Guinea pigs in the indoor will like to indulge their wild instincts. Keeping wooden branches and rocks in your yard will help to do this. Your guinea pigs can enjoy being wild without any risks.
It will much be better if the logs are hollow as they will double up as tunnels. If not, the logs will still be joyful for guinea pigs. Rocks become cool in hot temperatures, as colossal stones can also file a guinea pig’s claws.
You can consider logs and rocks as a homemade obstacle course for your guinea pigs. They will jump around and explore.
It would be best if you also moved the objects often so that your guinea pigs can satisfy their thirst for adventure. It will give them a feeling of exploring new territory.
Get a playpen for your guinea pigs
You can get a foldable exercise pen or give a separate area to your guinea pigs, including some floor time outside of their cage.
Guinea pigs also enjoy the change of scenery, and it also helps them get some needed regular exercise.
Add some floor time in their schedule
While your guinea pigs are busy with their floor time, it is easy to fit in a quick training session.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so it is not possible to train them overnight.
But if you teach them for just 5 minutes a day, which can result in some pretty neat tricks. You can also get a happier and more engaged guinea pig.
Play some Music or TV for them
Guinea pigs enjoy watching tv a lot, as they are very fond of moving images and music. So yes, television can provide them with proper mental stimulation.
But you must be very careful about the volume as guinea pigs have a sensitive hearing capacity, and loud noise can make them come into stress.
Guinea pigs are majorly attracted by bright displays, Colorful images, moving images, and noise. Noise should not be loud as it can cause harm to our guinea pig’s ear.
Cage upgrade can be a game changer
It would be best if you always remembered that the more significant their cage is, the more toys, tunnels, or hide huts you can place there, and your guinea pigs will have more space to popcorn and race around.
You can also fix an exercise pen or other little fence to their palace to go in and out anytime they please.
If in case you don’t have the area for a larger cage, you can still upgrade their living standard by putting toys in their cage.
It would be best if you also kept changing their toys often, as they can get bored with the same toys.
You can also set up space where our guinea pigs can roam outside of their cage freely.
Take them outside
If the weather conditions are favorable, it will be useful to take your piggies outside for a change of scenery.
Guinea pigs will enjoy a lot when they are taken outside as they can fresh grass and dandelion greens. It would best if you made sure that no other animals have fed on it.
It would be best if you kept an eye on them that they are fully covered with a cage to keep them away from predators.
Provide some Crumbled up balls of newspapers
That is also a simple idea, as some guinea pigs enjoy tossing or chewing crumpled up paper balls, as they are easy to make and replace.
You can also make it enjoyable by hiding some treats inside and watch whether it seeks your guinea pig’s interest.
But you must ensure the quality of the paper as some newspapers may contain ink which can be very harmful to our guinea pigs.
If your guinea pigs show no interest in searching for the food, you should remove the veggie from there as there are chances for it to get mold.
It would be best if you always tried to arrange safe activities for our guinea pigs as your little ignorance can make them pay slowly.
Do a photo shoot
Pictures capture the beautiful memories and provide those valuable memories that will surely make you smile.
You can capture lots of photographs of guinea pigs as they are super cute. Take a picture of them eating veggies from different angles.
You can also obtain some action shots of your guinea pigs by hiding their treats on the top.
Also, capture some pictures of your guinea pigs outside for a nature theme.
Add some stuffed animals and toys
That is similar to the sock idea, as some guinea pigs enjoy cuddling next to them.
If you provide your guinea pig a stuffed animal, you should always make sure that they are not chewing that too much.
As if they chew the stuff inside the toy, take that toy back immediately as it can result as a choking material for them.
Replace the stuffing with bedding and sew it up again. If you discover any hard beads like eyes, remove those first before handling it to your guinea pigs.
We be on the safer side will advise you to provide them those kinds of stuffed animals that don’t have any hard beads on it
Get some large PVC Pipes
You can make an excellent tunnel for your guinea pigs using a 4 inch full PVC pipe. You can also use different shapes to create tunnels that can be curved and turn in all different directions for our guinea pigs.
Lastly, we would like to say that we take care of your guinea pigs. Always try different ways to entertain them as happy guinea pigs under the roof will always try to make you smile by praising you.
In addition to this, we would advise you to shower them with all your love and care, as they are prey animals who need your love and care.
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