Where do captive guinea pigs spend all their time? In a cage or a hutch.
Guinea pigs are intelligent creatures that need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and depression.
Thankfully, there are many ways to keep your guinea pigs entertained. Not only will this prevent boredom and depression in your pet, but it’d also help you bond with your furry pal.
The best way to keep your guinea pigs entertained is by providing them with a spacious cage having multiple accessories like nesting boxes, hideouts, ledges, tunnels, hammocks, perches, ramps, chew toys, and running wheels.
You may also give your guinea pig an hour or two of outside time in a safe enclosure or playpen where it can run, play, and get some fresh air.
How to Keep Guinea Pigs Entertained? 6 Tips
- Provide a Spacious and Roomy Cage with Tons of Accessories
A spacious and roomy cage is a must-have for guinea pigs so they can run and play and entertain themselves indoors. This will help them burn calories and also avoid boredom.
As mentioned in our previous article that two guinea pigs need a cage of at least 7.5-10.5 sq. feet. The Humane Society also recommends a cage that is at least 13.5 sq. ft or 30 inches x 62 inches for three guinea pigs.
It is always better to have at least two guinea pigs since these social creatures need the company of their kind to avoid boredom and depression.
Since guinea pigs do not climb or jump, they do not need too much vertical space. Instead, they need tons of floor space.
You can add in some ramps and perches in the cage to encourage your pets to climb. But, do make sure they are not too steep so your pet can climb them easily.
Also Read: Guinea Pig Cages DIY
- Provide Hideouts, Nesting Boxes, Tunnels, and Caves
Your guinea pig will love having hideouts and caves in their enclosure. Many use it to hide when stressed although some may even sleep in it.
Hideouts or hide houses are small houses or enclosures you can place inside your cavy’s hutch or cage. You can get them at pet shops or online retail stores and they are available in various colors and sizes.
Hide houses are typically made of chew-resistant and food-grade plastic. However, you can also provide sturdy glass jars, wooden boxes, wooden tunnels, or tin cans without sharp edges.
Similarly, nesting boxes made of wood are also great for your pet to hide and rest. You can add nesting materials like toilet paper rolls, tissue papers, and empty tissue boxes inside the boxes. These items provide chewing opportunities as well as entertainment for your cavies.
You can also add collapsible and portable mini tunnels available especially for small animals like guinea pigs. These satisfy your cavy’s instinct to hide.
Some wooden hideout toys are also safe for chewing and even come in flavors like honey and peanut butter. These are great for your pigs to chew and hide in.
- Give It Entertaining Toys
Toys are a great way to entertain your guinea pig – some toys even satisfy instincts such as chewing, hiding, and burrowing in your cavies.
Choose toys made of chemical-free, undyed, and multi-textured wood. Your pet will have a great time chewing them. Most guinea pig toys are made of applewood, willow bark, or willow branches. These satisfy your guinea pig’s urge to chew while toning down their sharp teeth.
Toys in the form of wooden rolling balls are also great for entertaining your guinea pig. Your cavies can get plenty of physical exercise rolling the ball around their cage. Balls are also available in the form of hay balls (your pet will love chewing them) and puzzle balls in which you insert treats.
You can also add hanging chew toys so your guinea pigs get some nice stretching exercise as they reach up to chew them.
Instead of buying toys, you can also make toys from objects available at home. Here are some cool DIY toys for guinea pigs as suggested by the Humane Society.
- Provide Hammocks
Hanging toys like hammocks let your guinea pig hang out, literally! You simply attach the toy to the cage’s bars and your pet can rest or swing in it.
Another benefit of adding hammocks to your guinea pig’s cage is that they increase the living area of the cage and make it even more spacious.
Make sure to attach the hammock close to the ground since guinea pigs are not too good at climbing.
- Let Your Pet Out in a Playpen
You must let your guinea pig outside daily for an hour or two of playtime in a safe enclosure or a collapsible playpen.
Playpens allow you to create a safe play area for your pigs. You can set it up anywhere you like and interact with your pet.
- Have it Run on a Running Wheel
A sturdy running wheel safely secured to the bottom of the cage is the best way to get your cavy to be more active and prevent obesity. Avoid wheels with spokes or bars that could get your pet’s legs trapped and injured.
Also Read: 450+ Unique Guinea Pig Names
How to Mentally Stimulate a Guinea Pig? 3 Great Ideas!
Guinea pigs need mental stimulation, as, without it, they can get bored and depressed.
Here are some ways to mentally stimulate your guinea pigs:
- Give it Supervised Outside-the-Cage Play Time
Allow supervised playtime to your pet for at least 2-3 hours each day. It can be in a playpen or a guinea pig-proof room. This will allow your smart pet to run around, sniff, and explore.
Make sure you supervise your cavy when it is outside.
- Teach It Tricks
A great way to mentally stimulate your guinea pig is by teaching it some simple tricks.
- Coming when called. This is a great way to get your pet to come out of hiding and even come to you when it is outside its cage during its supervised playtime.
- Shake paws – this is another cute trick that is sure to impress your guests.
Others like playing dead, giving kisses, and pushing a ball or toy car are all cool tricks to mentally stimulate your pet and impress your guests.
- Provide Chew Toys
When your pet is in its cage and you don’t have time to interact with it then you can still mentally stimulate it using chew toys.
These not only keep your pet entertained but also tone down their sharp, ever-growing teeth, Chewing also keeps your guinea pigs active and happy.
Also Read: Guinea Pig Years to Human Years
FAQs – How to Keep Guinea Pigs Entertained?
Do guinea pigs need to be entertained?
Yes. Guinea pigs are social, active, energetic, and intelligent creatures. In the wild, they spend all their time looking for food, burrowing, gnawing, and digging holes.
Naturally, pet parents must provide similar activities to keep their cavies entertained and mentally stimulated. Without these activities, guinea pigs can get bored or depressed.
How do I play with my guinea pig?
The best way to play with a guinea pig is to teach it some cool tricks like shaking paws, pushing a ball, etc.
You can also tie your pig’s favorite treat to the end of a long string, drag it across the floor, and have your guinea pig chase it.
How to entertain a single guinea pig?
It is important to house at least two guinea pigs together to prevent boredom and depression in these social animals.
If you have no choice but to keep a single guinea pig, then please interact with it daily. Provide it with several chew toys, hideouts, and a running wheel along with supervised playtime in a safe enclosure to prevent boredom.
Conclusion – How to Keep Guinea Pigs Entertained?
One of the most important aspects of caring for your guinea pigs is to keep them entertained, mentally stimulate them, and prevent boredom. You can add toys like balls, puzzles, chew toys, hammocks, hideouts, tunnels, perches, and caves inside your pet’s cage.
Make sure you also let your guinea pigs outside their cage for an hour or two of supervised playtime in a safe environment.