Guinea pigs are very playful creatures who love to lark around with other guinea pigs and humans alike.
They have different ways that they play which you may or may not be aware of.
But there are things we can do to help them play and make their lives more interesting and fun
1. They love to run. If they have the space they love to stretch their legs around round around.
We often let ours run around in a room and they absolutely love it, scampering from place to place and in between furniture.
By giving them open spaces where they can run, you will give them the opportunity to stretch their legs and scamper around. They will absolutely love it.
The only thing you have to watch for is that if you have them run around inside, watch they don’t chew anything you don’t want them to, and poop left on the carpet.
2. Give them Boxes. They love hiding and jumping into boxes, half closed or open. You can be creative with them and cut holes in them, put hay in them or treats.
Shoe boxes are great for this, or other boxes picked up from grocery stores. It doesn’t have to be expensive boxes that you can buy as guinea pig toys.
Any boxes are good for this kind of thing, depending on what you can fit into their cage or living space.
3. Give them things to climb on. Large stones, small tree trunks, blocks, anything they can jump up and climb on. They love to climb up on things and explore new territories.
They will appreciate new textures of surface and interesting layers to clamber on.
Ramps are also good for this. As long it is reachable for them and they can clamber up and down safely they will be happy.
4. Give them other guinea pigs to play and chase with. They love to chase each other around, darting around from place to place.
By having other guinea pigs around to play with, you will ensure your piggies are given the company they need and are able to have fun with each other.
Just make sure they are of the same sex or that they aren’t going to mate with each other.
5. Give them places to explore. They love to try out new places, and are natural explorers. Why not move the run around the yard and give them new places to sniff out and explore.
Just make sure your make sure the area is safe for them and that they can’t run off and escape.
6. Give them hay to jump in. They love to leap into hay and when I lay out hay for them, they go nuts when I stuff their cage full of it to leap into.
Whenever I put new hay into their cages, they wheek for you, and love running into large bundles of hay and hiding and then running out again.
Hay such as meadow hay, is great for this as it is inexpensive and you can buy it easily. The best meadow hay is green and fresh.
Try and avoid yellow hay or hay that is too prickly for them. Also avoid hay that is dusty as it can get into their throats.
7. Give them places to hide in. They love to hide in places, so be creative and give them new places to hide in.
Just like we have discussed with hay, you can also give them other places to hide in such as pigloos, tubes, boxes, pots and all kinds of other things you can find.
8. Give them tubes to run through. Whether its old plastic drainpipes or large cardboard tubes they love running through tubes.
You can also purchase tubes from pet stores if you do not have any to spare. I don’t know what it is about tubes, but there is something about them that guinea pigs just love.
It maybe that they just like to explore and run through tunnels which is the kind of thing they would do in the wild.
You could also make one like this girl here..
9. Give them food stuffed in tubes. They love it when I put hay into an empty toilet tube and give it to them.
They love a challenge of getting the hay out and finding ways of getting to their prize, and is a really fun thing for them to do. Anything to do with food goes down well with them.
10. Give them a cosy environment. They will play in places where they feel comfortable. This means creating environments where it is not too hot and not too cold.
So take care of the temperature of their home ensuring it doesn’t go below 15 degrees celcius and above 25 degrees celcius.
They don’t like direct sunlight and will naturally retreat to shade.
So by setting an environment where they feel comfortable, they will feel more comfortbale playing. Just like us really!
One last thing. Be inventive. Like this lady..