Making a Cage a Home
Guinea pigs like to chew and play with toys by pushing them around. They are not wheel runners like hamsters or gerbils. As long as you give your guinea pig its favorite thing in the world, it will be happy: a hiding place. Like the burrow animals that they are, guinea pigs love to snuggle down in a safe, secret place that belongs to them alone. This relieves them of anxiety and makes them much easier to have as friends.
Here are some good hidey place ideas:
* Igloos – these plastic castles come in a variety of colors and are odor resistant. They may, however, be too small for some of the larger guinea pigs. At leading pet stores, you can pick these up inexpensively.
* Wooden cubbyholes – there are a variety of these on the market, and they are quite popular since they give guinea pigs a nice hiding area as well as something safe to chew on. You can find these at pet stores inexpensively as well.
* DIY hiding place – you can also create your own little place for guinea pigs fairly easily. You just purchase a soft dog or cat bed (the kind you find almost everywhere!), then pin up the corners with a diaper pin. This will cost about the same price as the premade hideaways.
* Snuggle Bags— These are also easy to make. Just find some soft material and fold in half. Sew up 3 sides to make a bag.
We all like our toys and guinea pigs are no exception. They are fairly smart creatures and become bored with the same toys for a long period of time, so try to change toys every once in a while. Make sure that any toys you place in the cage cannot be broken and swallowed by the cavy. Lots of household items can be thrilling toys for your guinea pig.
• Paper – guinea pigs love to chew on and play with any kind of paper, including the newspaper. If you do give them paper to play with, make sure it is as plain as possible, since the cavies will probably be ingesting some of it.
• Cardboard spools – you know those spools inside your 29 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels that you normally just throw away? Don't throw them away any more. These are great toys for your guinea pigs.
• Old clothing – socks, towels, even small shirts can be added to your pet's cage so that they can hide in them or use them as pillows.
• Small balls – while guinea pigs usually love those cat balls with the bell in the center, they aren't the best toys for your pet. A tennis ball or ping-pong ball will deliver the same fun but without the danger.
• Some children's toys – Small stuffed animals, old fashioned wooden blocks, and similar items can be passed down to your guinea pig for hours of amusement. Be sure to watch the guinea pig so that he or she doesn't start eating the inside part of the stuffed animal, as that can be dangerous.
• PVC tubing – If you have some old pieces of plumbing pipe around, you can put it into the cage. The guinea pig will usually hide under it or push it around the cage. Watch out for exercise wheels and exercise balls. These toys actually hurt guinea pigs’ feet, legs and back, sometimes seriously. The exercise balls also pop open from time to time, letting your cavy run way. For allowing your pet to exercise in a confined area, consider buying a pet playpen. These are convenient to set up anywhere. Be sure to place newspaper and toys on the floor. This can be a safe and fun environment for your guinea pig.