Providing your guinea pigs with an environment that keeps them active and mentally stimulated will help them stay healthy and happy. Although guinea pigs aren’t naturally playful, they do like to be kept busy with toys like rummage bags and grass tunnels. Piggies love activities that involve food!
A suitable guinea pig companion is very important. A lone piggy or one with an unsuitable companion will often remain very nervous and reluctant to come out and explore.
Guinea pigs feel safe when they have plenty of areas to run into or hide. Provide your piggies with several shelters – like bendy sticks, card boxes, card or plastic tunnels and even plastic cat carriers lined with newspaper and hay. Some enjoy a cosy fleece cat bed to snuggle in
The wrong bedding for your piggies can have a negative effect on their health. Wood shavings, sawdust and straw can often contain fur mites, cause fungal and mange conditions, and can give you an allergic reaction too!
Instead, line your guinea pigs’ enclosure with a thick layer of newspaper and completely cover it with a good layer of fresh, sweet-smelling green hay.
It’s often more cost-effective to purchase hay from a local farm or equine shop by the bale. You can then pick a nice, green bale and reduce the risk of it being old stock and possibly contaminated or filled with sharp thistles. Using hay as bedding also means your rabbits are free to naturally graze on the most important part of their diet at all times.
You can also use fleece bedding for indoor guinea pigs, as long as they have piles of fluffy hay to graze from. However, be prepared to sweep and wash lots of blankets in your machine!
You’ll need to pick up the poo from the dirty corners of your guinea pigs’ home daily – and replace with clean bedding.
Carry out a full clean at least once a week, although this may need to be done more often throughout the winter when their time in the run is reduced. Remove the guinea pigs, fully sweep out and wipe down their home with pet-friendly disinfectant.
Line hutches and shed floors with vinyl for an easy-to-clean and wipe surface under your piggies’ bedding.