Guinea pigs are curious little creatures that are able to live among their owners without making too much of a ruckus. However well-mannered these animals may be, they also have a playful nature about them. When it comes to guinea pigs, what do they like to play with?
Guinea pigs like to play with toys and activities such as balls, tunnels, activity logs, hideouts, walk-up stairs, hanging chew toys, and even cardboard boxes. Beyond toys, guinea pigs are also very fond of playing with their owners through a variety of different activities.
Guinea pigs are content animals that don’t require an extravagant amount of interaction or physical play compared to many other pets. Although this may be true, guinea pigs are very playful animals that are fond of being handled by their owners, left about to explore outside of their cage, and play when they get the chance. Continue reading to find out what kind of toys guinea pigs like to play with and the different ways they like to play with their owners.
What do Guinea Pigs Like to Play With?
It may seem almost absurd that a creature with a physical make-up including short legs, a plump body, and an overall petite frame would ever care to engage in play. Although this scenario may seem rather far off to image, those who have ever owned a guinea pig know that they are quite the creatures of play. If you find yourself looking to give your guinea pig something to play with, take a look below to find out some of the best options.
Any Type of Balls
There is such a vast variety of different play balls for guinea pigs, ranging from those that are made out of grass, to those that are made of wood, to those that are made of rubber. What is important to take away from this category though is that guinea pigs love anything that they can push around with their noses or their paws. You may have to go through a few different options, but with the right one, the ball will become one of your guinea pig’s favorite toys.
Guinea pigs are very curious creatures who love to explore small areas. Because of this, tunnels are a great option for play when it comes to finding something that your guinea pig is naturally inclined to gravitate towards. Just be sure that whatever tunnel you purchase is wide enough for your guinea pig to easily get through without allowing for any potential to get stuck. They don’t mind tight spaces, but being wedged in a tunnel can be obviously dangerous.
Guinea pigs are not expert climbers, however, they do love to elevate themselves on surfaces that stand higher than the ground floor of their cage. This allows them to have a different view from within their cage, but also gives them the chance to work on their balancing abilities. Activity logs are great options for giving your guinea pig an extra activity to turn to within their cate and are a great way to encourage movement.
A hideout is a piece that should be within every single guinea pig’s cage, as they give them a hidden spot to hide their bodies when they are wanting to sleep, or escape from any chaos that may be ensuing around them. However, as the owner of a guinea pig, you are not tied down to only having one hideout within the cage. If there is enough space for multiple hideouts within your guinea pig’s cage, feel free to add more to allow them to change between them.
Similar to activity logs are walk-up stairs, however, they vary due to their height typically being a bit higher than that of an activity log. Walk-up stairs offer a way for your guinea pig to get a better view of its surroundings, while taking up minimal floor space within its cage. Your guinea pig can get great exercise going up and down this little contraption, and when in a state of highenergy, can use this as a way to expend a bit of their excitement.
Hanging Chew Toys
No matter what level of energy your guinea pig has, it is likely that those who turn their nose up at the most exciting of toys, will pay mind to a hanging chew toy. These types of toys come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, but they are great for entertaining your guinea pig when they are in the cage, as they easily hang from its ceiling. Purchase a hanging chew toy that is made from wood to keep the teeth of your guinea pig sharp and their attention held.
Guinea pigs love any type of activity that requires them to go in and out of somewhat confined spaces. Therefore, if you find a small box around your home, before throwing it away, see if your guinea pig may like it as a makeshift toy. Simply carve a few holes in its side, place the box within its cage, and allow your guinea pig to move about this new jungle gym as it pleases.
Ways to Play With Your Guinea Pig
Now that you know the items that guinea pigs like to play with the most, you may be wondering how you can turn playtime into more of a bonding interaction rather than one that is so singular. Guinea pigs may not be on the top of the list when it comes to interactive pets, but they are incredibly curious, intelligent, and playful animals if given the time and attention. Outside of what guinea pigs like to play with, what are the different ways you can play with them?
For any guinea pig, it is going to need time spent outside of the cage. However, guinea pigs are quick and very curious, which can oftentimes mean they meander out of sight without the least bit of warning within your home. If you would rather leave chance out of the equation, consider purchasing a play pen that has ample room for your guinea pig to play freely while you are around without having to worry about losing them from sight.
Teach Your Guinea Pig Tricks
Teaching your guinea pig tricks can be a fantastic option when it comes to establishing a bond between you and your pet. There are a variety of different tricks that guinea pigs can learn which range from those like teaching them to call when they hear their name, come when called, turn in a circle when commanded, and even jump through a hoop. Just remember, practice and patience are key with this type of interaction.
Speaking of your guinea pig knowing how to come when it is called by its name, once your pet has learned this trick you can move forward with an even more entertaining way of playing. You can either set up a ground-level track in a circle or in a straight line for racing games. You will place a treat at the end of the track (be sure they see this placement), then call for your guinea pig as you watch it race to the finish line for a scrumptious treat.
Tunnel or Maze Building
It was previously mentioned that tunnels are a great way to afford your guinea pig a little time for play, but how can this simplistic be amplified a bit so that owners can play along? There is quite a bit of creativity that can ensue with this activity, but the goal is to create a different maze through the use of various tunnels and walkway systems for your guinea pig to explore about. Change the pattern when they become proficient with each setup.
Tug of War
This is a game that is very common when discussing the different ways to play with a dog, however, it is a bit more eyebrow-raising when applied to an activity to be done with guinea pigs. However, this can be done by filling a sock with hay, tying the top of the sock off. Once your guinea pig smells the hay, it will begin biting the sock and will offer some resistance as you gently tug on the opposite end making it a relatively interactive game for play.
It is so important that your guinea pig has a well-rounded diet full of plenty of commercial guinea pig food and hay. However, their diet also needs a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them happy and healthy. When it comes to treating your guinea pig, give them something you know they love such as small pieces of apples. Use treats as a way to play and bond with your guinea pig when they are both in and outside of their cage.