Exercising your guinea pigs is vital for their mental and physical well-being; you need to know how to exercise a guinea pig.
Not exercising guinea pigs also leads them to be depressed and frustrated, resulting in them not being content with their lives.
First of all, you need to know that guinea pigs don’t need exercise wheels for several important reasons.
There might be many ways of exercising guinea pigs.
Floortime, cage, and outdoors are the three main places to exercise your guinea pig.
There are plenty of ways to exercise your guinea pigs in a fun, adorable manner, and here we shall look into ten ways of exercising a guinea pig.
Table of Contents
10 Ways To Exercise Your Guinea Pig
Here are 10 ways on how to exercise your guinea pig.
1. Putt Toys And Random Household Items Inside The Cage
Although it might sound crazy, putting household items inside the cage enables the hamsters to get along and run around and explore different things.
The household items could include cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, a dustpan, or any other safety items for the guinea pigs.
You can put guinea pig toys and household items for the guinea pigs to have some fun time and exercise.
Toys for guinea pigs could include chewing toys, exercise wheels, and exercise balls made for guinea pigs themselves, balls, and other toys that are made specifically for them.
The toys will encourage the guinea pigs to exercise inside the cage, but the guinea pigs might not play with the toys, which will help you know their preference.
Also, remember toys with dyes, small parts, and added sugars might affect them.
2. Rearrange the Cage Setup
Another way of training your guinea pig is also rearranging the cage setup.
Rearranging the cage setup helps the guinea pigs to get motivated to run around and still explore.
You don’t necessarily need to buy new toys; you can rearrange the already present toys and items in the cage.
The same arrangement with the same items might get boring and monotonous, so rearranging the things gives a new vibe to the guinea pigs encouraging them to exercise.
But if you wish, you could also get new toys according to your guinea pigs’ preference as new toys help the guinea pigs get encouraged to move around and explore.
3. Teach Guinea Pigs To Run Upstairs
The guinea pigs’ lives shouldn’t just be limited inside the cage; they should also be outside the cage to explore and exercise more.
So, teaching them to run up the stairs could be one way to exercise the guinea pigs.
When the guinea pigs run up the stairs fast, it’s an excellent exercise for them.
But climbing up the stairs doesn’t come naturally to the guinea pigs, and you have to teach them first with their favorite treats involved.
Put your guinea pig on a step, and then you can guide them using their favorite treat, and eventually, you will have a guinea pig that runs up the stairs super fast.
4. Obstacles Courses For Your Guinea Pigs
Obstacle courses for your guinea pig can be a fun way to train them.
Building an obstacle course for your pet can be fun without being hectic or hard at all.
You can make fun obstacles for your guinea pigs using tools like cardboard tubes elevated above the ground, small balance beams, and other obstacles.
Since you can place the objects in an obstacle course or agility course in any fashion, you have endless options while making an obstacle course and switching them repeatedly.
Make sure to reward your guinea pigs with treats after they complete each obstacle, motivating them to exercise more.
Rewarding them is an essential aspect of the obstacle or agility course, but also don’t reward them every time at the same place; keep switching the rewards.
5. Make a Maze for Your Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs walking through a maze also helps to exercise both their brain and body.
Watching the guinea pigs walk through a maze also gets very entertaining for us to watch and is an excellent exercise for them.
Making a maze for your guinea pig might sound hectic, but you shall be surprised knowing how easy it can get.
To make a maze for your guinea pig, you must first plan the way with a couple of dead ends and finally a way out.
Make sure you don’t make it too hard, as guinea pigs don’t have long attention spans.
Then make a base with cardboard and then glue the walls of the maze to the bottom.
Better if you encourage the way out for your guinea pig with treats at the end.
6. Make a Tunnel Playground
A tunnel playground is a great floor time for your guinea pigs to explore and exercise.
As guinea pigs love tunnels, any tunnel will work spacious enough to fit your guinea pigs and does not have sharp edges that might be harmful to them.
You can make a tunnel for your guinea pigs with anything around you, like PVC pipes, an excellent option for tunnels.
To encourage your guinea pigs further, you could add treats inside the tunnels but make sure you don’t overcrowd the play area.
You might also be overwhelmed with the cuteness of the guinea pigs when they pop their little heads out of the tunnel.
7. Guinea Pig Veggie Hunt
Guinea pigs must have fresh vegetables in their diet and love them as well so, one way to exercise your guinea pigs would also be hiding the fresh veggies for them to hunt.
You can hide different veggies in different parts of your house for them to find and hunt.
Veggie hunts can be seasonal, too, with Christmas trees made from cucumber during Christmas.
And during Thanksgiving, you can hide the Thanksgiving feast made with any vegetables of their preference.
Similarly, on Halloween, you can carve faces in vegetables and hide them, encouraging them to exercise more and look around to hunt veggies.
8. Give a Whole Tomato to a Guinea Pig
Giving them a whole tomato is another way of making them exercise.
The drill is not giving them a tomato is feast onto but encouraging them to play around and exercise.
So, you’re also not giving guinea pigs a tomato to play with or feast on, but if you have two guinea pigs, you should only show one tomato to a guinea pig.
The one who didn’t get the tomato will then fight and steal the tomato from another guinea pig.
The other guinea pig will also try to take away the tomato, and the playtime and exercise time will go on.
But if your guinea pigs don’t like tomatoes, you can do the same drill with other vegetables like cucumber, carrot, or lettuce.
The stealing of tomatoes from your one furry pet by another furry pet gets very interesting to watch as well.
9. Stuff A Cardboard Tube With Hay or Vegetables
You might be thinking how stuffing a cardboard tube with hay or vegetables helps them exercise; isn’t it just feeding them?
Stuffing cardboard tubes with food your guinea pig loves is a great way to make them play and run around.
When you put one tube for every two guinea pigs, then just like the tomato, they will start stealing tubes from each other, which will get the guinea pigs exercised.
You might already have toilet paper rolls lying around in the house with brown tubes, which can be placed inside the cage with food in it.
It gets adoring to see your guinea pigs try to steal tubes from each other for food.
10. Place Ramps inside Guinea Pig Cage
Ramps can also be a fun way to exercise your guinea pigs.
Ramps are more comfortable for you to build as well and fun for guinea pigs to exercise.
You can use a flat piece of wood without sharp edges to make ramps inside the cage of your guinea pigs.
Your guinea pigs will love to go down and up the ramp quickly, which will also be entertaining to watch.
If your guinea pigs aren’t afraid of heights, you can also make long ramps high above the ground.
But if the ramps arent according to your guinea pigs’ preference, which includes too short or too steep, they might completely avoid using it.
So, be careful while selecting ramps for your guinea pigs, experiment with different types of ramps, and find what suits your guinea pigs the best.
The guinea pigs can also fall and hurt themselves so make sure you keep ramps safely.
Things To Consider When Exercising Your Guinea Pigs
It would be best if you had several factors in mind while exercising your guinea pig, so let us take a look at them.
Select The Right Cage
Before even beginning to train your guinea pig, the first step should be choosing the right cage with enough space for them to run around and explore and have some fun.
Generally, the recommended cage size for a guinea pig is 7.5 feet, and for two guinea pigs bare minimum is 7.5 feet, and the recommended size is 10.5 feet.
Avoid Crowding The Cage
Another thing to keep in mind is not overcrowding the cage while putting all the items and toys inside the cage.
While exercising in or outside the cage, the main motive is to make sure the guinea pigs explore and move and run around.
So, don’t overcrowd the cage and have enough space for the guinea pigs to run around.
If you realize the cage is starting to get crowded, consider removing items from the cage.
While exercising and running around, the safety of the guinea pigs also should be a significant concern.
Have space for the guinea pigs to ensure their safety and isn’t potentially dangerous for them.
Safe space includes a space with no electric cords and close areas like under the dresser or couch or bed that potentially could get the guinea pigs squeezed and might be hard for them to get out.
Also, make sure other pets around are not potentially dangerous to your guinea pigs.
Check the Weather When Exercising Outdoors
Before getting your guinea pigs to exercise outdoors, make sure the weather is guinea pigs friendly.
The temperature outside should be lower than 80 degrees and higher than 60 degrees if you want to bring your guinea pigs out.
The ideal weather should be dry but not too sunny as well.
A little bit of sunlight is excellent for your guinea pigs, but a little too much sunlight isn’t good for them.
Protect Your Guinea Pigs’ Delicate Feet
Another thing not to forget while exercising a guinea pig is taking care of their delicate feet.
Like us humans, the guinea pigs don’t require the luxury of putting on shoes, but they have soft skin on their feet, which can get damaged easily.
While exercising, they must exercise on soft surfaces like grass or a carpet.
So, make sure you’re not hurting your guinea pigs for the sake of exercising them.
Be Aware of Chemicals Outdoors
Being outdoors in fields and grass, there are always possibilities of chemicals and fertilizers used in the grasses.
Make sure you go to an area without chemicals.
Ideally, you can stay on your lawn free from chemicals that might harm your guinea pigs.
But if you can’t find a place without chemicals in it or if you’re always skeptical, then you’re good to go by putting down a blanket or tarp for your guinea pigs to play in.
Use A Playpen
While playing outdoors, another thing to make sure is your guinea pigs aren’t overwhelmed with all the space.
Guinea pigs usually love to run around and soak up some sunshine or nibble on some grass.
To have an escape-proof play area outdoors, use a playpen that can be bought at any pet store or build it yourself.
Use Toys And Wheels Made For Guinea Pigs
Sometimes some people make the mistake of using tools and toys that are not made for guinea pigs.
Never use exercise wheels made for hamsters.
Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs don’t have a very flexible spine leading to major spine injuries.
Don’t Overexercise Your Guinea Pigs
The article has already stressed how to exercise a guinea pig.
You might also have realized exercise is vital for a guinea pig; equally crucial is not under-exercising or over-exercising them.
The least amount of exercise for a guinea pig should be around one hour per day which involves free-roaming time inside a playpen or any other activity.
Make sure your guinea pigs get at least one hour of activity every single day.
The minimum activity is for a day when you’re busy, but normally ideal exercise time for guinea pigs in small habitats is around three to four hours.
All three to four hours doesn’t need to be in the presence of you; roaming inside a playpen or running around the cage also counts as an exercise.
But remember not to exceed the ideal mark daily, which may hamper the guinea pigs’ performance.
Why Should You Exercise A Guinea Pig?
So, we talked all about do’s and don’ts while exercising a guinea pig, but the question might arise after all, why do you need to exercise a guinea pig?
Like any other animals, guinea pigs also need some form of movement or activity for their physical and mental well-being.
Lack of exercise in Guinea pigs could lead them to grow and become docile and timid.
Since guinea pigs are very prone to boredom, exercising them could keep them occupied and very active.
Observing their natural behavior and instincts and exercising the guinea pigs accordingly is also very important to ensure they live happy lives.
Finally, guinea pigs are very energetic and social animals, so letting all their energy out and not enclosing them in a closed habitat helps them stay away from depression and frustration.
These were the ten ways to exercise a guinea pig, and exercising them is a must; you don’t need to follow all ten ways at once, but switching between the ten ways often does not make the exercise monotonous.
Exercising the guinea pigs are undoubtedly fun, and it also gets entertaining for you to watch while your guinea pigs are playing and running around.
Among the ten ways, stairs and obstacles were definitely what I found to be the most interesting, but you can always experiment with what suits you and your guinea pigs the best.
Ensure you exercise your guinea pigs without endangering them and following the things to keep in mind from this article.
Exercising your guinea pigs also doesn’t mean over or under-exercising them, so make sure to follow the guidelines to keep them exercised to get the best out of your guinea pigs.
I hope this article helped you, and you might now buckle up to exercise and keep your guinea pigs in a good physical and mental state.