ENRICHMENT

Having a large accommodation is great, but to make that even better, you can provide enrichment for them to stiumlate their brains. Giving them activities to do will prevent boredom and it is great fun to watch them display natural behaviours; you should take into consideration some their natural instincts to encourage this.

DID YOU KNOW GUINEA PIGS GET BORED TOO?

IDEAS FOR YOUR PIGGIE HOME

1. tunnels

Tunnels are very popular amongst all guinea pigs. They are prey animals, so having lots of areas for them to hide will make them feel much safer.

TIP: Use concrete pipes from garden centres in outdoor habitats.

2. wood shelves

Shelves are great in a guinea pigs home. They offer a shelter underneath, and also extra space on top to explore. You can purchase them in pet shops, or even build your own.

DID YOU KNOW? Guinea pigs are much more agile than people think, and can jump quite high.

3. wooden logs

Logs are recommended in a guinea pigs home as they mimic a natural habitat, encourage play and they also gnaw on them. They are good for adding new textures.

TIP: If you have a log burner, put some logs aside for your guinea pigs.

4. rocks

Once again, rocks are perfect for creating a natural habitat. They keep their nails worn down and can be used to make different levels. 

TIP : You can find rocks like these from garden centres.

5. log bridges

Log bridges are very popular enrichment for guinea pigs. They are very versatiles, so can be used as a tunnel, shelter, ramp, divider and much more.

DID YOU KNOW? : Garden border edging works great too!

6. cosy items

There's nothing guinea pigs love more than cosy sleeping areas (unless you include food..).

Some popular options include fleece huts, hammocks and blankets.

Just be warned that they will toilet in these!

DID YOU KNOW? : You can simply just make your own fleece items at home

7. food puzzles

So we all know that guinea pigs love food! Incorporating food into activities is great stimulation and encourages natural behaviours. You can purchase food puzzles from pet shops or create you own at home using just basic materials.

8. wicker baskets

Wicker baskets look great in a guinea pig home! They provide shelter and are also great for them to gnaw on. They come in various different shapes and sizes, so offer many different uses. With smaller baskets, you can fill them with hay, with larger baskets, turn them on their side to use as a shelter

9. chew toys

Chew toys are approved by most guinea pigs. Wood from safe trees is a great addition and they enjoy gnawing on these. Willow balls are popular and you can also hide treats in these.

DID YOU KNOW? : Chew toys don't keep their teeth trimmed. It is actually the motion of the teeth grinding against each other (with hay, grass, leafy greens etc) that wear them down.

10. forage bags

Forage bags are just brown paper bags filled with hay, forage and other yummy treats.

They are very simple to make and will keep them entertained for ages!

This encourages natural foraging behaviour.

TIP: put the treats towards the back of the bag so that they have to work for their food.

11. cork pieces

Cork pieces can be purchased from pet shops or online. They are generally found in the reptile category in shops. They can use cork hide, climb, gnaw and rest. It works really well when setting up a natural habitat for your guinea pigs.

DID YOU KNOW? : cork is waterproof so you can keep it outdoors!

12. wooden houses

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Let's be honest, guinea pigs love a cardboard box just as much as the more expensive wooden wooden houses, but the wooden houses are always a nice addition to their home.

TIP : choose houses with multiple entrances/exits to minimise dominant behaviour

13. trellis

Trellis can be purchased from garden centres, or sometimes even supermarkets. You can tie two parts together and create a tunnel. This is great for outdoor habitats as it gives guinea pigs a sense of security and safety. 

DID YOU KNOW? : you can weave fresh branches into the trellis to make them work for their food.

14. levels

Levels make a great addition to all guinea pig homes. They provide variety and interest, yet they can be used for different purposes. You can simply just use a plank of wood, or get creative using mesh storage grids with connectors.

TIP : if they shelf is high up, you can add a ramp for easier access

15. edible toys

Toys are much more fun for guinea pigs when they involve food!

TIP : don't feel the need to spend loads of money on toys, cardboard and kitchen rolls work just as well

16. curtain hides

Curtain hides are a great way to provide your guinea pigs with a safe area without them being completely hidden away. They are cheap to make or you can buy them online.

TIP : simply use a hessian bag! Cut strips into a rectangular piece, then Velcro it to some wood

(remove if they start chewing it!)

17. pine cones

Pine cones can provide hours of fun for guinea pigs! You can collect them from nature, and you may want to sanitise them in the oven if you are concerned. 

TIP : Hide various treats the the pine cones to make a fun game for your guinea pigs