The guinea pigs make amazing pets for almost every household. Maybe you already have a guinea pig, or you are thinking of getting one, but the crucial thing is to learn all the things guinea pigs like to do in order to be happy and satisfied. It is very important to understand and learn more about their behavior.
What do guinea pigs like to do? Guinea pigs are simple to understand, they like to be played with, to eat healthy and tasty treats and they also like to lay down on comfortable bedding. Guinea pigs also like to socialize with their owners or if possible with another guinea pig. Observe their behavior and always watch for their emotional states because a happy guinea pig will stay healthy. Enabling them to do the things they like will certainly help with that.
The guinea pigs may be simple-looking and not needy when it comes to keeping them as a pet, but there is more to them than it’s usually believed. Of course, a small appropriate home of their own, a caring owner, food and toys or another guinea pig by their side are the essential things for their emotional well being.
By now you understand that guinea pigs are not really that simple to take care of and it will take some effort to make them happy. In the following sections, we are going to go in-depth about the things guinea pigs like to do. So let’s begins!
Essential Things Guinea Pigs Like to Do
• Eating Well
They like to munch on things that come from the ground (vegetables) because it keeps their teeth and digestion in superb shape.
Try to purchase good quality hay, like Alfalfa or Timothy, even Orchard and Oat Hay. When the guinea pig chews on good quality hay, they get enough calcium and beneficial calories to develop and grow or develop their fetus if pregnant.
Another thing guinea pigs like and need is vitamin C supplementation. Their organism cannot produce enough vitamin C by themselves and in a deficit of vitamin C, they could get health issues with digestion, teeth decay or scurvy.
The guinea pig absolutely loves to be given fresh fruits and veggies. Make your little guinea pig happy with some bell peppers, carrots, apples, melons, tropical fruits, blueberries, pears, plums, eggplants, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, beans, strawberries, squash.
The guinea pig also likes grapes, onion, raisins, cauliflower and broccoli, leeks, bananas, spinach – but, use these sparingly to prevent them from bloating, regardless how tasty these are for your guinea pigs.
Next, the guinea pigs like to rest well and have their own, relatively normal space to rest in. Do not make the mistake of getting an aquarium, because the guinea pigs like to get lots of fresh air, as we all do!
The best home for guinea pigs would be a cage, but one that is big enough with lots of space. A good and creative idea is to get two small or medium cages and conjoin them together as a ‘double home’ with a tunnel to the next ‘room’! This could be fun and interesting for the guinea pigs if you have no option for one huge cage.
When it comes to their housing, they like cardboards as another home or play-space option, with the big cage being the primary one. Or even better, a coroplast cube that looks like a playground and home at the same time. The guinea pig will happily roam, run and play in it.
• Getting Attention
Guinea pigs like to get attention, like to be petted and played with more than other rodents do and if you have the chance, get another guinea pig. They like to be cuddled together and have a playmate or partner of their own kind, in order to be happy and cheerful!
How to entertain your guinea pig during playtime? First and most important – set the guinea pig cage in the room where most activity in the house happens. Consider the living room for example; where people gather, the TV is on, socializing happens there all the time, so your furry friend will never feel alone or bored.
Then, know that the guinea pig loves to play with almost anything. You can easily keep it entertained and in a good mood all the time.
Be creative, you can take a piece of paper, crumble it in a ball and roll it while the guinea pig walks freely on the floor of your home. This sounds too simple, but they really love it!
Make tunnels of cardboard with tubes and wrapping paper, so that it is wide enough for the guinea pig to enter and feel like they are playing hide-and-seek.
Get a small ball, like a tennis ball or ping pong ball. You can put these in the cage, or on the floor. The more the better, just imagine the joy of the guinea pig with so many things to roll around.
Provide hiding spaces in the cage or around the play areas. Cardboard boxes with holes and towels over them, to look like a small tent, or similar handmade simple objects – just do not use plastic bags or dangerous materials.
• Comfy Bedding to Lay On
You probably like to sleep or rest in a comfy bed during the day or night, so why should it be different for the guinea pig, or any pet for that matter?
The guinea pigs like a nice, cuddly spacious bedding with comfy materials that are not prone to odors. Of course, it is your primary goal to make sure the bedding is comfy and odorless, so clean it as often as you can.
Clean the ‘bathroom’ corners of the cage at least twice a week, or more if you can. This is really simple because you won’t need to change the whole bedding at once, so the toilet corner is of the utmost concern until the whole bedding is changed 1-2 times weekly.
The bedding must be absorbent, fluffy, airy and soft. Avoid the wood shavings if you can, however, they can be used when no other materials are an option for you. The pine shavings have proved to be a good surface that can easily be kept fresh and clean for up to 3 or 4 days.
Another option this pet likes is the recycled paper shredding. Make sure this is not toxic because the guinea pig will love it and will try to gnaw on this! They like to lay on its thin fluffy surface, it is comfy, non-odor and healthy, if the proper type is chosen.
Lastly, the guinea pigs will surprise you, but they often like to rest on regular linens and blankets. The guinea pig will cuddle next to you, or even fall asleep in your bed, on the comfy, warm blankets or linens that you use. That is, of course, if it is not feeling too curious or playful to stay in one place and rest next to you!
While these materials are not so practical for the cage, to clean or replace constantly, get the little guinea pig out of its cage once in a while because it will love to rest next to you on the sofa or bed.
• Companionship and Bonding
Your adorable guinea pig likes to get attention, but this goes without saying for every living creature or human on this Earth, right?
The guinea pigs don’t just like but also need another one of their kind to keep them company, if possible. In case you can keep only one guinea pig, know well that you are not just his owner, feeder or cage-cleaner, but his best friend and family.
This is a pet that likes companionship and bonding. With another guinea pig, it has security, sleep partner, interaction, play-mate, and better life quality.
If you keep two of them, and one passes away, be sure to provide the guinea pig with another friend. It might be complex to adjust them to one another all over again, but the guinea pig will thank you for this because it likes to have someone by its side.
And, if the guinea pig can have the best of both worlds – you and a companion of his own kind, your cute furry friend will be as happy as it can be!
There are a lot of things that guinea pigs like to do, but you need to find out what your guinea pigs like the most. For sure, they all like eating, playing and your attention.
You need to be sure that your guinea pigs have essential things like fresh food, water and comfortable cage. Also, you need to be a friend to your little guinea pig and most importantly play and take care of it.
If your guinea pigs have everything they need and a lot of your care and attention, they will be very happy and healthy pets. Then they will love you as well, which is very important for a good relationship!
List of Sources
Richardson, V., Care of guinea pigs, Veterinary Nursing Journal, 2014.
Cannon, M. D., Emerson, G. A., Dietary Requirements of the Guinea Pig with Reference to the Need for a Special Factor, The Journal of Nutrition, 1939.
Donnelly, T. M., Rodent Husbandry and Care, Purdue University, 2007.
White, W. J., Balk, M. W., Lang, C. M., Use of cage space by guineapigs, 1989.
Sachser, N., Lick, C., Social experience, behavior, and stress in guinea pigs, Physiology & Behavior, 1991.
O’Dell, B. L., Morris, E. R., Pickett, E. E., Hogan, A. G., Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, The Journal of Nutrition, 1957.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland, C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Bruce, H. M., Parkes, A. S., Feeding and breeding of laboratory animals III. Observations on the feeding of guinea-pigs, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Sober, H. A., Mannering, G. J., Cannon, M. D., Elvehjem, C. A., Hart, E. B., Nutrition of the Guinea Pig, The Journal of Nutrition, 1942.
Kawakami, K., Takeuchi, T., Yamaguchi, S., Ago, A., Nomura, M., Gonda, T., Komemushi, S., Preference of guinea pigs for bedding materials: wood shavings versus paper cutting sheet, Experimental animals, 2003.
NC State Veterinary Hospital, Caring for Your Pet Guinea Pig, Exotic Animal Medicine Department.