I assume every single pet owner is very interested in whatever their pets love. I always encourage pet owners to take time to observe everything they can about their pets. There is no better way to understand your pet and to give him what he wants than seeing what he needs with your own eyes.
So, what makes guinea pigs happy? To be honest, you cannot give a certain and straight-forward answer to this question. Every guinea pig is different, but they do all have in common some favorite things such as eating, hiding, receiving love from their owner, living in families and some other cute and natural things for them.
A useful list of things that make guinea pigs happy:
Never underestimate how much power food has over animals. The majority of living creatures on this planet love to eat as much and as often as they can. A little number of pets have an actual sense of fullness referring to food.
If your guinea pig is sad or inactive, think about when was the last time you fed him. It can surprise you how often they love to eat. This is why you have to be careful about their diet. It is better for them to be fed a small amount of food but more often.
Living in families
The family of a guinea pig has a very important role in his life. Living in the same place as their family is how they naturally live. No pet feels better than in his natural habitat. This is why creating guinea pigs the conditions they have in the wild is the key to making him happy.
Also, it can be hard near to impossible to adopt a whole family of guinea pigs. You can at least try to get two of them – maybe brothers or sisters (if you do not want them to breed) – guinea pigs love to have each other’s company.
Guinea pigs can get depressed if they are lonely. If they get depressed, they have a higher risk of getting sick because their bodies are weaker. Please consider everything before getting a pet. You want to help an animal, not to harm him.
Places to hide
This may sound a little strange to be honest, but just give me a second to explain. Guinea pigs are originally found in the wild and they are prey to other stronger animals. Because of their small size compared to the larger predators, they cannot fight back, so their only chance of survival is to hide away.
In the wild, their instinct would be to find a hole already dug by some other animal and to hide in it until the danger passes. Because in a cage they are not actually in any danger (at least, in general), they do not need to hide. But guess what? After all these years of hiding, nowadays at least, they love to hide. So, you do not want to put them in danger, but you want to let them hide.
You can put some cardboard tubes inside their cage or you can put a thicker layer of hay for them to dig it and hide inside. There are lots of ways to entertain your guinea pig when you talk about hiding.
An appropriate cage
This is an obvious thing but a lot of guinea pig owners do not take it into consideration. Guinea pigs are one of the largest rodents kept as pets and they are still kept in cages. You cannot compare a hamster with a guinea pig in size. If a large box of shoes might be enough for a hamster, a guinea pig might not fit in there.
Now, speaking seriously, a guinea pig needs a lot of space in order to live a healthy happy life. If he has a large enough cage, he can learn where is his ‘kitchen’, his ‘bathroom’ and his ‘playground’. This is how they will eventually learn how to keep their cage a little cleaner.
When you are buying a cage for your guinea pig, consider another thing, too: they need to be active. Everybody knows that guinea pigs need to be taken out of their cage every day to play around and run a little. Besides that, they need a cage that allows them to move and that allows them to play with things you give to them.
Their cage being clean
Not a lot of guinea pig owners know that their pets actually do not like living in a mess. This is very convenient for both of you. The mess they make has an unpleasant smell, so if you clean it up as soon as you can, you will get rid of it. On the other hand, you will make your little friend just a little bit happier.
Hay, a lot of it
As I have already told, guinea pigs love to eat, hide and play. These are the same reasons why they love hay so much. The thing is that the greener the hay is, the happier it will make the guinea pigs. Their favorite hay of all times is Timothy hay. They love eating hay and they also love digging and playing in it.
This is just as important as everything else, but to me personally, it is the most important of all the other things on the list.
There is nothing more important to me than the connection between the owner and the pet. Guinea pigs crave that connection. They crave affection and attention, so if you want to have a great relationship, invest your time in your friendship.
Guinea pigs love being held, they love to play with people, especially with their owner. They will accept anyone’s affection after they get used to that particular person. They are very kind animals, they rarely bite or scratch. This is why if you show them you are not doing them any harm, you will forever be in their heart.
Every pet loves to play, so why wouldn’t a guinea pig love that, too? There should be no surprise they love playing around. They love hiding, they consider hiding the same thing as playing, but it is just one of their methods of having fun in their cage.
Anything they can hide in, chew on or climb on is perfect for them. This is why their favorite toys would be shoe-boxes and cardboards. You can always buy them toys from the pet shop, but be careful: some of the toys that claim to be for a certain pet can actually be dangerous for him. Please ask a vet or make a little research about toys before you get to buy one.
Give them floor time
Nobody likes to continuously live in a limited space. Moreover, guinea pigs love to exercise. This is why you need to offer them at least a little bit of time every day to run around in your house in order to get some exercise. The best way to do this is to let them run around as much as they want, and after that, you two can cuddle a little bit. Then you can put him back in his cage. This will certainly make your guinea pig a lot happier.
Pay a visit to a vet from time to time
This is kind of a ‘special’ way of having your friend feel good. A lot of diseases and infection depress your little pig. He might look depressed for no reason, but if nothing of the things I’ve mentioned before don’t work, he is probably sick. When thinking about avoiding a visit to the vet, just remember that you are better safe than sorry.
If you get your guinea pig in time to the vet, he will be easier to treat so he could recover so much faster. After recovering, your guinea pet will be happy again, and one day, he could feel like he was never sick. Just do both of you a favor and take him to the vet when he looks like he could need that visit.
Generally speaking, it is not difficult at all to make a pet happy. Particularly, guinea pigs are even more susceptible to feeling good when they are given what they need.
The most important things you can offer to a pet (to a friend, ultimately) are your time and your energy. I’m not absurd: not all of your time and energy, but at least a little bit of them. This is the only way your guinea pig can figure out they can trust you and love you back. As prey animals, they cannot trust anybody and have to always be reassured by their owner that they are not going to get hurt.
Never forget your little guinea pig is very sensitive to anything. He can get depressed easily, so try to put some effort into your relationship and everything will be good.