Do guinea pigs need exercise?
Guinea pigs make excellent pets because they are amusing, friendly, and enjoy being petted and cuddled. However, the majority of people are unaware that guinea pigs require significantly more exercise, freedom, and physical activity than other household pets.
Pet guinea pigs are descended from wild European guinea pigs that were not domesticated. They have been selectively reared in a specific environment in order to be comfortable around humans, but this does not preclude them from needing exercise in the same way that other animals do.
Guinea pigs that have not been domesticated can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and can travel hundreds of miles in a single day. Running away from predators is something they do frequently, as they chase after other guinea pigs and scavenge for food in their surroundings.
Although domestic guinea pigs are not required to forage for food or flee from predators, they do require some form of physical activity in order to maintain their health and wellbeing.
Guinea pigs are high-energy animals that require a lot of space. It is possible for guinea pigs to suffer from psychological and physical problems if they do not get enough exercise. As an illustration, consider the following:
- Boredom: Guinea pigs can act unhealthy when they are bored. For instance, creating bald patches or may over-grooming themselves. They can also damage their teeth by chewing on the bars of their enclosure.
- Weight gain: Those guinea pigs who don’t exercise enough can gain fat. That puts a burden on the skeletal system and the cardiovascular, also it can cause insulin resistance, which gives rise to diabetes.
- Behavioral difficulties: Most guinea pigs don’t get socialized with a human being because they usually don’t get enough exercise, which is why guinea pigs sometimes become destructive or aggressive.
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Guinea pig exercise requirements
As a result, exercise is extremely important for guinea pigs. However, the question remains as to how much exercise guinea pigs require. It is not possible to confine your guinea to an enclosure throughout the day. It can be stressful to be confined to a small enclosure for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If the guinea pig is kept in an enclosure, the owner is responsible for allowing them to go outside for exercise on a daily basis. Even the tiniest mammals require time to run around and be allowed to leave their enclosure. Your guinea pig’s mental and physical well-being are critical to its survival.
Every day, the guinea pig should be allowed to exercise outside of its enclosure for at least three hours by its caregiver. Considering that this is the absolute minimum, but if you want to give your guinea pig more time than this, then 7 to 8 hours per day should be sufficient for your pet.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, should be allowed to go outside twice a day. Guinea pigs are most active in the early morning and late evening twilight hours, so this is the best time to channel their energy into something constructive.
During the hours of 6-9 am and 4-8 pm, you can let your pet out to get some fresh air and to exercise. Guinea pigs spend the majority of their time sleeping in the middle of the day, only waking up to eat hay on occasion.
Don’t pressurize your guinea pig into adhering to a strict schedule. Although 6 a.m. may seem excessively early, you must respect your guinea pig’s natural habits.
Some guinea pigs can swim, but they are not interested in engaging in physical activity such as swimming.
Swimming is a recreational activity that you enjoy, but guinea pigs do not, so never force your guinea pig into a bathtub or swimming pool, as this can result in severe shock.
How much time should you spend with your guinea pig a day?
When you take your guinea pig out of its enclosure, you will need to keep an eye on him or her at all times to ensure their safety.
Guinea pigs could be in danger if they are left alone for an extended period of time. Guinea pigs have a natural proclivity to gnaw on their surroundings.
Their teeth and claws are constantly growing, and the owner must trim them on a regular basis. Additionally, they throw the items around and have a tendency to jump on them.
Additionally, if the owner has only one pet, they should spend at least 3-4 hours every day interacting with their guinea pig. Guinea pigs are highly social animals who require the company of other animals in order to be content with their lives.
Having another guinea pig around is the ideal companion for guinea pig. Two guinea pigs will keep each other entertained throughout the day and form a strong bond.
You should expect to devote all of your time and attention to your guinea pig if you are unable to purchase another one. By getting down on the floor, you can engage in interactive play with your guinea pig.
How much space do guinea pigs need?
Many people have unrealistic expectations about the amount of space a guinea pig requires. Due to the fact that the majority of guinea pig pen, enclosure, and run promotionally sold were not designed for guinea pigs in the first place.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, can live for anywhere between 5 and 8 years. If you want your guinea pig to live for an extended period of time, you must provide them with adequate space.
Those guinea pigs who are kept in substandard conditions will most likely die before reaching the end of their natural lifespan. There are several options for housing your pet guinea pig, depending on its size and temperament:
- If you want to sleep, keep your guinea pig in a large, guinea pig-proofed and make them out during the day while you can attend to supervise them.
- Allow freedom to your guinea pig to run in the house. Guinea pigs can be trained for using the litterbox, as many owners select this option. If your guinea pig has not been acting under supervision, you will have to guinea pig-proof the house.
- Keep your guinea pig in an enclosure most of the time, and let them out to observe and direct the execution of the exercise. That is the most inferior option, as most guinea pigs don’t like being restricted in a small, surrounded space.
Guinea pigs should not live outside. Domestic guinea pigs live as long as compared to outdoor guinea pigs. They always have their lives shortened by adverse weather, disease, predators, and extreme temperatures.
Letting guinea pigs roam free
Most of the owners allow their guinea pigs to roam in the house freely. Domestic guinea pigs are much happier as compared to those guinea pigs that are kept closed in.
Guinea pigs are clean creatures and can be trained for a litter. They like to execute their toilet activities in one place only. That is because in the undomesticated area, Leaving poop everywhere can alert the predators that guinea pigs are close to them.
Guinea Pig-proofing a home is similar to baby-proofing. The owner needs to make sure that everything within your guinea pig’s reach is safe for them to examine and eat. Those objects which can harm your guinea pig should be kept on high or in a cupboard.
Most of the owners keep their guinea pig cramped into one room. There is no need to guinea pig-proof the entire house; you can do it in an extra bedroom. It is okay for your guinea pig to have only one room, as long as you interact with them daily.
How do you guinea pig proof a room?
How to Prepare Your Room for Floor time Fun with Guinea Pigs
Guinea pig proofing is necessary for the safety of your guinea pigs as well as to prevent them from destroying your possessions. Here are some suggestions for making a guinea pig-friendly environment:
- Cover those areas ultimately which you don’t want your guinea pig to access. For example, guinea pigs enjoy biting the holes in the clothes so that you can block the entry to your closets.
- Place the baby gates at the top and bottom because guinea pigs can also hurt themselves by falling from the stairs.
- Cover any expensive carpeting with a short-pile, inexpensive rug. Most guinea pigs like to chew and dig at carpets so you can cover your expensive carpeting with a cheap rug or a short-pile.
- Keep the cables and wires of your house away from your Guinea pig because they will naturally chew the cables or wires, as for them its looks like a root. To keep the cables and wire safe, you can use plastic piping.
- If you want to protect your furniture from your guinea pig, you can put wire mesh, fencing, or baby gates in front of the furniture. Guinea pigs love to chew wooden furniture.
- Never leave anything in front of your guinea pig if you don’t want them to chew. Blankets, Clothes, laundry, bags, laptops, and children’s toys are all fair games for a bored guinea pig.
- Clear out all vase flowers and houseplants, or keep them away from guinea pigs, you can put them on high. Many common plants are harmful to your guinea pigs, including irises, daffodils, and ivy.
Other helpful tips
Guinea pigs require chew toys, lots of hay, and various other items. You can provide these items for them. Allowing your guinea pigs to engage in all of these activities will keep them happy. Guinea pigs that are unhappy or bored will destroy and chew everything that they can get their teeth into.
A spray bottle of water can be used to discourage guinea pigs while they are being trained. You can use a quick spray of water along with the act of telling your guinea pig “no” if they chew on something they shouldn’t be chewing on.
When your guinea pig chews on something acceptable, such as a toy, give them positive reinforcement for their efforts.
What games do guinea pigs like to play?
Guinea pigs, being intelligent animals, require something to chew on in order to keep them happy and healthy. It is not sufficient for a guinea pig to simply run around, and this is not something that they all enjoy doing.
They also want to look for food, play, and learn about their surroundings, among other things. The following are some suggestions for guinea pig exercise equipment:
- Tunnels: The tunnels are something that guinea pigs can’t seem to get enough of. They love to move or run rapidly when they are allowed to do so, and they do this at their high speed.
- Wicker balls: Some guinea pigs love to poke and chase wicker balls all around the house. Also, they love to chew on them.
- Ramps and platforms: Guinea pigs love to jump upon things and back down again. Build some height for your guinea pig’s space by loading boxes and bending planks against them.
- Cardboard boxes: Guinea pigs love to hide inside the boxes, chewing, and climbing on them. Also, this will help to trim your guinea pig’s teeth down.
- Buckets of hay or shredded newspaper: Guinea pigs love burrowing and digging. To make it more exciting, you can hide their favorite food throughout the hay. Don’t allow your guinea pig to eat newspapers.
- Treat ball: These are wooden balls or hollow plastic that you can hide treats inside. The guinea pigs have to push the hidden treats around to get them to fall out. A couple of raisins will work very well as an encouragement.
Also check: 25 boredom buster ideas for your guinea pigs
Do guinea pigs need an exercise wheel?
The general consensus among pet owners and animal experts is that guinea pigs are the same as mice, rodents, and hamsters, and that their needs are also the same. The skeletal anatomy of guinea pigs, on the other hand, differs from that of rabbits or hamster.
They are the creatures who are built to take their stress out on their spines, which is why they are called hamsters. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are extremely delicate creatures, and their feet are particularly sensitive to the wire netting that covers the floor of the wheel.
In addition, you should practice spinal wheel injuries on your guinea pig. Therefore, the exercise wheels will be detrimental to your pet Guinea pig.