If you’re looking for some fun ways to exercise your guinea pig, I’ve got you covered!
Like all animals, cavies need plenty of physical activity to keep them in tip-top shape.
Without it, they’ll not only become dangerously overweight, they’ll also develop depression and anxiety.
Read on to discover just how much exercise your guinea pig needs plus a few fun ways to help them get it.
Related: Top 10 Best Guinea Pig Toys
How much exercise do guinea pigs need?
The answer to that question depends on the size of their habitat.
According to RodentLife, cavies who live in small habitats need about 3-4 hours of exercise.
If your piggies have a larger living space you can get away with an hour a day (although more is always better).
In both cases, you’ll want to take your piggy out of her habitat and either put her in the best guinea pig playpen (supervised) or a cavy-proofed room for free-range play.
Fun Ways to Exercise Your Guinea Pig
Finding ways to exercise your guinea pig isn’t all that hard
Related: Guinea Pig Health
Related: Guinea Pig Health.
You could just let them loose in their piggy-proofed room and let them do their thing.
However, since you’re looking for FUN ways to exercise them, I’m going to assume you want to be involved in the workout.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at activities that you can do with your piggy!
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
1. Take them outside
Cavies love exploring new surroundings, so taking them outside on a nice day is a great way to give him a fun workout.
You’ll need to do a little prep work first, of course. You can’t just take him into your backyard and let him lose.
A DIY run is a good way to go. Check out the video at the end of this section for a tutorial.
The fun part? Watching him “popcorn” all over the place as he feels the grass beneath his toes and the sun on his cute cavy face.
2. Teach them tricks
Guinea pigs are remarkably smart, which makes them incredibly trainable.
Don’t believe me? Check out this insanely adorable video of one piggy doing his whole repertoire of tricks all at once.
We’ll talk about how to train your guinea pig in more detail in the future. For now, here’s a great guide!
Trick training isn’t just one of the most fun ways to exercise your guinea pig, it’s also a fabulous way to strengthen your bond.
3. Play with fun DIY toys together
Cavies LOVE playing with toys, and they’re not terribly picky about them. While you can certainly buy guinea pig toys, they’re just as easy to make.
You don’t need much for the toys in the video below. Some paper bags and empty toilet paper rolls (remove the adhesive first) can go a long way.
Other fun DIY toy ideas include:
- A snuffle mat made with fleece
- A sock stuffed with bedding or hay
- Tunnels made from empty cardboard oatmeal containers
Squeaks and Nibbles has a great list of DIY toys, along with safety tips.
4. Play hide and seek with treats
Piggies love hide and seek, especially when the “seek” part involves finding tasty treats!
Before you take your cavy to his play area, hide a few piggy-safe veggies around the room.
You may need to get your piggy started with the hunt by guiding him to the first few.
Once you’ve played this a couple of times, though, your piggy will know what to do!
FYI, if you want a fantastic list of safe fruits & veggies, I use this one on Happy Cavy. It’s color-coded and printable (I keep it on my phone so I can refer to it when shopping).
5. Build a cavy course
This fun way to exercise your guinea pig combines some of the ideas above with a few new elements.
A cavy obstacle course can be as simple as a few boxes connected by bridges in your piggy’s playroom or as complex as a massive course set up in their outdoor run.
The video below shows a simple setup. Aside from the little bridges, everything is made from things you have in your home.
What about exercise wheels & balls?
You’ll notice that I completely left exercise wheels and balls off the list. There’s a good reason for that. They’re dangerous.
Now, when I say “exercise balls,” I’m talking about the type that you stick your pig into and close up. You know, like the kind hamsters love.
Piggies are not hamsters, however. Their spines weren’t made to bend backward.
Sticking them in anything that forces them to bend like that can cause horrific pain and permanent damage. That goes for both balls and wheels.
Fortunately, there are so many other safe and fun ways to exercise your guinea pig that won’t cause pain or paralysis, like the five ideas above!
Do you have any other favorite fun ways to exercise your guinea pig? Share below!