There are several ways you can make your guinea pig’s life more interesting and enrich their day-to-day routine. The list below has some ideas for little games, activities, and other simple ways to add more stimulation to your guinea pig’s life.
Further below this list, you will also find a bunch of ideas for toys that guinea pigs love, including some you can make yourself with stuff from around the house.
Video: 21 Things To Do With Your Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pig Enrichment Activities, Games, and More Ideas
1. Floor Time!
2. Teach Your Guinea Pig Tricks
While they are out for their daily floor time, it’s easy to fit in a quick training session as well. There are so many cool tricks you can teach your guinea pig, including standing up to beg or running in a circle.
Guinea pigs don’t learn a lot overnight, but training for just 5 minutes a day can result in some pretty cool tricks and a happier and more engaged piggy.
3. Voluntary Cuddles
Many people get their guinea pigs out to sit on their lap and watch TV with them, but not many give their guinea pigs the option.
With my piggies, I often sit cross-legged on the floor with them, take a handful of veggies, and encourage them to climb up on my lap. They all love this and purr happily while devouring their veggies and being cuddled.
I started this when I first brought home my guinea pig Ace, who absolutely hated being touched. It proved to be a great bonding tactic, as he now jumps on my lap all the time whenever he wants something, and he loves being pet (especially head rubs) even when I don’t have any veggies around.
4. Upgrade or Re-Arrange the Cage
If you are able to, guinea pigs love the open space of a C&C cage or Midwest cage. The bigger their cage, the more toys, tunnels, or hidey huts you can put in for them, and the more space they’ll have to popcorn and race around.
You can even attach an exercise pen or other little fence to the cage, so they can go in and out as they please.
If you don’t have the space for a bigger cage, you can still upgrade their living environment by putting toys in their cage, switching the cage accessories around for a change of scenery, or setting up a space where they can roam outside of their cage for longer periods of time.
5. Set up a Play Area
Set up a play area outside of their cage. For this, you can set up something relatively simple or get as creative as you want. It can be fun to arrange an obstacle course or playground and watch your guinea pig run around and explore all the new things.
Some things you could set up in their play area include tunnels, toys, shredded paper, boxes, tents made from blankets, balls stuffed with lettuce, paper rolls with hay stuffed inside, or anything else you can think of. The guinea pig toys list below has even more possibilities.
6. Take Your Guinea Pigs Outside
If the weather is cooperative, it can be nice to get your guinea pigs outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery. Guinea pigs love to eat fresh grass and dandelion greens (make sure it is untreated first!) and are sure to enjoy some time out of the house.
It’s important to set up an exercise pen outdoors so they can’t run off or slip out of the yard if they get spooked. Also make sure you supervise your guinea pigs closely while they’re outside, or ensure that they are fully enclosed with a cage to keep them safe from predators.
7. Hide Treats for Your Guinea Pig to Find
A simple game that guinea pigs often enjoy is searching for hidden treats. Break up their favorite veggies into bite-sized pieces, and spread them across the room for your guinea pig to look for.
You can even hide them inside tunnels or behind other objects for more of a challenge.
If your guinea pig has trouble finding any of the treats, you can help show them where the treats are or make the game easier for them by choosing easier hiding spots for the treats or just leaving them out in the middle of the floor instead.
8. Make Your Guinea Pig a Snuffle Mat
Another thing you can do is make your guinea pig a snuffle mat and hide treats in it. A snuffle mat is most often used for dogs. You can hide treats inside and give them the mat to sniff out and find the food.
However, snuffle mats don’t need to be limited to just dogs! Miniature pigs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, or any other animal can also use snuffle mats to find their favorite treats.
You can purchase snuffle mats on Etsy.com or make your own with a plastic or rubber mat and some strips of fleece. This tutorial on YouTube explains how to make your own snuffle mat step by step.
9. Do a Photoshoot
Pictures provide valuable memories in the future that you will surely look back on and smile at. Guinea pigs are super cute and lots of fun to photograph. Grab some veggies to keep them occupied and still, and see what kind of photos you can snap of your pigs.
You can also hide treats on top of or around objects and try to get some action shots of your guinea pig climbing up or peeking around for the treats. You can even set up a little scene or do your photo shoot outside for a nature theme.
10. Get Videos of Your Guinea Pig
Get video footage of the cute or funny things your guinea pig does. This can be tricky, but if you watch your guinea pig’s daily routine a little, you may start to pick up on certain patterns.
Perhaps they popcorn around first thing every morning or adorably flop down and yawn after their evening snack. If you can get some cute clips and put them together, you can make a nice little compilation video of all your piggy’s best quirks and cutest moments.
12. Muffin Tin Game
For this game, you will need a few small balls that your guinea pig can pick up easily and a muffin tin (tins for miniature muffins work best for guinea pigs.)
Hide treats in some of the holes and place a ball over them. You may need to teach your guinea pig how to pick up a ball or show them where the treats are at first until they understand this game a bit better. Once they learn the concept of this game, they’ll have lots of fun uncovering all the treats.
13. Show Your Guinea Pig Videos of Other Guinea Pigs
It’s a lot of fun to show your guinea pig videos of other guinea pigs. Videos of piggies chatting or squealing excitedly are often a hit. Your guinea pig may react to the sounds they hear or even run around or popcorn in response.
Toys for Guinea Pigs
It can be difficult to find toys made specifically for guinea pigs (and sometimes even more difficult to find toys they actually like!)
However, having toys for your guinea pigs can help with boredom, increase exercise, and encourage them to chew more, which is important to prevent their teeth from becoming overgrown.
The list below has all kinds of toy ideas, from tunnels to balls to chew things, and also some cheap DIY guinea pig toy ideas you can make quickly and easily in your own home.
Keep in mind that many of these toys should be used under supervision, as piggies can sometimes chew on things they shouldn’t or get stuck in things. Always keep your guinea pig’s safety in mind first and foremost!
List of Toys for Guinea Pigs
1. Sock Stuffed With Hay or Bedding
Give your guinea pig a sock stuffed with hay or bedding. You can also leave them empty or put a tennis ball in the toe. Some guinea pigs love to drag these around or use them as a pillow, and it’s a great way to reuse an old pair of socks.
It’s important to tie off the open end of the sock before giving them to your guinea pig to eliminate any possibility of getting their head stuck inside the sock.
2. Stuffed Animals
This is kind of similar to the sock idea, as some guinea pigs like to cuddle next to them. If you give your guinea pig a stuffed animal, monitor them with their new toy (especially at first) to make sure they’re not chewing it too much.
If the guinea pig chews through to the stuffing inside the animal, take it away or replace the stuffing with bedding and sew it up again. Also, if there are any hard beads or something similar on the stuffed animal (like the eyes) remove those first, or find a stuffed animal without those hard pieces on it.
3. Apple Tree Sticks and Twigs
Apple tree branches. Sticks and branches from apple trees are healthy for guinea pigs and especially great for their teeth. Guinea pigs love to chew, so these provide a good outlet for any boredom-related chewing, and keep their teeth ground down to a proper length as well.
Fruit trees are often treated with pesticides to prevent the fruit from being eaten by bugs, so be sure that the tree you are getting branches from is untreated. If you are unsure, it’s best to buy a package of organic apple tree sticks for your guinea pigs instead to be on the safe side.
There are countless different types of tunnels you can find for guinea pigs, or you can even use an oatmeal box or something similar from home.
Some tunnels are reusable and washable for long-term use, or you can find some that are made of hay or another chewable material (which is great for piggy teeth!)
Guinea pigs absolutely love to run through tunnels and they make a great addition to your piggy’s cage or floor time play area.
5. Cat Toy Balls
Cat toy balls can be good for guinea pigs as long as you can take the bell out. Also ensure that the ball doesn’t have any narrow spaces where the guinea pig can get a tooth stuck.
If your guinea pig shows little interest in the balls, you can also try stuffing them with lettuce to pique their interest.
6. Cardboard Boxes
Boxes of all shapes and sizes are a hit with guinea pigs. Get a big one and cut holes through the sides for them to run through and play in, or fill them with hay or shredded paper. Guinea pigs also love to chew them and jump inside.
7. PVC Pipe
4 inch wide PVC piping can make a great tunnel for guinea pigs. You can use different attachment shapes to make tunnels that curve and turn in all different directions for your piggies.
8. HayPigs Toys
HayPigs.com specializes in toys for guinea pigs and has unique tunnels and veggie kabobs, as well as fleece beds and hidey huts for guinea pigs.
9. Guinea Pig Fleece Items
A quick Etsy search for “guinea pig fleece accessories” turns up lots of creative handmade options too.
10. Wood Blocks or Shapes
You can buy wood blocks from craft stores, online, or use some toy blocks intended for children. Make sure that the blocks you give to your guinea pigs are untreated plain wood (not shiny looking.)
11. Cinder Blocks or Bricks
Cinder blocks can be good to help wear down nails naturally, especially when placed under a hay rack or water bottle. They can also help absorb extra water drips when put under a water bottle.
12. Chewable Willow Balls
Chewable balls are a lot of fun for guinea pigs to roll around and chew apart. Most guinea pigs love these kinds of toys!
However, I find that guinea pigs often get bored of them after a while, so it’s good to rotate them with other toys to keep things new and interesting.
These chewable play balls come in packs of 3, 4, 6, or 8, so they often last quite a while with guinea pigs.
13. Hay Tunnels
Hay tunnels are another fun toy for guinea pigs! They tend to last a while, and most guinea pigs enjoy running through and chewing them.
Sometimes guinea pigs will pee in them, so I find it best to put the tunnels in less trafficked areas of the cage. Putting them in a dark corner of the cage usually gets them soiled faster, whereas when they are out in the open most guinea pigs will run through them but avoid sitting inside and peeing.
14. Hay Mats
Most guinea pigs love to chew on hay-woven mats. Personally, I like to hang them on the side of the cage bars with zip-ties for the guinea pigs to chew.
This also prevents them from being soiled and ruined before the guinea pigs are finished chewing them up. When they are attached to the side of the cage, I find they last quite a while.
15. Pine Cones
Pine cones are often popular with guinea pigs for chewing and tossing around, and they are easy to collect from outside if you live around a lot of pine trees. You can sterilize the pine cones prior to giving them to your guinea pigs by baking them in the oven at 200° for 20-30 minutes.
16. Toilet Paper Tubes
Guinea pigs often love to chew or toss these around. You can also stuff them with hay or hide treats inside to make them more interesting to a guinea pig.
Before giving them to your piggy, cut a slit down the length of the tube to prevent your guinea pigs from getting stuck in it. It’s also best to supervise your guinea pigs when they have this toy.
17. Paper Bags
These are cheap and easy to give to guinea pigs. Some piggies love to chew or hide in them, or you can stuff them with hay for more entertainment.
18. Piles of Shredded Paper
Guinea pigs love to run through and hide in big piles of shredded paper, and it’s a great way to reuse all your unwanted flyers and newspapers.
19. Treat Balls
Treat balls are great for exercise and engagement. They have an adjustable hole on one side where you can put treats inside, and the guinea pigs roll it around until some food drops out. Sometimes you have to show your guinea pig how to roll it around at first, but once they catch on, this toy is usually a lot of fun for them.
You can load these with your guinea pigs’ regular pellets (perhaps instead of using a bowl?) or dice up some little carrot chunks to put inside. I often use it with pellet food for my piggies, as it gives them some fun and exercise while eating something they would just be getting from a bowl anyway.
20. Crumpled Up Balls of Newspaper
This idea is also pretty simple, but some guinea pigs love to toss or chew crumpled-up paper balls, and they are super easy to make and replace. You can even hide some treats inside and see if that piques your guinea pig’s interest.
There are so many ways to enrich your guinea pig’s life no matter your space and budget. Guinea pigs are often a lot like cats and can be easily entertained by simple things.
Additionally, food is life for piggies, so adding food to any of the ideas above is bound to result in success.
I hope you found some great ideas in this list to try out with your furry potatoes! I also have a creative list of ways to save money with guinea pigs here that you can check out next.