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 and activities or other simple ways add more stimulation to your guinea pig’s life.
Further below this first 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
- Get a foldable exercise pen or piggy proof a room in your house and give your guinea pigs some daily floor time outside of their cage. They love the change of scenery, and it helps them get some much-needed regular exercise.
- Trick train. While they are out for their daily floor time, it’s easy to fit in a quick training session as well. 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.
- Voluntary lap time. Lots of people get their piggies 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.
- Upgrade or re-arrange their cage. If you are able to, guinea pigs love the open space of a C&C cage or Midwest cage (pictured below.) 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 set up a space where they can roam outside of their cage for longer periods of time.
- 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.
- Take them 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. Make sure you supervise them closely while they’re outside, or ensure that they are fully enclosed with a cage to keep them safe from predators.
- Toss treats around the room 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.
- Make your guinea pig a snuffle mat and hide treats in it. A snuffle mat (pictured above) 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, 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.
- Do a photo shoot. Pictures provide valuable memories in the future that you will surely look back 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.
- 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.
- Offer your guinea pig new foods. Search up a list of guinea pig-safe foods and experiment by offering your guinea pig a few different foods that they’ve never tried before. You may find a new favorite food that they really love.
- Muffin tin game (pictured above.) 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 a treat 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.
- Show your guinea pig videos of other guinea pigs. Especially videos of guinea pigs 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!) but 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.
List of Toys for Guinea Pigs
- 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 best 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.
- 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.
- Apple tree branches. Sticks and branches from apple trees are healthy for guinea pigs, and great for their teeth in particular. Guinea pigs love to chew, so these provide a good outlet for any boredom related chewing, and keep their teeth grinded 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 apple tree sticks for your guinea pigs instead just to be on the safe side.
- Tunnels! 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!)
- Cat toy balls. These can be good for guinea pigs if 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fleece hideaways, cuddle cups, and more! There are countless handmade fleece items made specifically for guinea pigs, and most pigs absolutely love them. A quick Etsy or google search for “guinea pig fleece accessories” turns up lots of options.
- 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.)
- Cinder blocks or bricks. Cinder blocks can be good to help wear down nails, especially when placed under a hay rack or water bottle. They can also help absorb extra water drips when put under a water bottle.
- 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.
- Toilet paper tube. 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.
- 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.
- Big 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.
Wheeky Treat Ball. These little balls are great for exercise and engagement. There’s an adjustable hole on one side where you can put treats inside, and the guinea pigs roll it around until some food drops out.
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 just 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.
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.