Saturday, January 27, 2007
Is your Guinea Pig Bored?
keeping your cavy interested.....

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What should you put in the cage to keep your guinea pig interested? Here's where you get to be creative. A popular item is 4-inch PVC pipe from house supply stores; it lasts much longer than cardboard tunnels and can be cleaned easily. Plus, it can't be eaten! A shelter of some sort is necessary, though some will argue that a hiding place will make your guinea pig more skittish. However, guinea pigs are "run and hide" creatures, so yours will need some sort of dark refuge. A house can be as elaborate as you can build it, or as simple as a cardboard box. My suggestion: make it a three-sided shelter, so your guinea pig is under something, but can still see you (and you can see them).

Climbing toys are good and include wood blocks, flowerpots, cut tree branches, and wooden platforms with ramps. Remember to keep climbing things low; a fall can seriously injure a guinea pig, and they're a little daft when it comes heights.

Many owners suggest bird toys or ferret toys for guinea pigs; try anything, as long as it:

1. Can be eaten or chewed without risk of choking;

2. Does not have sharp edges or anything that can harm a guinea pig;

3. Won't take up too much room in the cage; and

4. Isn't too narrow (tubes) or small for your piggy.

Some guinea pigs love squeaky toys,Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting or little cat toys with bells in them. Others will try to destroy anything you put in the cage! You'll have to try a few different things to see what toys your guinea pig likes. When trying out new toys, it's good to think like a toddler: can you chew it, or lick it (like Onion)? Will it break if you throw it around?
a list of safe toys for your guinea pig

* thick PVC pipe (short sections)
* Pigloos, with a larger entry hole cut in them
* terra cotta flowerpots
* carboard boxes (no glue, staples, plastic)
* bricks or tile
* wood blocks
* fruit tree branches, chemical-free

* guinea pig toys, safe for chewing
* tennis balls
* straw chew/hide balls
* ferret toys safe for chewing
* safe squeaky toys
* cat/dog toys with bells in them
* wooden baby blocks

wheels, balls and other hazards....Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Do not buy rodent wheels for your guinea pig, even if they say "for guinea pigs." The bars on the wheel can easily injure a foot, and guinea pigs are simply not made for them: they are heavier than rodents and not as nimble for such a fast-moving contraption. Your cavy can easily break a foot in a rodent wheel. Those big plastic balls are marketed as being ideal for guinea pigs, but 99% of the guinea pigs in the world will sit, terrified, in the ball. This plastic ball is too disorienting for guinea pigs; it cuts them off from their environment, and doesn't allow them to really see where they're going. It's much better to just let your piggy roam in the kitchen, with a few towels thrown on the floor. Keep all wires, small spaces and other hazards out of your guinea pig's way during floortime.

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