We all love having a pet in the house, and there is a wide range of pets to work with. Most people have small spaces or more obligations, so they can’t manage dogs or other large pets. The best choice is a smaller pet like a cat or an adorable guinea pig for such people.
Guinea pigs are small, cute, quiet, furry creatures that you will love having in your house. Since they will make you happier, it’s only fair you do the same for them. Let us get into the details and understand the question at hand.
Do Guinea Pigs Need A Wheel?
No, guinea pigs don’t need a wheel, and you must not put a wheel in a guinea pig’s cage. Wheels can be dangerous for guinea pigs as they can cause serious back injuries because of their anatomy.
You can get other ways for the guinea pig to play, but a running wheel is a recipe for disaster.
Understanding Why You Should Not Get A Wheel For Your Guinea Pig
Most people get toys for all their pets as a general thing without getting into details. Small pets like hamsters will do great with a wheel or exercise ball, not guinea pigs. Let us get into the details and see why wheels are so dangerous for guinea pigs;
Hamsters and rats are smaller, more agile, and flexible. They can go into the when, and their bodies, especially the back, can deal with the curve. Their size and flexibility make a wheel or exercise ball a great exercise option.
The case is different for guinea pigs which are bigger, slower, and less flexible. A wheel will curve the guinea pig in an unhealthy position.
Guinea pigs have a very fragile spine and weak bones, so using a wheel will hurt them in the long run.
The repercussions can be more immediate if the guinea pig breaks their back on the wheel. Such an injury can be fatal, so don’t get a hamster wheel for your guinea pig.
The Best Exercise Options For Guinea Pigs
You can’t use a wheel, but it is still important for your guinea pigs to have enrichment toys. They need to play, exercise, and think to have fun and live healthier lives. There are numerous choices to go with here, so let us help you figure out the best one;
1. Providing a large cage
Guinea pigs like to move around, so the easiest way to allow for exercise is to give them space. This means you need to get a big cage with more places to explore.
Larger habitats will encourage the guinea pig to run and burn calories.
Additionally, allowing the guinea pig time to run outside the cage will help. Make sure the space is secure and safe for the guinea pig. Free run time is important for physical and mental stimulation.
Guinea pigs are explorers, and they will appreciate every chance to go into new environments. Please don’t put too much space since they might get confused and scared.
2. Outside playpen
You must have noticed how excited your guinea pig gets once it is in the yard. Automatically, their hearts will start pumping, and they will begin to run around, which is good exercise. You can get an outdoor playpen to allow your pet time in the sun.
Guinea pigs will love playing in the grass, and it is probably the best form of exercise. Use a pen with a top cover for safety since hawks and eagles hunt small animals.
You must ensure the backyard is secure so you don’t have stray dogs or cats hunting your guinea pig.
3. Obstacle courses and play tunnels
An obstacle course is another great way to make your guinea pig more active. This is a DIY project, and you can add safe parts to make it whatever size that works for you. You can get creative and use boxes, paper towel tubes, ramps, etc.
Mazes will help the guinea pig move long distances in small spaces, which will be good exercise.
A play tunnel will excite the explorer in your guinea pig, leading to exercise. You can install it anywhere, and once the pet finishes, fold it for storage.
4. Get another guinea pig.
The best way to make a guinea pig more active is to provide a playmate. If there are two guinea pigs, they will spend the whole day playing and competing, which will lead to exercise. You can get a favorite veggie like cucumber and give it to one.
The other guinea pig will steal it, leading to a reaction that will become an exciting game. Of course, a great part of any organism is the diet, which applies to guinea pigs. Get enough veggies, pellets, and water for proper weight and activity levels.
What Do Guinea Pigs Need?
Guinea pigs are fragile little creatures. You need to take good care of them to make sure they live long.
An essential part of this is getting everything the guinea pig needs to survive. A good pet owner must research and prepare for the pet. Here is what you need for your guinea pig;
1. A hutch or cage and hidey
It is crucial not to mess up when choosing a cage for your guinea pig. This might be expensive, but it must be practical, safe, and high quality. The enclosure is your pet’s home, so you need to give them the best you can afford.
Guinea pigs need a large cage to move around freely. If you have two females, the cage should not be less than 120cm by 60cm.
Male pairs will need a bigger space, about 160cm by 60cm, and bigger is always better when dealing with guinea pig cages.
Guinea pigs will need a hidey to hide and feel safe. They will become scared if they lack this option in their cage. Guinea pigs like their own space, so install a hidey for each guinea pig so they don’t get moody.
Rest is as crucial for your guinea pig as it is for you; therefore, you must get suitable bedding for the guinea pig.
There are many options, but the most popular are fleece cage liners, wood and paper shavings, and cloth.
You will need to get bedding when you first get your guinea pigs, but you also have to buy it regularly.
The guinea pigs need a clean environment, so you must change the bedding to keep them healthy.
You can use a fleece liner, which might be expensive, but they make your life easier. You can clean and put them back in the cage rather than having to replace the bedding. Disposable bedding creates a lot of waste, and you must replace it regularly.
3. Feeding Hay
It would help if you had high-quality hay suitable for guinea pigs. You must ensure the hay is available for your guinea pigs all day.
Hay is food, but it has another important job in guinea pigs. It helps wear their teeth down and keep them in the right size.
Missing hay in the cage could cause the teeth to grow out. This can be a serious condition for guinea pigs, so you must avoid it.
Meadow and Timothy’s hay are good options, but several types will work great for your little buddies.
4. Guinea pig pellets
You will need pellets specific for guinea pigs, and you must give them a portion each day. Pellets are important for guinea pigs since they have the nutrition for their dietary needs.
on’t use pellets for rabbits or other small pets since they have different nutritional requirements.
Read the instructions on the packaging and feed the right amounts. Underfeeding or overfeeding your hamster can cause health complications.
You need at least two food bowls, one for pellets and the other for vegetables depending on how many guinea pigs you have.
5. Drinking bottle and feeder
Guinea pigs need a lot of clean water, so you must have a drinking bottle. It would be best if you didn’t get a bowl since it gets dirty, and they won’t drink it. Use a bottle, preferably a glass one, since it will not deteriorate.
A hay feeder is an essential item to buy when getting guinea pigs. A hay feeder will keep the hay clean since guinea pigs won’t eat contaminated hay. Use wooden feeders that are safe for the guinea pigs. Metal feeders can trap the guinea pig and cause injuries.
Referring to the question, do guinea pigs need a wheel? We hope this article has been helpful to you. You must get the right toys and exercise accessories for your guinea pigs. Wheels will hurt the guinea pig’s spine, which could be fatal and unhealthy.
There are other ways to help the guinea pig exercise without putting it in danger. A maze or larger cage will allow the hamster more space to move. Running and obstacle courses are great forms of exercise that will keep your guinea pig in shape.