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How To Spoil Your Guinea Pig

Updated on May 28, 2010

So, you've brought a guinea pig (or two) into your home.

Have they taken over yet?

Anyone guinea pig owner will tell you that they very quickly wrap their human owners around their little front paws -- turning them into slaves who go out of their way to provide their guinea pig masters with everything they could possibly want. After awhile, you don't notice, much less mind, that you're treating yourself to fewer lattes at Starbucks or a few less new books from Barnes & Noble. The furkids are happy -- that's all that matters.

Decadent Treat of the Month

Indulgence Is Just A Grocery Trip Away

You know that frilly looking green stuff that you see in your salads at restaurants? Did you know that you can buy it at the grocery store?

Your guinea pigs do, and they've been impatiently tapping their little feet waiting for you to find out!

Frisee is found near the lettuce in your grocery store, slipped in between the Belgian endive and the fresh parsley on the display shelves. It's the perfect addition to a guinea pig's daily salad, adding a little bit of bite and a little bit of texture that complements softer lettuce leaves like green leaf and red leaf. It does have to be refrigerated and, even in the fridge and even in a produce-friendly plastic container, it has a short shelf life. Given the way guinea pigs inhale it, though, I doubt you'll ever have to worry about it spoiling!

The Lap Of Luxury

Helping Your Piggies Sleep Like Royalty

These wonderful critter beds are handmade by Marsha Weaver through her Alabama-based business The Cozy Cavy.

They are incredibly soft, warm, and cozy creations, and are available in a variety of fabrics that you can choose for yourself -- or let Marsha pick for you. These were a huge hit with the guinea pigs in our rescue -- even the pigs who'd previously turned up their little noses at the cozy cups commonly found in pet stores. They're sure to be equally well-loved by your critters!

Recently, Marsha started making and selling Cozy Saks. Equally soft and warm, they feature a design that makes them easier to wash and dry.

Nap Time Shouldn't Mean Ho-Hum Time - Sure, Every Pig Has A Pigloo But Your Pig Wants Something Different

Just giving your guinea pigs a cage is not enough. They need something within their habitat that accommodates their natural instinct to tunnel, nest, and hide. And plain wooden houses and pigloos are so boring! Where's the color? Whatever happened to pizazz?

There are many other...ahem...fashionable options to choose from. Doesn't your pig deserve more than ho-hum in his/her cage? And, by the way, when was the last time you changed things up in the enclosed play areas?

Kaytee Tropical Fiddle Sticks Hideout, Large
Kaytee Tropical Fiddle Sticks Hideout, Large

A tunnel/shelter that can accommodate a couple of guinea pigs (assuming that either one is willing to share). Fiddle Sticks shelters are typically "prime real estate" in both cages and play areas.

 
Pets International Tropical Hide Out Large
Pets International Tropical Hide Out Large

A sturdy wooden house large enough to accommodate a couple of full-grown guinea pigs.

 
OXBOW PET PRODUCTS 448153 Timothy Club Bungalow for Pets, Large
OXBOW PET PRODUCTS 448153 Timothy Club Bungalow for Pets, Large

For the guinea pig who really wants to hide out for a while, this bungalow is just the trick. As the bungalow is quite large, we recommend for C&C cages that are 2x3 or larger. Warning: Baby and adolescent guinea pigs really love this bungalow -- you'll have a tough time luring them out (though enticing them with carrots or a leaf of lettuce should do the trick)!

 
OXBOW PET PRODUCTS 448151 Timothy Club Lounger for Pets, Small
OXBOW PET PRODUCTS 448151 Timothy Club Lounger for Pets, Small

A comfy (and edible) lounger that will accommodate a full-grown guinea pig or a couple of youngsters. To make it even more comfy, line the bottom with a piece of fleece or a fleece pad from The Cozy Cavy!

 

Fine Dinnerware - Discriminating tastes demand distinctive dinnerware

You've given your guinea pigs the best of everything -- the biggest cage you can afford, the plushest cozy cups, the best food -- so why give them a mediocre food dish?

Pigs At Play

Daily out-of-cage playtime is essential to your guinea pig's well-being. More than just getting out of their cage, it gives your guinea pig the opportunity to explore a different environment, interact with family members, and burn off some energy.

Play time starts with an enclosed play area -- an area that gives guinea pigs plenty of room to run and romp without risk of finding, biting, or getting tangled up in electrical wires and without risk of getting stuck under or behind furniture and appliances.

Create a play area with different toys and accessories than the ones in your guinea pig's cage, and change up the contents and the layout of the play area regularly so that your critter doesn't get bored.

Marshall Ferret Leisure Lodge Frog
Marshall Ferret Leisure Lodge Frog

For extended play sessions, it's good to give your guinea pigs a place to hide and nap. Not really suitable for use in guinea pig cages, it is a good way to jazz up your pigs' play area with something different to explore.

 
Super Pet FerreTrail Fuzz-E-Funnel
Super Pet FerreTrail Fuzz-E-Funnel

This super-long tunnel is wide enough in diameter to accommodate even portly guinea pigs, and features several entrances to facilitate lively chases and games of hide-and-seek.

 

Playtime On A Budget - Flexible & Inexpensive Alternatives For Your Pigs' Play Area

While the fencing products in "Pigs At Play" are great, some people want more flexibility when they build their pigs' play area. Maybe they want it to be long and rectangular, or L-shaped, or U-shaped, or a just a really large square. They want something that's high enough to prevent their furkids from getting loose, but not so high that it looks like they're trying to contain a labrador puppy.

With quick trips to familiar retailers, you can find everything you need to create a flexible, long-lasting, and safe play area.

  • Neat Cubes or similar wire-grid storage solutions to serve as the fence walls around the play area. These storage cubes can be found at Target, Linens & Things, and office supply stores. Fasten them together (with the accompanying round connectors) just as you would for storage cubes or for C&C Cages.
  • Bath towels, sheets, cotton or fleece blankets, or yardage of fleece or terry cloth from your nearby fabric store, to serve as the floor of the play area. These materials are washable, soft, warm, and give your guinea pigs' feet needed traction while they play. Wash these materials at least once a week in warm or hot water.
  • Remnants of vinyl flooring, found at Home Depot, Lowe's, or other home improvement stores. Cut the remnant to the size of your play area, with a couple of inches to spare all the way around. Put the flooring remnant under your towels/blankets. The flooring remnant will protect your carpets/floors from the moisture that would otherwise soak through the towels and stain your carpet/floor.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have baby guinea pigs, Neat Cubes, similar storage solutions, and many pet fence products are not suitable! The open spaces in these products are large enough that a baby guinea pig could get through and escape, or could get partway through before getting stuck -- and getting hurt. For the few months that they're that little, use storage cube solutions that use mesh panels instead of grids. Later, when the babies are older and bigger, you can replace the mesh grids with the wire grids and move the mesh grids off to another purpose.

More Ways To Spoil Your Guinea Pigs - Suggestions From Our Blog Archives

We do a wide range of product recommendations over on our blog, Guinea Pig Connection. Here's some of our past reviews.

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