There’s been a few instances where I’ve heard someone say their guinea pig doesn’t like toys. And that starts the discussion of what are guinea pig toys?
Guinea pig toys are natural materials you fill their environment with that encourage natural behaviors.
What guinea pig wouldn’t like that? The toys we're talking about today are handmade on a farm in Virgina, USA. Check out this video to learn a little more about where and how the magic happens!
In order to learn exactly what I mean by natural materials and natural behaviors I have put together a list of guinea pig toys. Let’s walk through what you should be looking for when creating the ultimate environment for your guinea pig to thrive in.
Guinea Pig Toys In The Wild
Where to start, where to start. Ah yes, in the wild! What are guinea pigs doing in the wild? In the wild, a guinea pig would have a job to do every day, find food!
They spend most of their day foraging which includes exploring, pulling, and tugging! They also dig tunnels and find hiding places. Because in the wild you never know what could be around the corner.
When you give a guinea pig a safe cage with unlimited hay you take the job away. They get everything they need except the mental stimulation that they would get if they had the job of staying safe and fed.
There are a lot of ways you can get your guinea pig back on the job. And no I don’t mean introducing predators or taking their food away.
Guinea pig toys should inspire them to explore, tug, pull, and hide. Guinea pigs will explore when they’re given new things. You need to be changing their environment in order to get them curious. Playing starts with a little bit of curiosity!
Mobiles hang from your guinea pig’s cage. They get your guinea pig reaching and pulling as the mobile moves away from them. Sounds a lot like a shrub hanging in the wild!
The mistake many people make is they get mobiles that aren’t made from natural materials. Which is where you lose the shrub comparison.
Chemicals and dyes can be added to guinea pig toys and ruin the natural environment. Now you don’t even want your guinea pig to explore!
This is usually the case with guinea pig toys made in China. When a company doesn't tell you exactly what is in a product that means they don't want you to know.
This Hay and Twig Mobile has hay cubes that encourage your guinea pig to chew off the hay. They also have either akebia, blackberry stem, apple twigs, cattail, lambs quarter stems, sunroot or sunflower stems (depending on the season and what’s available). So they get to explore new materials as well.
Here you are motivating them with food! Just like our wild friends.
Balls introduce your guinea pig to chasing! Now their hay is on the move. That is if you have a ball made from natural, edible materials.
A plastic ball thrown in their cage takes away the motivation of food. It also introduces them to unnatural materials that can be harmful when ingested.
Anything in your guinea pig’s cage needs to be safe for them to eat. Because I’m sure you aren’t planning on hanging out by their cage supervising all day!
A Meadow Ball is made from meadow grass twisted and weaved together into a tight ball. And this Willow Ball gives them a whole different texture as they nibble the bark.
Sticks and Chews
There’s actually another job that all guinea pigs have: to chew their teeth down. Their teeth are always growing so they must always be chewing!
This is why they need plenty of things to chew on in their environment. And plenty of sticks keep their home natural. And tasty. All guinea pig toys should be made for chewing.
There are plenty of natural sticks, twists, and rings to add to your cavy’s space. You can also get birch, aspen, or maple logs.
Fill up their environment and then let your guinea pigs rearrange things! The Wonderland Play Table has mobiles, logs, a platform, and a dig mat all in one large toy. If you have room for a big toy, this is the one to get!
Hideouts and Tunnels
Guinea pigs love to dig and make tunnels. With an indoor habitat, this isn’t always possible.
A lot of guinea pigs can be happy without piles of bedding to dig in if they have lots of hay, sticks, and other guinea pig toys to explore. But one of the most important toys to have in their enclosure is a good hideout.
Hideouts and tunnels give them a place to feel safe and it also gives you a place to hide treats and surprises for them to find as they explore each day. Encouraging them to forage!
Ah, more natural jobs are being brought to the domestic world.
We want your little one to reap all the benefits these all-natural, handmade toys will provide! Shop the Small Pet Select toys you know your furry friend will love, and use discount code GUINEAPIG10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your order. Your furry friend will love you for it. We promise.