Guinea pigs benefit greatly from daily out-of-cage playtime. This time gives you a chance to interact with them, and allows them to get a good run. Play areas should have things that cater to guinea pigs’ need to tunnel, explore, and hid. These things do do not have to be fancy or expensive.
- Take a paper grocery bag, cut a hole out of at least one side, and lay the open bag in the play area.
- Empty oatmeal containers (especially the super-size ones) with the bottoms cut out.
- PVC pipe or landscape tubing, both of which are washable. The landscape tubing, available at places like Home Depot (usually in the same aisle as PVC pipe), is typically half the price of the more colorful tunnels found in pet stores.
- Wood tunnels, found in pet stores and online pet supply e-tailers.
- Fleece and fabric tunnels and cozy sacks. You can make your own, or purchase them; they’re often found in the same aisle as ferret supplies.
The play area needs to be fully enclosed, where guinea pigs cannot get their teeth into walls, carpets, or electrical or phone cords…and so they can’t get lost in the house or trapped under or behind furniture. You can find small pet fences at pet stores (we’ve seen them at PetSmart) and online e-tailers.
Alternatively, you can create a perimeter fence using Neat Cubes. Place old towels, lightweight blankets, or large pieces of fleece on the bottom of the play area to protect your carpets and floors; some people even purchase inexpensive pieces of vinyl flooring remnants (from Home Depot and other stores) between the towels/blankets and the floor as an extra layer of protection.