Exercise Questions For Slightly New Pigs

kate4001

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Hi everyone, I just had a few questions about guinea pig exercise and was wondering if anyone could weigh in. I recently adopted 2 guinea pigs in November, Nutmeg and Pumpkin. An american and an abby. Pumpkin is still a baby and has lots of cute happy energy. Nutmeg is also young and likes to engage in the occasional popcorning fit. I was told when I rescued them to let them have floor time in my room. I did, against my parents wishes (I am 16). I just kept the door shut when “chocolates” were being cleaned off the floor after my piggies had been out. I would leave them out for hours on end, they ran around the whole room and had the time of their lives. Recently we developed ringworm, and this brought up a few questions for me about the disinfecting of the rug. There is no way I am supposed to be disinfecting the rug every time they exercise, right? Carpeting seems like it could hold so many germs and illnesses... Once they developed ringworm I had them in their cages for months on end. Their home is made up of two midwestern cages put the long way so it takes up almost the whole length of one side of my room. They run up and down between the two cages, I think they have like 6 ft of room to run. We have already gone outside this season on one hot day a few weeks ago. I also have a nice sized-playpen that just came for them. Am I doing enough? I am planning on letting them run on some tile or hardwood floors when I eventually get my own place in about a year. They seem dang exhausted all the time and all day they run across the cages, but I just wanted to confirm that I’m not letting them be little couch potatoes. I would love to hear any advice and creativity on how to give them the best amount of space for my situation right now.
 

GuineaPigsPipPumpandJG

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Do you have a garden? If you do, I would recommend getting a predator-proof outdoor run for your piggies to run around in (remember to provide lots of hideys!) Or, if you have a conservatory, I recommend sectioning off a part of it so it is safe for your piggies and let them run about in there (If it has hard floor). Also, provide a box that your Guinea pigs can sit in, with some hay/ bedding, i've found that they will poop in the box and this reduces mess. Hope this helps!
(also i've tried exercising my pigs on carpet but they just weed on it and it was hard to clean up lol)
 

Piggies&buns

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Having a good sized cage to give them plenty of space to move around is good.
They will appreciate time out of their cage though into a larger space for exercise. If you can let them out a couple of times a week it would be of benefit to them. If you can put some some plastic sheeting on the floor with some fleece blankets on top for them to run on, that will help protect the floor.
Equally an outdoor run is nice, if they can have access to that and some grass. Obviously there are safety aspects to take into account there - are they safe from predators and heat
 

kate4001

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Do you have a garden? If you do, I would recommend getting a predator-proof outdoor run for your piggies to run around in (remember to provide lots of hideys!) Or, if you have a conservatory, I recommend sectioning off a part of it so it is safe for your piggies and let them run about in there (If it has hard floor). Also, provide a box that your Guinea pigs can sit in, with some hay/ bedding, i've found that they will poop in the box and this reduces mess. Hope this helps!
(also i've tried exercising my pigs on carpet but they just weed on it and it was hard to clean up lol)
Haha, I get the bit about the pee, I had little spots all over my room... One of the reasons I wanted to get guinea pigs was to let them run outside in the grass and graze, I thought it was the cutest thing ;). My parents are actually selling our house, so our grass has been sprayed with chemicals... I hadn’t thought of the idea of sectioning off some non-carpeted floor with some pee pads, I’ll have to see if I can do this! I also love the cardboard box idea, I have two corner litterboxes that are always a nice reminder of where to poo for them. Thank you for this great idea, you definitely helped!
 

kate4001

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Having a good sized cage to give them plenty of space to move around is good.
They will appreciate time out of their cage though into a larger space for exercise. If you can let them out a couple of times a week it would be of benefit to them. If you can put some some plastic sheeting on the floor with some fleece blankets on top for them to run on, that will help protect the floor.
Equally an outdoor run is nice, if they can have access to that and some grass. Obviously there are safety aspects to take into account there - are they safe from predators and heat
Thanks so much for your reply. I love the idea of plastic sheeting! So I would only have to let them out a few times a week then? I get a little confused as some people seem to have all the energy and take their pigs out every day! Especially cause my pigs are a bit new, its a little hard for me to move them around so much... We actually have been going outside on pee pads, which makes me so sad because they desperately want to eat the grass underneath and even manage to steal a few blades of it. Unfortunately it was sprayed with chemicals only a year ago, so I am still nervous to let them snack on it. Someday I want to have one of those expensive beautiful runs for them so they can eat organic grass, but until then I like the indoor ideas I’ve been getting. Thanks again for commenting!
 

Piggies&buns

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As much exercise and interaction time as you can give them is good. Yes the more often is better, but a few times a week isn’t a problem. When they are new, they need time to settle and realise it’s safe.

My piggies live in a hutch in my shed, so they have daylight hours access every day out of the hutch to play in the shed floor, or on nice days they come outside into the lawn (which is every day in summer) or if it is too hot outside, then they come into my house and has their exercise time in my living room where it’s cooler. But In winter, it’s too cold for them to come out into their shed and they can’t come in the house because the temperature fluctuation is too great for them, so during the winter, they may only get time out of their hutch a couple of times a week at most - if it is a very cold winter, then they won’t be coming out at all.
 

kate4001

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As much exercise and interaction time as you can give them is good. Yes the more often is better, but a few times a week isn’t a problem. When they are new, they need time to settle and realise it’s safe.

My piggies live in a hutch in my shed, so they have daylight hours access every day out of the hutch to play in the shed floor, or on nice days they come outside into the lawn (which is every day in summer) or if it is too hot outside, then they come into my house and has their exercise time in my living room where it’s cooler. But In winter, it’s too cold for them to come out into their shed and they can’t come in the house because the temperature fluctuation is too great for them, so during the winter, they may only get time out of their hutch a couple of times a week at most - if it is a very cold winter, then they won’t be coming out at all.
I know what you mean about temperature fluctuation, I live in New England, and during a cold winter night one of my family members accidentally shut off the heat. I mummified their cage in blankets with just the top of one cage open to the air. They were popcorning and loving it, it must have made them feel safe. I get how you don’t take them out in the cold winter in a different way, I really feel like my pigs hibernate-on rainy days they are especially sleepy. They seem to be waking up and having more energy now that it is springtime. It felt a little weird for me to be pulling them out to play when they were so comfy and drowsy. Glad to know I’m not the only one!
 
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