Toys to Hide In
Hideys are good to use out on the floor or in the run to help encourage a feeling of safety, which in turn encourages more exploration. A lot of owners believe strongly in never giving a guinea pig hidey toys, as they feel a guinea pig who is allowed to hide away will struggle to get used to their environment. Many dispute this claim, saying that it is in a guinea pigs nature to run from anything they perceive as a threat, so to take away their safe places (hideys) is unfair and increases the fear the animals feel. These owners say they experience far better results when the animal has been allowed the opportunity to exhibit their natural behaviour, and the guinea pig settles quicker into a new home if allowed to feel secure in the early days. The provision of a hidey house or two is personal choice.
- Plastic step stools
- Cardboard boxes
- Box shelving (found in DIY stores)
- Upside-down bucket (entrance hole cut into the sides)
- Bent-grid tunnels (made by bending a C&C grid)
- Igloos/cocoons (affectionately known as “pigloos” in the guinea pig world)
- Bendy wooden logs (Fiddlestix)
- Wooden huts/log cabins
- Plastic 'waffle' huts
- Wigwams (fabric)
Toys to Snuggle In
Whether it is just a blanket on your lap during your cuddle time, or next to a soft toy in their cage, snuggly toys are becoming increasingly popular as more and more owners realise that their guinea friends can find significant comfort and happiness in all things soft.
- Blankets – fleece or cotton (can be put in a large pile to create a 'blanket mountain' for them to burrow under, or a small piece of material for them to snuggle against)
- Flat pillows/cushions
- Soft teddies – little and large!
- Soft beds aimed at cats, dogs and rabbits
- Winter hats (human)
- “Cuddlecups” or round “beds” aimed specifically towards guinea pigs
- Small-animal sized chairs and beds
- Piggie “sleeping bags”, “cosy sacks” or “snuggle pouches”
Toys to Chew...And Other Fun Toys
Some of these toys are so simple that you may not imagine a guinea ever being stimulated by them, or you can't imagine them ever being interested in something so “not guinea pig”. Try some of them with your guins and see – you may be pleasantly surprised!
- Brown paper bags
- Newspaper balls
- Newspaper tents
- Kitchen/toilet roll tubes
- Empty pots and containers – lightweight and not easy to chew, but good enough to throw around!
- Tennis Balls
- PVC pipe – minimum 4 inch diameter...bigger if the butt is bigger!
- Hanging bird toys
- Bird bells
- Willow toys, vine balls
- Not forgetting, arguably the most fun and natural toy to a guinea pig...an enormous mound of high quality hay! Alternatively, try stuffing hay in a toilet roll tube or in a brown paper bag to provoke further interest from your guineas.
Another great toy has been made by @Shauny and is a piggie maze made from cardboard, have a look at this great idea below. You can hide treats around to encourage you piggie to explore
Have fun finding something that interests your guinea – sometimes it intrigues them when you play with the toys yourself too!