Indoor Guinea Pigs: Top tips for housing your guinea pigs inside your home.
Many owners choose to house their guinea pigs indoors and there is no right or wrong when deciding indoors or outdoors as long as all your guinea pig’s welfare needs are met.
Here are some top tips for setting up an ideal indoor home for your guinea pigs:
- Find a quiet area of your home for them to live. As guinea pigs are prey animals; they are always alert and curious little animals and can be startled easily. Make sure this area is away from other pets which may be seen as a threat
- The area given to your guinea pigs can be a full room if space allows, if not a secure enclosure and attached run is also suitable
- If your guinea pigs are not used to living in the hustle and bustle of an indoor environment, make sure you gradually introduce loud household noises, sights, and smells
- Make sure flooring is soft and non-slip, hard slippery flooring may cause injury and stress to your guinea pigs
- Guinea pig proof the area, making sure they are protected from hazards. For example, uncovered cables and toxic house plants that can be chewed
- Some areas of your home may be too warm for your guinea pigs. To help prevent them getting too warm, keep their housing away from radiators. Guinea pigs like a temperature of around 17-20 oC
- Provide a litter tray for your guinea pigs to use as their toilet, this should be placed away from their sleeping area.
- Provide enrichment toys to keep your guinea pigs stimulated, these can include tunnels, bridges, feeding puzzles and platforms on different levels.
Remember: Guinea pigs need a diet high in fibre, therefore if they’re not munching on grass outside, they should be munching on lots of good quality feeding hay!
What housing options are available for indoor guinea pigs?
Just like outdoor environments, the main living area for your guinea pig should be no smaller than 1.5m long by 1m wide. There are several options for indoor guinea pig housing. The most flexible ones are modular housing, where you can piece the sections together yourself, which allows you to design the enclosure to fit and suit the space you have available.
Popular options for indoor guinea pig housing are C and C grids (wire panels and frames you can click together yourself to make up your guinea pigs housing) and puppy play pens. These enclosures can then be furnished, with sleep areas, hides, toys, and tunnels to suit the needs of your guinea pigs!
Top Tip: Guinea pigs love to hide and feel vulnerable in open spaces, supply them with lots of hiding spaces and deep bedding for them to burrow and nest in to make them feel safe and secure
Give your guinea pigs plenty of room to allow them the opportunity to exercise, run and keep active – this can be a run outside that you take them out into often. If this is not possible allow them an exercise space inside that is safe, guinea pig proof, free from other pets and free from holes in which they can escape.
Make sure you have the essentials for creating the perfect indoor environment for your guinea pigs these include:
- Water bottles and/or bowls
- Tunnels, next boxes, and lots of hiding spaces – you can even add tunnels, the new indoor range from Ruanround by Excel is a good place to start! – Indoor Collection – Excel Runaround: Rabbit and Guinea Pig Runs
- Guinea pig safe toys, snacks, and enrichment activities
- Hay racks and lots of tasty feeding hay
- Absorbent bedding, including fleece blankets and paper base bedding
- Litter tray and litter
- Tasty Excel Indoor Guinea Pig nuggets which are formulated for the needs of your indoor guinea pigs
These helpful tips will help to make your guinea pigs happy in their indoor home. Guinea Pigs being vocal animals will certainly let you know if they are happy. They ‘wheek wheek’ when they’re excited or to find their friend and a purring noise when they’re content. These are only a few of the sounds they make to communicate with you and their fellow guinea pig friends. Having your guinea pigs indoors will allow you to experience all these sounds and may even encourage a stronger bond between you and your guinea pigs.
Blog written by Ellie Parkes – Nutritional Advisor at Burgess Pet Care
If you need support or more information, get in touch! At firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Burgess Pet Care freephone number 0800 413 696.