One of the main reasons we all love Guinea Pigs so much is their intelligence, energy and curiosity.
So, as a responsible pet owner, it is our duty to provide mental stimulation, exercise, and fun for our little furry pets.
The best source of entertainment is being housed with a fellow Guinea Pig, but this isnt always possible, and even if you’re lucky enough to have a number of these furry little friends, they’ll all still benefit from a selection of toys to keep them happy and active
Why do Guinea Pigs need toys?
A bored Guinea Pig is an unhappy Guinea pig.
Boredom can lead to depression and illness. Along with the right sized enclosure, a good source of food and fresh water, your guinea pig, or pigs, will benefit greatly from having a selection of toys and treats to keep them stimulated, both mentally and physically.
And, lots of attention and cuddles!
However, dont expect to be playing fetch with your guinea pig. The best toys are ones that provide shelter, chewing, and most of all food. Guinea pigs love eating, so if a toy involves a tasty treat then all the better
Toys that encourage the guinea pigs natural instincts of chewing, tossing, nudging and digging are perfect.
And its worth baring in mind that all Guinea Pigs are different – One toy might be an absolute hit with one piggy, but another might not touch it. This is why a selection of toys is a good idea, which you can rotate everyone once in a while.
Tunnels and hide outs are another great toy to keep with your guinea pig. At one time, they can provide a feeling of sanctury where your pet can sleep, hide and generally chill out, and another time it gives them lots of fun and activity and a chance to run through, around and underneath.
Important considerations when
choosing a toy for your guinea pig
Because of the guinea pigs tendency to chew everything, its important that the toys are made of hardwearing, or non toxic, natural materials. The best play balls and chew toys are made from wood, wicker and grass. Always check the list of materials and ingredients . Make sure that materials such as paint and glue are non toxic.
Better still, choose toys made from natural organic materials free from harmful pesticides, dyes and preservatives.
Its also very important to avoid exercise balls and wheels. We still see these kind of products advertised for Guinea Pigs. However, the body shape and autonomy of the guinea pig is not designed for bending and arching like that of a pet hamster or gerbil.
This is why we DO NOT advise anyone to purchase an exercise ball or wheel for their pet guinea, even if the packaging or lables suggests they are suitable. They can lead to pain and even permanent injury.
The Top 6 Guinea pig toys to buy – at a glance
- Wheeky Treat Ball Toy
- Ware Willow Twig Tunnel
- ULIGOTA Timothy Hay Chew Sticks
- Living World Hagen Pet Tunnel
- Pulse Brands Flexibridge
- Timothy Hay Chew Sticks
Note: the above links will transfer you to the Amazon website for more information and purchasing options.
Types of Guinea pig toys
Guinea pig Balls
Here we are talking about ball toys designed for the guinea pig to push and chew, not to exercise in. We’ll say again, as we are passionate about it, exercise balls, the kind that animals are put inside, are not suitable for guinea pigs.
We’re talking about small balls, normally made of natural materials such as wicker or seagrass, that are small enough for your pet to roll around, often with their noses.
They need to be non toxic as they’ll almost certainly get chewed. Some of these will contain treats, again please check these are ok for your guinea pig. Others may contain a bell. These are perfectly safe, but you should keep a close eye and the toy should be removed if there is any damage that may result in you pet getting to the metal bell inside.
Wheeky Treat Ball Toy
The Wheeky Treat Ball is for Guinea Pigs or other small pets. Not really a chew toy, although it will cope with being chewed. This is designed to be pushed and showed around. You’re able to put in a little treat, which could be store brought treats like kibble or dried fruit, or you can put in your own cut up veg, like diced carrot. The treat door can be opened to different sizes to accommodate different treats.
- Bright Color
- Sturdy Construction
- Good size for Guinea Pigs
- Easy to use
- Can use different treats
- Dry food treats are better
- It doesn’t come apart for cleaning
Niteangel Small Animal Activity Toy
Handmade all natural treat balls to prevent boredom and encourage chewing. No plastic glue or metal. Made from natural materials including corn husk sea grass rattan and water hyacinth.
- Pack of 4 which is great value
- Perfect size for a Guinea Pig
- Nice Variety for your pet
- 100% Natural materials
- Stock up as your pets will love them and they will get through quite a few !
Guinea pig tubes and tunnels
If there was such thing as an essential toy for a guinea pig, then a tube or tunnel would probably be it. Guinea Pigs love running through tunnels, or sleeping in tunnels, or just chilling out in tunnels.
They provide not only entertainment and exercise, but also shelter and sanctuary. Normally made from plastic, which is not only hardwearing and easy to clean, but also flexible which means you can bend it around corners of the enclosure.
Ware Manufacturing Hand Woven Willow Twig Tunnel
Available in two sizes, these willow twig tunnels provide a safe natural hideout. Made from 100% natural materials, this tunnel is perfectly safe for animals to chew.
- 100% natural willow
- Non toxic
- Available in two sizes
- Great price
- Made from renewable sources
- Some users report it being a bit ‘wonky’
- Check for sharp edges before use
Living World Hagen Pet Tunnel
Again, available in two sizes, medium and large. Extending tunnel that can be folded for storage and linked up to various other accessories from the same range.
- Folders for storage
- classic guinea pig tunnel
- Can be bent around an enclosure
- Easy to clean
- Provides exercise as well as a hideout
- Check the metal spring parts regularly
- Wont take a lot of chewing
Guinea Pig Ramps and stairs
Guinea Pigs aren’t natural climbers. One of the first hutches we had was a multi level hutch and the pigs struggled to use the ladder, it was a little steep. But we don’t all have enough space for a big single level enclosure, so ramps and stairs do have a place.
Not really considered a toy, but if it gives you pets a chance to run around, climb, and explore, then great!
Things to consider with Guinea Pigs and ramps/stairs. Try to avoid anything too steep, look for solid materials like wood or plastic, and try to avoid mesh types as these are hard on the little pets feet and difficult to climb
Pulse Brands Wooden Cage Bridge
OverviewThis flexible bridge by Pulse Brands makes a great bridge, tunnel, or ramp for guinea pigs, chinchillas, and other small animals. The wooden sticks are held together by wire and can, therefore, be bent into shape. Size varies slightly since this is a natural product, but is approximately 14″ x 9″
- Folders for storage
- Can be bent into custom shapes
- Natural material
- Can be used in or out of your enclosure
- Pets will love to chew it!
Guinea pig Chews
The reason Guinea pigs love to chew, like all rodents, is that their teeth grow continuously. So, its important to provide, along with a good diet, toys which encourage and help chewing and gnawing. Chewing is their way to keep their teeth at a good length
Timothy Hay Chew Sticks
Made from pet grade timothy hay, these lovely little chew sticks are low temp baked to keep their shape. We all know the benefits of feeding you pet timothy hay, and these sticks are perfect as a treat and to keep your guinea pigs teeth in tip top condition
- Pet Grade ingredients
- Can be stored long term
- Pets seem to love them
- Great as a treat and to bond with your pet
- You’ll end up buying more!
- Made in China, Not Canada
- Not all sticks may arrive in one piece
Oxbow Timothy Tunnel
Oxbow Pet Products loyalty to small animals goes beyond premium nutrition. Introducing Timothy Club – 100% timothy hay habitats for small animals. Environmental enrichment is as vital as nutrition to the health of small animals. High-fiber, 100% timothy hay 100% edible – a beneficial source of fiber Hand-crafted for premium quality Made of all-natural material -no chemicals, wire, or thread.
- A tunnel and a chew
- Pets love it
- Good price
- Should last a good few weeks
- Eventually youl will need a new one, but your piggies wont mind!
Kaytee Superpet Apple Chews
Classic pet chew. Made from all natural apple wood, these chews are an excellent boredom breaker with the added benefit of being good for the teeth
- Natural Apple wood
- Good for teeth
- Great price
- No glue or dyes
- Pack of 10
- Not all Guinea pigs will like them !
Guinea pig exercise wheels and balls
As discussed already, these should be avoided, no matter what the packaging says.
Guinea pigs backs are not built to arch backwards.
How many toys should i buy for my Guinea Pig?
Whilst its important to have a nice selection of toys for your pets, its just as important to make sure the cage or enclosure is not cluttered. Its best to keep a selection of toys that you can rotate on a regular basis, maybe when you clean them out, to keep boredom at bay.
The amount of toys you can keep with your pet will differ based on the size of their encloser.
Where should Guinea Pig toys be placed?
Preferably you should leave enough space around the perimeter of the enclosure for your pet to do laps, which they love. Of course, a tunnel here, and a ramp there is fine, but try to keep floor space clear.
Its best not to over do it with toys. They are great fun and a lovely treat for your guinea pig, but try not to overcrowd the enclosure.
The best scenario would be to have a number of toys with you rotate each time you clean the cage, and maybe a few more if your guinea pig is luck enough to get some ‘yard time’
Replacing broken Guinea pig toys
Its important to keep a close eye on your pets toys. Toys are generally built to last as long as possible, but most, particularly wooden chew toys, we’ll need to be replaced at some point.
Watch out of any metal that may be exposed, as this can cause harm to you guinea pig. And, if a toy get particularly chewed, which will invariably happen with your pets favourite, then this should also be replaced. Chewed toys will often leave sharp bits, and certainly harbour more germs.
Cleaning Guinea Pig toys
As we recommend, its handy to have a number of toys to rotate, and keep boredom at bay. These can be swapped around when you clean the enclosure. This will also give you a chance to clean the toys. Plastics toys can be washed in warm soapy water, or placed in the dishwasher if made of hard plastic.
Wooden and natural toys should not be placed directly into water, as these will leave them damp and prone to rotting. These types of toys can be wiped down with a damp cloth or special antibacterial cleaning wipes.
In either case, make sure that all toys are completely dry before placing back in with your pet.
Making your own Guinea Pig toys
With a little imagination its possible to keep your pets entertained with a multitude of household objects. Soda boxes, like a 12 pack, can be opened up and stuffed with hay. A tennis ball is great to push around. Cardboard tubes from loo rolls. Empty cereal boxes and even scrunched up newspaper. As long as you check its safe, the possibilities are endless
Always check for and remove staples, and for small tubes makes sure there is a cut down the side so your guinea pig can get free should they decide to squeeze into them (which they will do their best to try to)
These types of cardboard or paper toys wont last long, sometime just a few hours, but they’ll keep you pet entertained whilst they chew them to bits.