Exercise and enrichment for guinea pigs

Just like humans, guinea pigs need exercise and entertainment to keep them happy and healthy. Life can get pretty dull inside a guinea pig hutch, so it’s your responsibility as a guinea pig owner to try and make life exciting and interesting for them.

The normal behaviours that guinea pigs need to be able to express include social interaction with other guinea pigs, walking, running, tunnelling, exploring, playing, stretching horizontally, retreating to a shelter and hiding, foraging, chewing, gnawing, and jumping.

Environmental enrichment

Environmental enrichment is designed to improve your guinea pigs environment to enhance their physical and psychological wellbeing and welfare


Give your guinea pigs enough space to run about and play. Make their environment varied and interesting with different levels and areas for your guinea pigs to explore; you can use things like ramps and boxes. Provide an enclosure as large as possible. You can read more about housing requirements for guinea pigs here.


Provide them with foraging opportunities such as untreated wicker baskets filled with hay and food hidden around their enclosure for them to find.


Provide your guinea pigs with toys such as balls made from plastic, untreated willow or dried grass, and small stuffed toys. Ensure that there are adequate toys for each of your guinea pigs to have at least one of their own at any one time.

Chewing items

Guinea pigs should also be given chewing items to help keep them entertained and to wear down their teeth (which grow constantly). For example, cardboard boxes, and wooden branches from non-toxic trees such as apple trees that have not been sprayed or treated with any chemicals.

Mix it up

Change the environment in your guinea pigs’ enclosure by rearrange the items and/or swapping new ones every week to make the environment more interesting.

Monitored outdoor time

Ideally, provide your guinea pigs with access to a safe outdoor area and give them the opportunity to graze on grass. They should be protected from the sun/rain/wind, and possible predators. Please make sure your monitor your guinea pigs at all times while allowed to roam freely.

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