In his natural environment, your guinea pig wouldn’t sit in a cage all day and night. He would be out in the wild, running and foraging for food. Although he is much safer with you, he still needs some stimulation to keep his mind active. One way to do this, is to play games with him – he is, after all, a socialiser who enjoys your company. Take him out of his cage when you play these games with him.
What you need Small pieces of your guinea pig’s favourite food.
What you do Find small containers to hide the pieces of fruit in and under. An empty egg carton works well.
The game Cut some of your piggy’s daily allowance of fruit into smaller pieces. Then, place a few pieces in the carton and allow your piggy to find them on his own. You can repeat this a few times.
Then, you can turn the egg carton upside down and hide a few more pieces of fruit under it.
Warning Take care that your guinea pigs doesn’t chew on the egg carton, so supervise him throughout the game.
What you need Ping pong (or similar) ball
What you do Just provide the ball, sit back and watch.
The game This is such a simple game and your guinea pig will love it. Make sure he is in an area where he can’t hurt himself. Give him the ball and allow him to play with it the way he wants to. If he doesn’t understand what to do with the ball, you can gently ‘bat’ it around with your finger a few times and see if he catches on.
Warning Ensure that your guinea pig doesn’t hurt himself while trying to get the ball rolling.
What you need Cardboard tubes, like empty toilet rolls or empty foil rolls, and empty cardboard boxes.
What you do Cut the tubes lengthwise so that your piggy doesn’t get stuck. Then, cut holes the size of your guinea pig into the sides of the box. Stick the cardboard tubes into the holes of the box. The more tubes and boxes you have, the more complicated it becomes for your guinea pig. Place small pieces of fruit in the boxes to coax him through the tubes towards the boxes.
The game Allow your guinea pig to work out the path for himself. He’ll use his nose to sniff out more fruit while crawling through the tubes.
Warning Make sure that the tubes and the holes in the boxes are big enough for your guinea pig to crawl through, so that he doesn’t get stuck.
Reach for the food
What you need String and pieces of fruit.
What you do Cut the fruit into small pieces and string them up in your piggy’s cage. They should be the right height for him to reach them by standing on his hindlegs.
The game Let your piggy back into his cage and allow to him to reach for the fruit when he is ready.
Warning Supervise your piggy to ensure that he doesn’t hurt himself while stretching. Make sure that he doesn’t chew on the string as well.
Hours of fun
You can spend ages playing with your guinea pig, but when he seems tired, give him some time to rest. Don’t exhaust him – let him play on his terms. And, if he seems frustrated, confused or anxious, or if he is injured, stop the game immediately. Always take him to the vet if you think he may have injured himself. Lastly, as mentioned before, factor all the treats you give him during playtime into his daily allowance of fruit, so that you don’t overfeed him.