To ensure your cavies get the exercise they require they should have a run or a pen (in addition to their hutch or cage).
Safety and security for your piggies is important so always make sure you either supervise them or ensure that the run/pen is safe from predators or other dangers.
It is worth bearing in mind that a very large pen can be frightening to a guinea pig. Always give them somewhere to hide in their pen, such as a cardboard box or a pigloo.
The run pictured below is one that we would recommend and is available to purchase on Amazon.
Guinea pigs love fresh air and exercise and will enjoy running around on a lawn during the summer months but do ensure that part of the run/pen is sheltered in case of a shower or direct hot sunlight.
Remember that if the weather is bad, they will still need exercise, so an indoor option may still be required.
- Guinea pigs love munching on grass so they'll help keep your grass short and will even fertilise it for you! Although a lot smaller, their droppings are very similar in quality to horse manure.
- Make sure there are no poisonous plants or vegetation in the area where you let them run.
- If you are building a run, it should measure approximately 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres and be 30 cm high. It can consist of wire mesh attached to a wooden frame but ensure that there are no sharp wires or bits of wood which may hurt them. This frame should be made so that it is light enough to move around your garden.
- Never let them run free in your garden. There may be a hole that you haven’t noticed which they will use as an escape route or they may eat something that is poisonous.
- An outdoor run must always have a cover, preferably hinged and bolted so that you can also get in there easily but predators are kept out.
- Never leave your guinea pigs in an outdoor run overnight. It is not safe and they may become scared.
Exercising Guinea Pigs Indoors
Make sure that there are no pets around when exercising your guinea pigs indoors. You can either section off part of a room for them to run around in or use a pen. The wire/metal panelled pens are ideal for this.
You will need to protect your flooring whether you have carpet, wooden floors, lino or laminate flooring. Cavies don’t like sliding around on slippery floors! A small piece of tarpaulin with a fleece over the top is perfect as it gives your floor protection while your guinea pigs have a comfortable surface on which to run around and play.
The pen pictured below is the one we recommend for indoors and one that we use ourselves. The great thing about this is that you can buy as many as you want and join them together to make one big run to suit the space you have.
We recommend you buy at least 2 of them to make a large enough area for them to run around. They are well-priced so it isn't an expensive purchase. You can check the price of this indoor pens on Amazon here.