Guinea pigs are curious, active, and playful little animals. This is why children love them.
They are so energetic that you will find them playing around at night just as they do during the day. Just like with little children, this activeness makes them easily bored.
Are your guinea pigs acting differently from usual and you are wondering if they are bored? You’re just about to find out.
Are your guinea pigs bored?
Guinea pigs are bored if they seem dull, produce unhappy sounds, and show it in their body language. They cannot talk so they use sounds and body language to communicate their various feelings.
If your guinea pigs are always running around their cage chasing each other but they suddenly stop, this could mean that they are bored. A major sign of knowing if they are bored is if they stop being active as usual.
Signs of bored guinea pigs
If you are concerned and looking for ways to tell whether your pets are sick or just bored, watch out for the following signs.
- Teeth chattering.
- Head tossing.
- Unusual dullness and laziness.
- Biting their cage bars.
What makes guinea pigs bored
Guinea pigs have different personalities. This makes them all different.
However, whether your guinea pigs are naturally outgoing or naturally shy, they will get bored due to similar reasons. The reasons are:
Little to no interactions
Guinea pigs are social animals. When out in the wild, they enjoy living in herds which is also essential because they get to warn each other of danger.
If you are keeping one guinea pig who doesn’t have cage mates then they will eventually get bored. Keeping your guinea pig company if they are alone is always recommended to fill their social needs.
When you don’t take the time to spend with your guinea pig, they will get bored because you are their only companion in this situation.
Always in the cage
Keeping your guinea pigs in the cage at all times is not healthy. If you never take the time to let the pets out, then they will be bored with staying in the same space every day and night.
A dull cage usually has a dull pet. If the cage is dull with only the vital hay, water, and some veggies, get ready for dull bored guinea pigs who don’t seriously know what to do with their lives.
Lack of play toys and chew toys
Guinea pigs love playing. They will run around, chase each other, drag their toys around, and chew on them. Having guinea pigs who lack the much-needed play toys and chew toys will bring about boredom.
Toys keep them entertained and occupied for a long time.
Not having a proper diet
Guinea pigs are choosy animals and they will pick at their food trying to find that one food with the flavor they enjoy. Now imagine guinea pigs who always eat the same veggies with no variety and nothing to choose from.
Giving guinea pigs the same food all the time becomes monotonous and boring for them.
Outcomes of bored guinea pigs
Bored guinea pigs will have several issues arising from their boredom.
- Inactivity – they will stop being as active as usual.
- Depression – being bored could bring about depression in your once lively pets.
- Obesity – guinea pigs will gain a lot of weight when bored because they don’t have anything else to do.
- Unhappiness – your guinea pigs will not be cheerful and chatty when they are bored.
What to do if your guinea pigs are unhappy
If the dullness in your piggies doesn’t seem to go away on its own, there are things you can do to make everything better for all parties involved.
Toys are great playthings for these playful animals. Buying toys for them will make them excited and active.
Alternatively, you could make the toys yourself. Simple socks that have been stuffed with herbs and hay are perfect toys that your guinea pigs will enjoy chewing on, sleeping on, and even dragging around.
Other simple toys are used tissue paper rolls filled with hay, ping pongs, and tennis balls. Giving them crinkling paper will also do the trick because guinea pigs are delighted by the sound of paper crinkling.
Make their cage interesting
Instead of the same old boring cage, add some interesting things inside the cage for your pets. Creating tunnels and hiding places are a good start.
Your guinea pigs will enjoy running through the tunnels and hiding in their hideys if they want to. You could also switch things up around the cage.
Change the arrangement of everything now and then while cleaning so that your piggies feel like they are in a new cage. Just remember to leave something with their scents to avoid fights.
You could even add some colorful bowls to the whole arrangement. Guinea pigs can recognize primary colors like yellow, blue, and red. Adding color to their cage will add color to their lives.
Bring home another guinea pig
If you have only one guinea pig whom you rarely have enough time for, you should bring home another one. Two are better than one and it’s recommended that you keep two guinea pigs instead of one.
Two guinea pigs will play together, chase each other around, chat endlessly, cuddle together and be happy to have each other’s company.
Spend time with them
You need to spend time with your guinea pigs so that they can get used to you, learn to trust you, and be happy. Take some time to have a good bonding session through lap time, floor time, or playtime.
Let your guinea pigs out for some good adventure as they’ll enjoy sniffing things (including you) and have a good exercise. You can have them run through mazes and give them a treat when they reach the end, you could even teach them some new tricks or hide treats for them to find.
Give them a variety of food
Instead of the same old dull meal, try to incorporate more color and taste to their foods. Give them a variety of foods and treats.
Carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, and grapes are just a few different foods/treats you could give.
Bored guinea pigs are unhappy pets and no one wants to have either. For your guinea pigs to be happy, they will need some good playtime, attention, and entertainment.
If possible keep their cage at a place where they can see everything going on. Being curious animals, they will enjoy watching all the activities in the house and get used to you too.
Remember to put in more than enough hay in their cage and talk to them often. Letting them listen to some low sound music or watch TV with you is great entertainment for them too.