How Fast Can Guinea Pigs Run?

Guinea pigs are small animals that can run quite fast. If your guinea pig has ever escaped from their cage or struggled out of your arms, you know how hard it was to run after them and catch them.

They have awkwardly tiny legs compared to their body sizes. However, they also have positive allometry of leg length and their body masses.

Guinea pigs are prey animals and because they cannot fight back, their survival mode is running away so as not to become a predator’s meal. This has made them adapt well to this survival mechanism.

So maybe you’ve seen them while on a run and wondered whether they are the fastest small animals or how fast they can run. Well, you’re just about to find out.

How fast can guinea pigs run?

Guinea pigs can run as fast as 6 miles per hour on average. They run at different speeds depending on their breed and body size. Their speeds are well adapted for short sudden runs at high speed.

Their running ability is developed such that they can get moving right after birth. Young guinea pigs will run around following their mothers as they eat. They are also born with the instinct of running away in case of predators.

Pregnant guinea pigs are capable of running as fast as they normally do no matter the stage of their pregnancy. Whether they are pregnant with one or two little guinea pigs, the size of the fetus will not hinder their running ability hence their usual running speed.

Fastest guinea pig

In July 2009, according to the Guinness World Records, ten guinea pigs participated in a 10m race with the fastest guinea pig, Flash, coming first and at a record of 8.81 seconds.

Do guinea pigs enjoy running?

Yes, guinea pigs like running. Every now and then you will see them running all over their cage popcorning around and playing especially if they are happy and content.

This is good for their health and body weight. It’s a great exercise that helps to prevent boredom and avoid obesity which comes with negative factors like constant lethargy in your pet or even diabetes.

Also, because they are born with the instinct of running to avoid danger, they will tend to run and hide whenever they sense that a predator is nearby.

Where can guinea pigs run?

Now that we have seen the benefits of running to guinea pigs, you may want to know where you can let them run. Is their cage okay? Should you take them out?

Well, guinea pigs can run in their cages, inside the house, or even outdoors. You have to be very careful though if you let them out to prevent injuries or the case of a lost pet.

Let’s look into ways to ensure safety at all times.

In the cage

It’s perfectly okay for guinea pigs to run around their cage, after all, that’s where they spend most of their time. Have a large enough cage for these running games so that they don’t feel cramped up.

A good size for a cage with only one occupant is 7.5 square feet and for two guinea pigs, it’s 10.5 square feet. This should provide enough space for their runs and all cage accessories like their bowls, water bottles, hay, toys, and beddings. Always try to distribute everything around the cage.

Inside the house

You can let guinea pigs out of their cages to stretch out and enjoy being in a different environment. If you do not have a big outdoor space, your house can work the trick just fine.

However, your house is filled with things that could easily harm your pet so you should be extra careful and watchful. Guinea pigs are small animals so they can easily get lost or get stuck in tiny spaces.

 Do make sure to:

  • Remove any electric cords that could be lying down.
  • Cover small spaces that your pet could use to escape.
  • Put away all human foods.
  • Lay toys around for them to play with.
  • Provide snacks and treats.
  • Place some towels down in case they want to pee.

Outdoors

If you have a spacious outdoor, you can let your guinea pigs out every once in a while. Guinea pigs love the outdoors because they get to breathe in the fresh air and sniff on things as they have their little adventures.

Keep a keen eye on them so that they don’t run away. Do fill up little spaces they could pass through to escape. They will enjoy running outside because it’s just like their natural habitats where they roam freely.

Do guinea pigs like exercise balls and wheel runs?

You may have seen movies like G-Force where guinea pigs run in exercise balls and thought of how cute it would be to get your pet one of those. Exercise balls and wheel runs provide run exercises.

They are popular with small animals like hamsters and mice which would make you think that guinea pigs will love them too. In reality, they are dangerous to them.

Hamsters and mice have different skeletal anatomy to guinea pigs which enables them to stretch well on exercise balls and wheels.

Guinea pigs on the other hand have delicate spines that cannot stretch and bend well on the wheels and balls. They can easily get hurt and even die while on the wheels.

Guinea pigs can lack enough air circulation while in the exercise balls as they are not well ventilated. If temperatures are high in the ball it could lead to heatstroke as guinea pigs cannot regulate their temperatures.

Conclusion

Guinea pigs are fast runners and you will notice them running around their cages often. Build some tunnels and mazes with cardboards for them to run through and exercise as they are playing.

If they are playing outside their cages, make sure that you do not leave them unsupervised to avoid losing your pet, them getting stuck somewhere, or getting injured.

References:

Guinness World Records (2009)

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