Guinea pigs are just like humans, with personalities to boot. They are naturally social animals that have a herd mentality, meaning they enjoy living in groups/herds.
Mostly, guinea pigs are very social. They need attention and can get lonely quite fast.
Being active pets, they also have a tendency to get bored by monotony. This makes it vital to ensure that your guinea pig is sufficiently entertained and not bored to death (which ironically, has been claimed to happen).
Signs of a lonely guinea pig
To determine whether your guinea pig is lonely, they may have the following signs:
- Look unhappy.
- Are unusually inactive.
- Have physical problems like obesity.
- Appear depressed.
- Have annoying tendencies e.g rattling water bottles.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to entertain your otherwise lonely pet. And without further ado, let’s get into them.
6 Ways to Entertain a Lonely Guinea Pig
1. Provide lots of hay
Have you seen a guinea pig throw hay up and around, all over its cage immediately you give it to them? No matter how neat you had made the cage, it will without a doubt, carpet everything with the hay.
This is a great thing for guinea pigs and they will enjoy doing it immensely. A guinea pig will eat, play with, build nests, and sleep on its hay.
The hay is great for its needs of constantly chewing on something to wear down its teeth. It also assists in stimulating it mentally.
It’s only natural and it will minimize guinea pig boredom in a cage that was initially sparkling clean. Provide your pet with a lot of hay, actually more than it can eat just to humor it.
2. Install tunnels, mazes, and caves in the cage
A guinea pig is a very smart animal that enjoys mental stimulation. Creating for it tunnels, mazes, or caves in its cage is a fun way of keeping it active, entertained, and happy.
While out in the wild guinea pigs have a natural instinct of remembering paths and holes so as to get away from their predators fast. You will spot one running away swiftly even though they have poor eyesight.
This is because it can remember where to hide and how to get there. Building things like mazes from cardboard will be great play time as it may feel like it is in its natural habitat finding its way around.
You can have a treat waiting for it at the end as a reward for moving through the whole tricky way.
3. Get them toys
There is a wide variety of toys you can get your guinea pet to play with. Round toys like ping pongs and tennis balls are great as they will move them around and crawl over them.
An exercise wheel is great for physical activity that’s helpful for spine exercises. Chewy toys are essential for their ever-growing teeth because they wear them down as they constantly chew on them.
Guinea pigs also enjoy the sound of crinkling paper. You may hear them wheek delightedly at its sound. Give them some crinkly paper to play with.
Another simple toy is a sock that has been filled up with bedding or hay. The guinea pig will love using it as a pillow, dragging it around and chewing on it too.
Appletree wood is likewise good to chew on. Throw in a few small pieces in the cage every so often.
4. Play with them
Because you are your guinea pig’s only companion, it’s vital that you take the time to play with them. Take them out of the cage and have some good old floor time.
You can lie on the floor as they roam around and occasionally sniff you. Always remove harmful things on the floor when you take them out like electrical cords.
You can play games like tying treats on a string and dragging it along for them to chase. Make it move a little faster than their speed so that they’ll enjoy the chase.
Do not make them chase for long because they could get bored. Give them the pleasure of catching it and watch as they delightedly eat the treat.
Take them outdoors too. In their natural habitats, they roam freely in search of food so it’s easy to get bored in a cage. Have them wander and have little adventures outdoors but keep an eye on them while ensuring they have nowhere to escape (which they could gladly do).
Do not keep them under the intense sun to avoid heatstroke.
5. Keep treats where it’s not that easy to reach
Guinea pigs will enjoy seeking out their treats as if they were out in nature. Sometimes hide their treats in hay or tunnels.
You can also hang them in the cage a little higher so that they stand on their hind legs to reach them. This provides good exercise for them.
6. Get them another guinea pig
Guinea pigs enjoy the company of other guinea pigs. Getting yours a cage mate will boost it’s moods and energy levels a lot.
You will also love watching them play, cuddle, have food competitions, and sleep together. Try to get a cage mate with a different personality from your pet so that they blend together smoothly.
Other things you could do include:
- Have their cage where they see what’s happening around them as they are naturally curious animals. You could put it near a window but avoid direct sun to prevent heatstroke.
- Play soft calming music for them. YouTube has great guinea pig playlists. Try out songs that have familiar guinea pig sounds like whistling.
- Ensure they have places they can hide in case they sense danger or feel insecure.
- Shift their cage arrangement to change things up.
- Give them treats frequently.
- Clean their cage often.
A lonely guinea pig is not a happy pet and no one wants to keep an unhappy pet. So try to make things as fun as is possibly possible and enjoy having a healthy energetic happy pet.