Guinea pigs are very relaxed creatures, but they still need frequent exercise to keep them fit, healthy, and happy. Although pet stores sell all manner of specially designed equipment, the best method is simply to let them scamper around unrestricted. Here are 3 things you should bear in mind when letting your pets exercise:
1. Make Sure They Are Well Contained
As with other animals, guinea pigs are quite adventurous, and love to investigate any area that they are put in. This is particularly true when they are let loose to explore freely. If you aren't careful you will discover that your pet has found a way to squeeze into the smallest of spaces, leaving you trying to coax them to come back out !
In order to prevent this, you should fence them in somehow. Ideally you should use a special run, but if you don't have one of these then it is quite possible get by by fencing off a space using boxes, chairs, and other solid items.
2. Make Sure They Have A Comfortable Surface To Protect Their Paws
Although we don't always realise it, the floors of our homes can actually be fairly harmful to guinea pigs. Things such as loose stones, which we rarely even notice, can be quite painful when walked over with guinea pigs' delicate paws, and can also be a hazard if they pick them up and bite them.
Whenever possible, it's better to exercise your animals on a spongy surface such as carpet or grass. This is significantly less painful on their delicate feet, and ensures they can run around for much longer. If you don't have a soft surface for them to use, you can make one simply by putting a cloth or some newspaper down.
Be Wary Of Potential Hazards
The majority of modern homes have cables trailing all over the place. As a matter of fact, they are so common that it can be easy to forget that they are even there. But to a guinea pig, they are a delicious snack, and you will be amazed how quickly your pet can eat through one. For safety's sake, make sure to keep your guinea pigs away from wires and cables, as they could be seriously hurt.
Another thing to watch for is that if you own any other animals, these are kept in another room, in case they think that your guinea pig would make a tasty treat!