Exercising Your Guinea Pig Safely
As with most animals, guinea pigs (sometimes called Cavies) need to stay active and healthy. The best way to do this is simply to let them loose to run about unrestricted in a space big enough to allow them to really work up a sweat. This area can be indoors or outdoors, but in both cases it is important to take some precautions to ensure the safety of your pet:
1. Try Not To Allow Them To Stray Too Far
These beautiful animals can be very excitable whenever you let them loose to run free, and may attempt to explore all the nooks and crannies that they can find. This means that if you aren't careful, you might discover that your cavies have disappeared inside a sofa, behind a cabinet, or under your television! Rather than letting them run about completely free, it is usually a very good idea to define their exercise space in some way. A great way to do this is to set up makeshift 'fences' using household items including tables (you can turn on their side) and boxes. Alternatively, you might decide to buy a special pen designed especially for this.
2. Protect Their Delicate Feet
Unlike humans, guinea pigs unfortunately don't have the luxury of wearing shoes to protect the soft skin of their feet. As a consequence, they can easily injure themselves if they step on a hard or sharp item when scampering around exploring. If at all possible, it's best to exercise your guinea pigs on a soft surface such as carpet or grass. This is much easier on their delicate feet, and means they can scamper around for hours on end. If you don't have a soft surface for them to use, you can provide one simply by putting down some newspaper or a cloth spread over their running area.
3. Keep Them Safe
Most homes have cables and electrical cords trailing everywhere. As a matter of fact, they are so common that it can be easy to forget that they are there. However, to a guinea pig, they are a delicious treat, and you will be amazed how fast your pet can bite through one. Make sure to keep your guinea pigs away from wires and electrical cords, as they could potentially get electrocuted. If you own any other animals, make sure they are kept in another room during your guinea pig’s exercise runs, just in case they decide that your fluffy friend would make a tasty snack!
Looking after your guinea pig is not always easy, but it is very rewarding. Besides for providing them with the basics, you can also spoil them with things like a selection of tunnels (made out of open boxes) to run through, as well as a few toys to keep them stimulated.