Top tips for housing your guinea pigs indoors

Guinea pigs can happily live indoors or outdoors. The trick to indoor housing is adapting their environment for the great indoors. Get this right, and you’ll have a lovely experience with your fluffy squeaky housemates. Take a look at our top tips for your guinea pigs' In this section, we’ll cover:

Setting up your indoor guinea pigs' home ● Indoor housing options ●
Indoor exercise area ● Indoor guinea pig essentials ●

    Setting up an ideal home for your indoor guinea pigs

    Always on the alert, easily startled, curious and active, there are quite a few things that your guinea pigs require to feel safe, secure and happy.
    You’ll need to find a quiet, calm and safe area in your home away from dogs, cats and other pets they may see as threats.
    You can provide them with indoor housing with an indoor run or you can put them in a guinea pig-proofed room of their own.
    Ensure flooring is non-slip as slippery floors can cause injury and stress.
    All areas that your piggies have access to should be fully guinea pig-proofed to ensure that they’re protected from hazards. For example, all electric cables should be covered to stop your piggies from chewing on them and any house plants should either be safe for guinea pigs or kept out of the way.
    Provide a toilet area which is separate from the sleeping area and exercise area and give your guinea pigs plenty of enrichment opportunities with toys, tunnels, hay and grass plants.
    Your guinea pigs should also be kept away from radiators and their space should be kept well ventilated. The temperature for your guineas’ housing should ideally be kept at between 17-20oC – some warmer areas of your house may be too hot.
    It goes without saying that giving your guinea pigs easy access to water bottles or bowls with clean fresh water is crucial to the environment
    Keeping rabbits outside

    Options for indoor guinea pig housing

    There are a number of different options for indoor housing. The best ones are those that are flexible enough for you to build your own indoor guinea pig set-up, depending on what type of space you have.

    Blue Cross advises using ‘modular housing' to provide a safe space for your indoor guinea pigs as it gives you lots of different sections to piece together in whichever way you like.

    As with outdoor housing, your guinea pigs’ main living area should be no less than 1.5 long by 1m wide. The most popular modular housing for guinea pigs are:

    • C and C grids – wireframes you can click together
    • Puppy play pens

    You can then furnish the area with a cosy bedroom hutch and lots of tunnels, nest boxes and shelters with deep piles of hay so your guinea pigs can move around confidently and be able to explore and hide if they want to. Woodgreen advises supplying multiple hiding areas and tunnels – the more the better. As guinea pigs don’t feel safe in open spaces, they’ll hide under the only shelter available. That’s why it’s a good idea to provide multiple options for them to move between.

    Creating an indoor exercise area for your guinea pigs

    If your indoor guinea pigs aren’t able to access outside space, they’ll need a space no less then 1.5 x 1m for exercise, where they can run free without supervision. Along with providing tunnels, hiding places and deep piles of fresh hay in their exercise area, make sure that:

    • All doors are closed
    • There are no escape holes
    • Other pets, such as cats and dogs, are kept out of the room
    Keeping rabbits outside

    Whether your guinea pigs are housed inside or outside, they need the opportunity to run around and explore in a safe area with lots of tunnels, hiding places and deep piles of fresh hay.

    Did you know?

    Around a quarter (24%) of guinea pigs are put in a good mood by social interaction, while 68% are put in a good mood by being given food and treats...

    Source: The Burgess Excel Great British Guinea Pig Census

    Essentials for creating the perfect indoor
    set-up for your guinea pigs

    Whether they live indoors or outdoors, guinea pigs need constant access to a large exercise area. Guinea pigs don’t usually have one long night-time sleep, preferring to take several short naps throughout the day and night, and so need to be able to choose when they want to go to bed and when they want to be active.

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