Guinea pig runs are a safe and easy way to take your guinea pigs outdoors and allow them to run and have fun without having them escape, eat your prized flowers or get lost. A typical guinea pig run is made up of a lightweight wooden box, with wire mesh in between sets of struts. This allows the guinea pig or pigs to enjoy the maximum sunlight and fresh air they can outside. There are also galvanized metal runs available that come in a bigger variety of shapes than wooden ones, but are just as lightweight. A point to note, is that, when you take your guinea pig outside, the weather should be mild.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive to extreme temperatures and unfavorable weather conditions, such as rain or snow. Additionally, you must always supervise an excursion outside with your guinea pigs, as guinea pig runs, while preventing guinea pigs from escaping, certainly are not strong enough to prevent a predator from getting in. Guinea pig runs are commonly delivered in flat-pack form, which you will need to unpack and assemble according to instructions, but this is normally straightforward and even fun, for those that like to work with their hands. The best guinea pig runs come equipped with a hinged door on the roof, to allow you to easily access your guinea pigs, rather than attempting to lift a corner of the run and catch one guinea pig while the rest scamper away.
You must ensure this door has a closing mechanism so that guinea pigs do not manage to escape through it, or predators manage to gain access through it. Guinea pig runs normally measure 4 square feet, but experts advise that a guinea pig needs a living space of not less than 7.5 square fit, so a guinea pig run should definitely be as big as you can safely make it, so that it is interesting and challenging for your guinea pig outdoors. A guinea pig requires regular exercise to be fit, happy and healthy. The love to jump up and down in a movement called ‘popcorning’, and a guinea pig run should give them the chance to do this and more. Guinea pigs benefit from being slim, as obesity makes them prone to illnesses like diabetes and ovarian cysts, in females. As well, guinea pigs love to explore, so putting up an obstacle course in their run will make the outdoor experience even more interesting and adventurous for them. Thirdly, being outdoors gives them a chance to nibble on grass, which aids their digestion.
You must always place a guinea pig run on a soft, springy surface, for example your lawn, as guinea pigs have delicate feet. In winter, when conditions are unsuitable for guinea pigs, you can place it on a carpet indoors. Also, you must make sure you the plants on your lawn are not harmful if ingested by your guinea pig. As well, the guinea pig run must be placed on an even surface, as an uneven surface will leave gaps, through which your guinea pig will most certainly escape. You should try to make sure at least half of the guinea pig run is in the shade, so that your pets can have a reprieve from the sun. All in all, a guinea pig run is an essential item for your guinea pigs’ health, happiness and wellbeing.