Guinea pig runs recommendations on size, materials, and maintenance

Being active species in the order of rodents, guinea pigs should be provided with a wide cage that will allow them to satisfy their bodily needs of daily exercise and exploration. They do not really require a cage that is similar to living in the outdoors or in the wild because they are most confident exploring in a familiar environment, and if it could be helpful to you, their sense of sight is weak. Their ability to move around is supported by their intense senses of smelling, touching, and hearing. With that in mind, they can easily adapt to the modifications you make in their guinea pig runs.

The basic rule in the purchase or creation of guinea pig runs is BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER. You may dedicate an entire room for your piggies but it is always not necessary as it would mean additional costs and time to spend for maintenance. Most cages suggested for guinea pigs are 7.5 square feet, 10.5 square feet, and 13 square feet.


  • Use cages with solid mesh floors like wood instead of wire mesh floors that contribute largely to the cause of many infections and injury on the feet of guinea pigs. For the walls make sure the mesh is small enough that the guinea pig’s head do not get stuck.
  • Cubes and Coroplast, or C&C style cages have become popular choice cages as well. Cubes are 14-inch coated-wire grids, while Coroplast is a plastic sign board in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets in multiple colors.
  • Use pre-packaged runs sold in pet shops which will contribute to the beautiful obstacle course-type pathways of the small creatures.
  • Include play houses like tunnels, hide cages in the form of boxes or empty toilet rolls, and pipes.


  • Change or water clean hay floor every week.
  • Freshen water and food every a couple of days so they don’t stink on the wooden floors or stain them.
  • Refrain from changing the runs because you want it different. Always be concerned about your pets.  Remember they need familiar terrain to be able to search through their food and resting places. You may instead move their entire home every week to a different part of the house for a different view.

To buy or make a guinea pig run

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to provide a comfortable home fitting and suitable for the lifestyle and scientific make-up of your pets. Although it is basic that the best thing to lengthen their lives is to treat them like humans, there are some areas in their biological structure that calls for a unique and careful approach in understanding their required habitat, environment and temperature, diet, and socialization venues.

Unlike most small pets, guinea pigs need larger cages as they are active. The main reason is that it is a necessity in their overall health. They need more than enough space to exercise: to run, hop, jump, and play. Exercise is vital to avoid illnesses, and the most common are respiratory infections and obesity since these animals have stout and compact bodies. They need exercise within their home, so we are not talking about bringing them outside for a walk like what we do with dogs. Unlike hamsters or mice that rest during the day and awake at night, the guinea pigs have active hours for the whole 24 hours. Guinea pigs have longer hours for activity and short periods in between for sleep. Therefore you need not just a wide cage. You need a long cage as well. Part of being active animals is their tendency to make jumps about 6 inches in the air, spin around, and run off to show you that they are happy. This is known as “popcorn” and definitely entertaining to watch.

Whether you choose to buy or make a guinea pig run is your choice. One decision is not really superior over the other. The common denominator should be the correct and timely preparation of acquiring the desired cage executed by the owner. Research through pet resources like books and websites as well as inquiry from experienced friends or known breeders is a smart thing to do. Because they are popular pets, standards may change over time. At one point for example, it was believed that a 4 square feet guinea pig run is enough for one cavy. Now, it is best to get as much as 7.5 square feet for two cavies or bigger than that. Make sure you are always updated.

A guinea pig run for the health and social well-being of your cavies

The basic rule in providing a guinea pig run for your pet guinea pigs is space area and length. Believe it or not, some guinea pig aficionados will even have an entire room for their pets just so they have a wide space and more room for exercise. The purpose of a larger cage is not just for a hobby or a show-off to guests at home. The biological make-up of guinea pigs generally requires daily exercise because it is the only way for them to avoid serious illnesses common among both sexes. Activity is evident 24 hours a day so when you house it in a small cage you are not contributing well to the general health of your pets.

It is important to note that guinea pigs bloom in good health in the company of one or more guinea pigs. Earlier tests have proven that they easily make ties with other guinea pigs. While females easily bond together, male guinea pigs (or “boars”) need to be with a long bonded female piggy (also called as a “sow”) more than unfamiliar ones. This is why experts suggest that one male and one female guinea pig make a great pair of pets in one cage. The only challenge here would be the possibility of more offspring, which would mean added costs on grooming and maintenance of the guinea pigs and the cage. Groups of boars can also live peacefully together as long as they were introduced earlier, preferably in infancy stages.

The common illnesses encountered by most of these animals when not provided with a large space and regular grooming accurate for their population in the cage are:

1.    Respiratory infections due to foreign bodies coming from their food or due to excessive heat;
2.    Diarrhea also due to the animal’s sensitivity to foreign bodies which makes treatment for an underlying disease with medicines a bit challenging;
3.    Scurvy due lack of Vitamin C;
4.    Abscesses and lice, mite, and fungal infections.

Maintaining health of a cavy with a guinea pig run

A guinea pig run is a more complex cage for guinea pigs. A longer lifespan for guinea pigs is possible when they are housed at a large cage which will allow them to exercise and explore within their cages. This is a perfect opportunity for a pet lover to challenge his creative and wild side in the attempt to provide his pet guinea pig with a livable space in his home.

Of course, when you provide a large cage for the pet, you have to make sure that it is not empty inside. This is when you will need to purchase lots of accessories and toys, but not too much that will restrain it from plainly running from one corner to the next. It is just like creating a miniature playground within the cage. You may have some small boxes, tunnels, inclined planes, mini-hiding cages, and similar stuffs that will make the cavies get the run of their lives in such a wide and playful space.

There are pet shops that specialize in the sale of guinea pig runs. You may get a fair price for a cage which has everything you need for your pet, and all you need to do is assemble it in your home. Another alternative would be to make it on your own. Wood, hammer, nails, wire mesh, plastic mesh, toys, hide box, hinges are just some of the materials and tools you would need to create a personalized guinea pig run.

The next thing you might be wondering after completing your guinea pig run is what to feed your guinea pigs. There are articles on the Web that speak of which toys you can provide for your pet cavies. Aside from a wide area and exercise-friendly atmosphere in their cage, all they need to play with is their food. So you must have a fair supply of fresh green grass to be included in their daily diet. Other than grass, you can also give them cabbages, turnips, and carrots.

How a guinea pig run should be prepared

Guinea pigs are lovable creatures to have as pets at home, but compared to other rodents ideal for a home setting they have intricate and complex requirements for their habitat. They are also sociable pets which mean their physical and emotional well-being should be nurtured by the company of fellow guinea pigs and a little interaction with their owners. In order to have its habitat conducive for living, the first and perhaps absolute requirement for guinea pigs is a huge, wide, and long cage, best known as a guinea pig run.

When we speak of a guinea pig run, it is not just a typical cage to house a guinea pig, also known as “cavy”. It is more than just a small house for the cavies that all you thought you have to do is make their stay comfortable by putting beddings and water/food bowl. It is just never the case.

The recommended cage size for one or two guinea pigs is at 7.5 square feet. For three cavies, it is 10.5 square feet. For four cavies, it is 13 square feet. Bigger is always better. The main reason for this is that these creatures naturally need a larger space as a home because they are very active animals that need daily exercise. Make their home small that they could not move around and guaranteed your pets will be up for a lot of illnesses. Just like humans, guinea pigs will suffer from diarrhea, diabetes, infections, obesity and other diseases when they do not perform activities that will make them healthy and fit. This is probably one of the reasons why guinea pigs have become ideal animals for scientific experimentation as early as the 1600’s.

Therefore, having known this short but vital information, make sure you have shared this with a friend or acquaintance who is deciding to buy a pet guinea pig. Taking for granted the necessity of a guinea pig run is unwise. It is the reason why they easily die in small cages the owners were not even aware why. They conclude immediately that guinea pigs have weak immune systems.

The importance of guinea pig runs

Guinea pig runs are an integral part of a guinea pig’s day because they are biologically in need of regular exercise. Unlike other species of rodents, their bodies need constant motion to resist illnesses common in their species when not provided with a habitat that allows them to hop, jump, climb and run. When deciding to have a guinea pig for a pet, don’t settle on one guinea pig. Have a pair or more because guinea pigs easily get stressed and depressed when left all alone as they are very sociable animals. It is unhealthy for their physical and emotional well-being when they do not have the company of fellow guinea pigs. They are also safe and in harmony when housed with other guinea pigs.

You may have a bungalow type of cage which has a wide area for the guinea pig to play around. The main idea here is to make the pen accessible to exercise as much as possible. You will need to create a little obstacle course to keep them active, healthy and fit. Many people often make the mistake of buying a small cage and one guinea pig. Sooner, they will find their sole pet sick or dying on the cage, and they will conclude that the guinea pig is a sensitive pet. Compared with other rodents, guinea pigs need extra attention so it is very important to understand their scientific make-up to be aware on how to properly care for them and avoid sudden deaths.

It is also a wise idea to have a two-level playpen for your guinea pigs. The top part can be their housing area, and the bottom part is the play area. Connect the two levels with an inclined plane that the piggy can pass through to go up and down his little house.

An Analysis on the Importance of Guinea Pig Runs in Relation to the Characteristics and Historically Scientific Influence of Guinea Pigs

A guinea pig run is an important requirement in the life of a guinea pig, also known as a cavy. It is simply a cage for the cavy that has equipments inside which allow it to move, run, play and jump around in its small home. It is usually a bigger cage, one that is literally larger than cages for hamsters because guinea pigs are more active in their habitats. It is a common situation that a pet owner will lose his pet when he is not well aware on how to properly look after his guinea pig and provide shelter for it in order to be able to move around a big cage. There are people who refuse to give the cavy to children a pet because they easily die. In the real sense, it is safe to say that guinea pigs are quite sensitive and complicated to have as a pet. However, when you have done your homework on the dos and don’ts in having the guinea as a pet and have obediently applied them in your daily interaction with it, taking care of it is not really a difficult task. It is only a matter of gaining accurate and sufficient knowledge about guinea pigs.

The ultimate reason for providing the best guinea pig run suitable for your cavy is exercise. Physical activity is a necessity in its daily routine to avoid health problems. For an male guinea pig, exercise is significant to avoid a common illness among male pigs known as impaction, a condition in which there is a loss of muscle in the anal area causing their feces to be restricted inside which may eventually cause some infections on the body. A bigger cage can help alleviate the problem as the pigs are capable of keeping themselves toned and fit through exercise. As in the case of female guinea pigs, they are prone to putting on more weight as they get older. It has been noted in research that veterinarians are having a difficult time assessing possible problems on the cyst when a female guinea pig is overweight.

Having said these, it is indeed vital for you to take responsibility to understand the requisites of choosing the perfect guinea pig run. You have two options: either you buy one already made by the best manufacturers, or you make your own. Aside from knowing how to effectively choose the size and to properly customize the cage, other things that you must know before venturing into guinea pig adoption to ensure their long lifespan are:

  1. The right way to choose a pet guinea pig.
  2. The number of guinea pigs that you must put into one cage.
  3. How to make the guinea pig run and your home conducive to the life of your pet.
  4. Popular tips on how to feed your guinea pig or pigs.
  5. The proper place inside the house to leave the cage and which equipments and tools around the house the cage should not be near to.

A note from the United States Department of Agriculture. The department clearly advises all breeders, dealers and pet owners to never place guinea pig runs in an outdoor setting because it is proven to be detrimental to the health of the guinea pigs. They must be placed in a temperature between 60°F and 85°F. Adequate ventilation is a must as well. Guinea pigs quickly succumb to heat stroke in temperatures over 85°F.

Now that we have made the discussion on the importance of guinea pig runs, let’s take a look at the common traits of guinea pigs which make them lovable pets and worthy of some serious investment on guinea pig runs and other accessories.

The most common trait of guinea pigs is their ability to learn intricate directions to food due to their innate behavior of having to be in motion at all times. In essence, they are active for one hour, rest on the second hour, and then get vigorous again in the next hour. The guinea pig run must have toys, hide boxes, miniature cages, tunnels and all sorts of accessories to assemble inside that you have created a little obstacle course within the cage for the guinea pig to run around. In that way, your pet or pets are better able to exercise at any time of the day. You may have more than one piggy in a cage, as they are very sociable pets.

One distinguishing trait with the guinea pig is how it acts when extremely happy and glad. They make little hops in the air in sometimes twirling motion and this is known as “popcorning”. This is a reminder that a guinea pig run must be high enough for this act to be executed.

The sense of seeing on guinea pigs is poor, so they rely on their strong senses of hearing, smelling, and touching to go about their daily habits on the cage. They communicate with fellow piggies by vocalization in which they create sounds through chattering, shrieking, squealing, whining, chirping, rumbling, bubbling, and whistling.

Guinea pigs have created such a strong influence in mankind’s history. Before mice and rats were used in laboratories for research, the 17th century has already been witness to the use of guinea pigs for scientific experimentation. They have been used in the areas of dermatology, pharmacology, irradiation, vaccination, antibiotics, and serology; in large part, for the discovery of new medicines and the diagnosis of certain diseases still unnamed in the past. It all made sense now why they need exercise. They have a body make-up similar to humans, and for that they were used in numerous researches as test subjects in the discovery of cures and treatments to thousands of diseases.