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.