Things to consider:
Whenever you’re looking for an accessory, as a general rule, it’s important to consider the safety, the benefits it will bring to your guinea pig and the experiences of other buyers.
This can be broken down into four factors:
Guinea Pig Behaviour
Every guinea pig is different, and what works for one doesn’t work for the other. If your pet is an excessive chewer, then this needs to be considered when buying plastic products. If they’re prone to tipping things over, then sturdiness of an accessory needs to be a key feature.
It’s also important to consider what your guinea pig’s behaviour might mean before buying your accessories.
If your guinea pig is bored and frustrated, they’ll be showing it through excessive chewing, pacing around in circles, chewing the bars and grinding their teeth. In this instance, it’s important to see a vet, but it’s also important to consider if their environment is serving them well enough.
Do they have enough stimulation, toys, chews and space to run about?
Do they have places where they can hide and shelter since guinea pigs need constant access to shelter and privacy? As they’re a prey species, feeling like they have a place to hide is important.
Natural chewable wood or purpose-built chewable material is important for toys and accessories since guinea pigs are such avid chewers. Look for ‘non-toxic’ or ‘chew safe’ in the description of the product.
If you’re concerned about wood splintering, we recommend looking in the reviews at how the product has lasted over time. It’s also important to ask the company if you need extra reassurance. Generally, wooden products tend to be safe to use for guinea pigs.
When it comes to other products like plastic or fleece, it’s important that the product is specific about the material being pet-friendly or non-toxic.
It seems self-explanatory, but it’s important to check there isn’t anything on the accessory that could cause your guinea pig to choke or get their head stuck in. Since guinea pigs have such small legs, you should make sure everything is accessible – for example, incorporating a flat ramp or very small steps.
It’s also important to check the measurements of houses and huts to ensure your guinea pig won’t feel squashed.
It’s always better to choose from reputable pet shops like Pets At Home, Zooplus, Viovet or Omlet. However, if you’re buying elsewhere, it’s important to check the reviews and information about the company.