While there are lots of toys out there that you can buy for your guinea pig, there are also things you have lying around that can make for great activities too.
Since you know your guinea pig better than anyone, you can create things that they’ll enjoy the most. Not only this, but making homemade toys for your little buddy is fun and relaxing, and you have the added satisfaction of giving them something that was made with love!
Each one of these ideas has been chosen because of the way they enrich your guinea pigs life. If you’re not feeling up to it, however, then check out our round-up of the best guinea pig toys.
All of the below are handmade, so keep an eye on your guinea pig when the toys are in the cage and ensure to remove them once they are chewed, emptied or dirty.
8 DIY guinea pig toy ideas you can make today
A tunnel is a wonderful addition to the guinea pig pen since guinea pigs are natural foragers and love little hideaways. A tunnel also encourages them to move around the space more and explore which is a great way for them to stay fit and healthy.
Many people often suggest using toilet paper rolls when it comes to homemade tunnels, but they’re actually too small. So try to find larger rolls that your guinea pig will be able to walk through easily. Paper towel rolls can be better, but we would say a cardboard roll from an old food carton is even better. Oats and grains can come in these styles of tubs.
To ensure it’s safe, strip the roll completely and make sure there isn’t any glue left on the roll, as this can be harmful to your guinea pig. Guinea pigs can eat anything wood related, so if they nibble on the tunnel, it’s okay; however, if they’re chewing it endlessly, then it’s best to take it out.
2. Foraging bag
Take a paper bag and cut small holes into it (mimicking a Wiffle ball). Then fill it with straw and treats before sealing it up at the top, by tying it up.
All that’s left then is to place it in the pen and watch your little piggies get to work as they push the bag around to get the tasty treats and straw inside.
3. Chocolate bar toy
Guinea pigs need things to chew on; it relieves frustration, and while it may not seem like a very exciting toy, it’s actually what guinea pigs like to do best. So if you’d rather not buy the store-bought toys, all you need is a natural block of wood that’s pet-safe, as well as pet-safe (soy) paint.
Start by using the paint to design a wrapper onto the wood, up to halfway. For the wood that hasn’t been painted yet, simply paint it brown, followed by adding a white grid on top of the brown to show the chocolate segments. This toy looks really cute in their house and will keep them entertained for hours.
4. Stuffed cardboard roll
Unlike the tunnel above, which is left empty, you can stuff the cardboard roll full of hay with treats scattered inside.
This way, they have to forage to get everything out of it. Why not hang the roll up, so they have to try and reach it instead? Guinea pigs love hanging toys, too.
5. Stuffed hay socks
Got an odd sock or two lying about? Don’t add them to the landfill – make a toy! Wash it to ensure it is clean (don’t use any washing detergent, though). Then, stuff with hay.
If it is long, tie it around itself. But if it is short, you can use a short string. Create some holes in the sock using scissors, and stick some hay out of these so your pig knows what’s going on. They will treat the sock like a ball, dragging it around to get the hay out.
Seesaws are a great way to inject some fun into your guinea pigs pen and will make exploring their environment a little bit more dynamic. All you need is a piece of pet-friendly natural wood (in the shape of a rectangle) as well as the second piece of wood that is a triangle shape. Simply glue the triangle onto the flat piece of wood with the pointed bit towards the bottom and the flat surface at the top (so it’s like an upside-down triangle) – this will provide the mechanism it needs to tip to one side and back again.
You can then choose to paint it or leave it natural, and then all that’s left is for your piggies to enjoy it! Ensure it isn’t too tall as you don’t want them to fall off.
7. Mini jump gates
Mini jump gates create a perfect opportunity for your little piggy to learn some tricks as well as get their daily exercise in. You can also use these jump gates as part of an assault course, with treats being the prize. This is an excellent way to bond with your guinea pig and to give them mental stimulation.
All you need is two small blocks of wood and a dowel. Depending on whether you want to increase the height each time will depend on how you stick the dowel onto the wooden blocks. If you want to increase the height to challenge your guinea pig, then we recommend using pet-friendly biodegradable sticky tape. However, if you’d rather not use tape, then you can glue the dowels on with PVA glue or homemade glue using flour and water.
8. Weave assault course
An assault course is an excellent bonding activity for you and your guinea pig to enjoy, plus it gives your guinea pig a chance to show off their impressive brainpower and recall skills. And in order to create a weaving assault course, surprise surprise, you need toilet rolls and a piece of long, flat wood.
Simply cut the toilet rolls to your desired size and then stick them onto the wood in a zig-zag pattern using PVA or biodegradable tape. You want the space in the zig-zags to be big enough for your piggy to weave in and out of them freely. Once it’s dry, simply place a trail of treats throughout the zig-zag and watch your guinea pig learn to weave through them.