The Importance of Toys for your Pets


            Does your Pet have any toys?


Toys are so important for your pets for a number of reasons and should always be provided and exchanged daily.

 Just imagine living in one room of your house, and all you have is a bed, food, and water. No TV, no internet, no company, no games, books or not even a different view. So, enriching your pet’s environment with toys will make their lives not only better, but it is especially important for animals kept in hutches or confined to the house when their natural environment is outdoors.

Both Guinea pigs & Rabbits are intelligent and social animals, and as well as enjoying the company of other guinea pigs (and sometimes people), they need a lot of mental stimulation in order to keep their body and mind active and in peak condition. They can also be very shy and nervous, especially of the unknown, so having familiar items around them and places to hide, will make them feel more comfortable. Toys encourage guinea pigs to be happy and alert, display and undertake their natural behaviours, such as nibbling, throwing objects, and popcorning, which helps to keep them fit and occupied. Bored guinea pigs are likely to sit around more and may start to gain weight and they may start to chew on items that they shouldn’t, such as the hutch or run.

Lack of toys can cause:



Boredom The then causes bar chewing, hutch chewing

Stress. This then leads to fur pulling and feet chewing.


Bad Health. Teeth grow too long and don’t naturally wear down. Weigh gain


What sort of toys can guinea pigs have? Guinea pigs can have a wide and varied variety of toys and they don’t need to be expensive ones either. You can buy then in any pet shop or get creative make your own.  Toys made of strong, non-toxic plastic, cardboard, willow and wicker are ideal, although make sure that you inspect all the toys regularly for any sharp edges or dangerous holes which they could get a foot or their head stuck in or which may cause them an injury. If this is found to be the case, they must be taken away immediately.  

Shop bought toys If you look in any pet shop, they will have a wide selection of toys that have been designed especially for guinea pigs and Rabbits. These will include rattles, balls, chew blocks, tunnels, etc. However, you don't have to stick to guinea pig toys, some toys made for cats and dogs are also equally suitable for guinea pigs, as are baby toys which are always tough and non-toxic. Feeding balls/cubes which are designed to keep dogs amused are also great for guinea pigs & rabbits – being so food orientated; guinea pigs will do anything for food! These allow the guinea pig to play, whilst exercising and being rewarded with food. All or some of the guinea pig's daily food ration can be placed in the feeding ball in the morning to allow them amusement over the course of the day. There are also a lot of online rabbit and guinea pig toy companies so if you are unable to get to a pet shop you can shop online for your guinea pigs’ toys.

Home-made toys As well as buying toys, everyday items found around the home, that would otherwise be thrown away can make ideal toys for guinea pigs. The inner cardboard tubes from kitchen rolls and toilet rolls make good objects for guinea pigs to, tear and throw around. The tubes can be filled with hay and some small pieces of vegetables can be hidden in the hay. Large cardboard boxes that are filled with hay or shredded paper, with food items hidden inside them will provide a guinea pig with hours of fun as they scramble around in the box, nibbling the hay and searching for the food.

 Join boxes together and cut holes in them to make a maze system for your guinea pigs to explore, and also so they can hide away if they feel scared. Give your guinea pigs tunnels to run through and hide in. Plastic drainpipes make good tunnels or those designed for guinea pigs can be purchased in pet stores and from online shops.

Dangerous toys Not all toys sold by some pet shops are actually good for your guinea pig and they should never be allowed to be sold in the first place.   I have seen Hamster balls recommended for guinea pigs, guinea pig and rabbit lead and harnesses and some toys contain sawdust inside the toy. If you have any of these, throw them immediately in the dustbin!  If you are in any doubt as to the safety of a toy, then it is always safer not to give it and to give them something else. Replace the toys when they become worn or old and replace with new and exciting ones.


If you have a selection of toys, rather than put then all in at once, change then about so they get a different toy every day to play with to help keep their minds stimulated. 

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