Guinea pigs are very active animals and you’ll need to provide them with lots of toys and objects to keep them active. They’ll need a lot of space to be happy and healthy. A large hutch and a big, grassy exercise area provide them with the ideal living area.
They can live indoors or outdoors, so long as they have enough space and are kept comfortable in summer heat or bad winter weather. You can even keep your guinea pigs in a heated outhouse in a cavvycage.
If your guinea pigs live outdoors, don’t let them exercise in bad weather. Their bodies are very low to the ground and they can get cold and dirty on their bellies. Consider keeping them in a warm shed or outbuilding where they can exercise indoors during winter.
The ideal guinea pig enclosure will include:
- A large hutch. The RSPCA recommends an absolute minimum size of 4ft by 2ft but the bigger the better. Make sure it’s weatherproof and raised off the ground.
- A safe and comfy lining in their hutch. Clean woodshavings or sawdust are suitable. It’s best if any lining used is dust-free.
- Clean dry hay, straw or shredded paper as bedding. Your guinea pig will also need feeding hay to eat. You can read more about this on our guinea pig diet page.
- Constant access to a large, grassy exercise area. Guinea pigs don’t sleep much but take naps throughout the day and night. They’ll need to be able to choose when to go to bed and when to be active.
- Lots of tunnels and hides in their run so they can move around confidentially and hide if they want to.
- Plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. You can read more about ways to prevent boredom on our guinea pig health page.
Guinea pig paradise
Here are some great guinea pig enclosures to inspire you: