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Cage Accessories for Guinea Pigs

As new piggy parents one of the first things we all want to do is go out and buy every accessory under the sun to amuse and stimulate our little bundles of love! But in reality, not everything is suitable, or in fact, needed. Here’s our guide to what you need in your guinea pig enclosure and the extras you can add to make life for your piggies heaven!

cage accessories | essentials

WATER BOTTLE(S)

Water presented in a specialist small animal water bottle is the easiest and cleanest way to provide fresh water for your guinea pigs. Some piggies might prefer to drink from a bowl, but this can quickly get dirty. If you have a larger herd of piggies you will need more than one bottle to ensure they have ample opportunities to take a drink.

HAY RACK / HAY FEEDER(S)

Hay should make up at least 80% of a guinea pig’s daily diet. Good quality feeding hay can be presented in a hopper, bowl, rack or hay bag so that it can be eaten easily at head height and is not excessively trampled into the ground. Using an accessory for this will help keep the hay fresh and dry and avoid it being peed on! We recommend adding fresh feeding hay to your enclosure multiple times a day.

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HAY BOX / AREA

Regardless of your bedding choice, providing your piggies with a dedicated hay area is really important for their well-being. We would recommend setting aside at least a third of your cage space to this if you can. Meadow or Mountain hay is a good choice for this area as it is softer and warmer than some of the coarser hays available. Expect your piggies to eat the hay, forage within it, sleep, hide and even poo and wee in it! Clean and refresh daily!

FOOD BOWL(S)

Guinea pigs need some fresh vegetables each day and also a small portion of dry pellets / nuggets (to ensure they are getting the nutrients and vitamin C that they need). A feeding bowl is a great way to present this nourishment.

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TUNNELS / ARCHWAYS / HIDEY HOUSES

By nature, guinea pigs are prey animals and they like to have somewhere safe to hide, rest or take a nap. They are also inquisitive animals and love to explore. Tunnels, archways, hidey houses and huts are all great accessories to make your piggies feel safe and also stimulate their brains. Make sure you have plenty of these items to avoid squabbles!

ENRICHMENT TOYS

You’d be pretty bored if you didn’t have anything to do all day, so make sure your guinea pigs get the mental stimulation they deserve by making their home fun to be in! Experiment with different ways to present a food challenge, for example, stuffing a toilet roll tube with yummy hay and forage. You could hide food around their enclosure for them to find or give them a treat ball to roll around and play with. Always make sure the toys you provide are pet safe – some guinea pigs love to chew!  Be creative and your piggies will be much happier for it! For additional ideas, see below.

Layout Tips

It’s very easy to quickly fill up your enclosure with accessories but please be mindful that your piggies need plenty of space to move around in and avoid one another if necessary. We’d strongly recommend avoiding bottlenecks, i.e. areas where space is tight and your guinea pigs don’t have the room to get past each other or turn around. This will only result in fighting and stress for your piggies.

Be imaginative! It’s always good to change things up regularly. Guinea pigs love exploring and will be excited to check out a new cage layout. This can be done after every cage clean to keep things fun!

For popular accessories, consider buying more than one! Every piggy has a favourite hidey hut but hogging a space can lead to friction in the herd. Try and provide at least one calm and safe spot in your enclosure per piggy so they all have somewhere to go and chill out. You may also want to do the same for water bottles and bowls so that timid pigs are not frightened away by dominant ones and can eat and drink in peace!

cage accessories | expanded

PELLET BOWL(S)

In reality, pellets only need to be a very small proportion of a guinea pigs diet. Over eating can actually result in overweight piggies so it's important that you portion control your pellets. Having a dedicated sized bowl, that is smaller and helps monitor your piggies intact, is a really good way to do this.

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FLEECE BEDS

Guinea pigs love napping, in fact, they spend most of the day and night taking power naps! If you can find yourself some nice cosy fleece beds for your piggies, they'll treasure you for it!

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ARCHWAYS / BRIDGES

When it comes to useful accessories, we can't recommend these wooden archways enough! They are flexible and adjustable, so you can lay them flat for easy storage and then flex them into any shape you want. You piggies will love running underneath them or using them as covered area to nap. They can also be used as a bridge.

HIDEY HUTS

Guinea pigs adore fleece hidey huts! They provide a safe haven to sleep in and also somewhere to hide in when they feel anxious or scared (or have a great treat they want to keep to themselves!). We also use our huts to transfer our piggies to and from their outdoor run!

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CARDBOARD PLAY BOXES

Cardboard boxes make great dens! Not only can you easily cut doorways and windows into them, but your piggies can also chew on them (which is great for their mental well-being!). If you're going to make your own cardboard houses, make sure you remove any packing tape from the boxes and ensure they are made of natural cardboard (i.e. not coated). At HayPigs!® we have our own range of cardboard playhouses for you to enjoy, click on the link below to find out more!

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LAP PADS / PEE PADS / FLOOR PADS

Fleece pads are available in all sorts of sizes and can be very useful for a multitude of applications. They can be used to protect surfaces during floor time. Provide a soft, warm surface for your piggies to lie on when out on the grass. Provide protection from pee when you have a guinea pig in your lap. Even provide insulation and warmth laid over an archway during colder spells. We think they are super handy to have around!

WATER BOTTLE DRIP PADS

We've not yet come across any small animal water bottle that doesn't leak or drip a bit - it's a fact of life! And even if you do find a pretty good one, you can guarantee one of your piggies will be a "slurper" and dribble water down their chin! That's why bottle drip pads can be handy to soak up drips and keep the floor of your enclosure as dry as possible.

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ENRICHMENT TOYS | EXPANDED

FOOD CHALLENGE TOYS

Many guinea pig toys are designed to provide your piggies with a feeding challenge. This will make them have to work a little harder for their treats and as a result is mentally stimulating and good for social interaction too!

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TREAT BALLS

Fill with tasty treats like dried fruit and vegetables (pea flakes are a favourite of our piggies!). Great for keeping your pets active and stimulated and can also help reduce their stress levels.

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TILTING TUNNELS

The HayPigs!® Cavy Cannonball™ is the world's first tilting tunnel for guinea pigs and provides a unique enrichment experience. It is indeed possible to train your piggies to use it but many of them work it out for themselves! It also provides a stimualting food challenge if stuffed with hay and/or forage.

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Cage / Enclosure Options

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