How to keep a single guinea pig happy is a common question to people who own or planning to own one guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are herd animals that are better kept in two to five guinea pigs, this means they do better with you have more than one.
In some places, you are not allowed to have only one this is because they can get bored, let’s talk about how to keep a single guinea pig happy.
How To Keep a Single Guinea Pig Happy
Here are a few ideas for making a single guinea pig happy:
1. Devote more to be with your guinea pig
Since your guinea pig has no other companion, it is important to spend more time with them to make them happy.
Even though guinea pigs are herd animals, some of them will still want to be alone, and you can see this when one guinea pig keeps fighting others in the same cage.
Being a herd animal means they always work and live in groups, and if you can’t provide them with a herd then get ready to be their herd by spending more time with them.
2. Provide more interactive toys for them
In keeping a single guinea pig happy one of the best ways to do this is to keep them engaged and active when they are not sleeping and providing engaging toys can help a lot.
Recognize that your guinea pig’s safety comes first and that many commercial toys can shatter and leave small bits that your guinea pig could choke on.
Only put huge and engaging toys in the cage that a single guinea pig can’t consume to avoid choking hazards.
Wooden blocks or dowels are excellent choices for guinea pigs that want to gnaw on items.
If you buy wooden toys, be sure they are untreated and unpainted as your single guinea pig will chew on them when bored.
Guinea pigs like racing through and resting in tunnels in their cage, be sure to provide more tunnels.
You may buy a tube or tunnel from a pet store, but you can also make one yourself using an empty container.
3. Let your guinea pig take food in your palms
In as much as you choose to keep a single guinea pig, you must be able to make yourself available because most guinea pigs need a herd.
Hand-feeding your guinea encourages contact between you and your guinea pig since you are their only family or herd.
Increasing the bond between you and your guinea pig can improve by allowing your guinea pig to take treats or food from your palm while you speak to them calmly.
4. Let your guinea pig have more access to roam
Guinea pigs love to explore their environment and this gives them an extra joy to see that their environment is totally safe.
You can use this to your advantage by letting your single guinea pig roam free in your home.
However, letting them roam free and explore your home comes with some backlash.
They can escape from your home when you are not looking, this means for you to let your single guinea pig roam freely the following should be in place:
- You must guinea pig-proof your home.
- Introduce your single guinea pig to other pets you might have.
- Block and set limits that your guinea pig can’t have access to.
- Close all small holes around your rooms.
- Hide treats to keep them busy all day.
- Provide different resting or sleeping platforms.
- Set up a camera to know their way about while away.
5. Set up their cage where you pass regularly
If you have a single guinea pig make sure you don’t set up a cage in a place they will feel isolated from you.
You can set up their cage in a place you walk pass regularly so that they can always feel your presence.
When you walk pass their cage you can speak to them in a calm tone to assure them you are always with them.
6. Stay close to them during your activities
Again having a single guinea pig means you’re their only family which means you have to join their herd.
You can set up your activities close to your guinea pig to make them feel your presence.
Let’s say you are reading a book, doing your homework, typing on your laptop, chatting with friends online, etc.
You can sit close to your single guinea pig and carry out all that activities, as that will keep them happy.
7. Regularly changing their cage set up
The major aim of rearranging their cage setup is to keep them happy and busy.
Allowing guinea pigs to explore their cage on their own makes them happy.
It’s a lot of fun to rearrange their cage layout to keep them happy.
This isn’t to mean you should be purchasing fresh kits for their cage on a regular basis.
Guinea pigs enjoy exploring new places; you may move their tunnel or hiding location, or even feed fresh hay to a different part of their cage.
Read more: 12 Top Signs Your Guinea Pig Loves You.
8. Setup treasure hunts for your single guinea pig
Treasure hunt is one of the most common ways to keep a single guinea pig happy and busy all day.
You can change where you put your single guinea pig food and make them work for it.
- You can hang their food in the other end of their cage.
- Hide treats on hidden areas of their cage.
- Hide treats above and under tunnels.
- Stuff toys with treats and roll it under hideout.
- Switch between food toys daily.
9. Set aside cuddle time
When it comes to keeping a single guinea pig happy nothing beats great cuddle time.
Cuddling with owners is one of the things that makes most guinea pigs happy.
During snuggling sessions, you’ll be amazed to see your guinea pig doze asleep.
When you gently rub and pet guinea pigs when they are dozing asleep, they will emit some unusual sounds.
10. Provide more layers in your guinea pig cage
Because guinea pigs are herd animals who require physical activity, you may build tunnels and add levels or tiers to your guinea pig cage.
Before building out the other upper levels, ensure sure the initial layer has adequate room.
You may make these layers yourself since they provide something that your guinea pig will like, and guinea pigs enjoy running on them.
Remember that if you want to build out layers, you’ll need a larger cage.
11. Keep their cage clean
Since guinea pigs spend so much time in their cages, you’ll want to make it as comfortable as possible.
To you, it’s just a cage, but it’s where they sleep, play, eat, go to the bathroom, eat hay, communicate with their roommate, drink water, and people-watch.
Guinea pigs spend almost all of their time in their cage, so make it as comfortable as possible for them.
It’s nice to have a lovely set-up, but you’ll need to clean their cage at least once a week to keep them happy.
Anything less would place your cherished pets in a filthy position, exposing them to potentially dangerous living conditions.
Read more: 13 Top Signs Of a Happy Guinea Pig.
12. Teach them tricks when you are less busy
Guinea pigs may be trained to stand on their hind legs, spin, run in a circle, stand on a perch, leap, and respond to their name.
Guinea pigs are more difficult to educate than other rodents, but with a little patience and effort, they can be trained.
Tamed guinea pigs are more receptive to training and learning new activities.
Taming your guinea pig will help you build a stronger bond with them before you start teaching them.
To teach your guinea pig tricks, you’ll need to utilize an operant conditioning approach, which comprises rewarding your guinea pig each time they complete a task.
Ways to know a guinea pig is happy
Here are a few methods to tell if your solitary guinea pig is content:
- A guinea pig with a happy disposition has a healthy appetite.
- A happy guinea pig will popcorn now and then.
- A contented guinea pig is unafraid to take treats.
- Usually, an inquisitive guinea pig is ecstatic.
- A happy guinea pig is constantly active and busy.
- A contented guinea pig does not show signs of boredom.
- A contented guinea pig will sleep anywhere in the cage.
- A happy guinea pig will crawl into its owner’s palms.
- A friendly guinea pig is looking forward to interacting with you.
- A happy guinea pig is always pleased to see you.
Ways to know your guinea pig is not happy
Here are a few methods to tell if your solitary guinea pig is not happy:
- An unhappy guinea pig will not allow you to pet it.
- A guinea pig who is dissatisfied is uninterested in activities at all times.
- A sad guinea pig will not crawl into your hands.
- Aggression is commonly displayed by an unhappy guinea pig.
- Your grumpy guinea pig will not accept treats from you.
- A guinea pig who is dissatisfied will only eat while you are not there.
- When you’re nearby, a guinea pig who is upset will hide.
- A grumpy guinea pig will act grumpy around you if it is unhappy.
Read more: 10 Common Signs Your Guinea Pig Hates You.