Guinea pigs are small animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need plenty of living space. Your guinea pigs need not only a place to lay their heads but exercise and play space, too. And if you have more than one -- and you should -- you’ll need to take that into consideration as well.
A Hutch is Like a Teenager’s Bedroom
Your guinea pigs’ hutch is where they’ll eat, sleep, and hang out. It should have room for everything they need, including:
But just as you want your teenager to come out of their room from time to time, your guinea pigs will need their time outside, too. So the hutch is only a beginning.
The Benefits of Adequate Space
Nobody likes feeling cramped, and that includes guinea pigs. But aside from your pets’ emotional well being, there are some distinct benefits to providing adequate living space.
They’ll Live Longer
We all live longer when we can get our exercise. Also, cramped quarters make for stressful conditions. And just like with people, stress can take a toll on your pets’ physical and emotional health.
Your Pets Will Get Along Better
Guinea pigs are territorial. Having enough room will ease territorial pressures. Also, reducing stress from overcrowding will make your guinea pigs’ home a more harmonious one.
On a practical note, faeces and urine build up quickly, and so does the smell. If they’re not eating, sleeping, playing and using the toilet in the same cramped space, your guinea pigs will smell better.
More importantly, the smell of urine and faeces attracts flies, which can cause flystrike. Less smell reduces the risk.
Less Cleaning For You
Dirt and other contaminants don’t build up as quickly when they’re spread out. Although you should spot-clean the litter pan daily, if your living space is large enough, you might not have to do a full bedding change every day.
The Right Size Hutch for One, Two or Three Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are social. In the wild, they live in groups. For this reason, the RSPCA recommends never having just one without a compelling medical reason.
However, if you do have a single guinea pig, our four-foot hutches provide adequate living space.
A pair of guinea pigs require a bit more room. Our five-foot hutches and double hutches would house a pair of guinea pigs in comfort.
And if you have three guinea pigs, then consider a deluxe six-foot hutch or six-foot double hutch.
But a hutch is only the beginning.
A Hutch Is Not Enough
Guinea pigs are active. According to the RSPCA, they’re active for around 20 hours per day. That’s a lot of time to be sitting in a tiny hutch, or even (don’t do this!) a cage.
Your guinea pigs need access to a larger space for exercise and play. They need to be able to run and stretch and dig and participate in other normal guinea pig behaviours. A spacious run can provide this space, as well as safe access to the outdoors.
Many of our hutches integrate seamlessly with our runs so you can easily build the guinea pig palace your pet deserves.