It is very easy and fun to construct toys for guinea pigs at home, whether it is because you would like to save money and not purchase guinea pig toys from a pet store, or because making homemade guinea pig toys is fun, creative, and enjoyable. Guinea pigs are very playful, energetic, and social animals that need a variety of toys to play with. Here are a variety of items and materials you can use to make different kinds of toys that your guinea pig will have fun playing with.
Guinea pigs love small piles of soft scrap materials, such as fabrics or old clothes. They especially like playing around in clothes that have just come out of the clothes dryer. They will bury themselves in this pile of old clothes or other soft material, nibble on the clothes, or run up the pile and jump off. Guinea pigs also enjoy climbing up and jumping down a pile of socks.
And speaking of socks, you can make a “sock” toy by taking a clean sock, stuffing it with either clean guinea pig bedding or timothy hay, and tying the sock off at the end (or you can sew it shut). If this homemade sock toy gets dirty, you can wash it or just throw it away. Another toy you can make using socks is a “sock hammock”: cut open a sock so that it becomes square shaped. Using a hole puncher, make four openings in the corners of the sock. Tie four separate pieces of string on each of the corners, then join them at the top by tying them togeher. Attach this sock hammock to the top of the cage so that it hangs two to three inches off of the ground. Another sock toy that can be made is a “tennis sock” toy: put a tennis ball in a sock without holes and tie the sock off. Replace the sock if it rips.
You can make tunnels that your guinea pig can run through using clean paper bags or flowerpots. You can also take a clean shoebox and cut an archway in one side. You can do the same thing with an empty soda can box and empty facial tissue boxes; make sure to cut an entrance hole big enough for your guinea pig to fit through, make sure all plastic tape and laminated coating is removed from these boxes, and place the box in your guinea pig’s cage.
You can make a “tent” for your guinea pig by taking a paper plate and folding it in half to make a kind of small tent. Make sure to use a plain paper plate and not one with any kind of plastic coating, because plastic and laminate materials are very harmful to guinea pigs’ digestive systems. Another kind of “tent’ you can construct is by taking a clean, plain paper plate, folding it in half as mentioned previously, using a piece of yarn or twine to tie this tent to the corner of the cage, then placing a piece of fabric over the tent.
One cute guinea pig toy you can make at home is a guinea pig “sleeping bag”: take two old washcloths, sew them together on three sides, then fold the open side back a bit (like a turtleneck sweater) so the “sleeping bag” stays open.
Another fun and rewarding toy you can make yourself is placing a small guinea pig treat, such as a yogurt drop, on the center of a plain piece of non-toxic paper that does not have any printing or dyes on it. Crumple this paper around the treat to form a ball, and then give it to your guinea pig.
Finally, avoid toys that are made especially for guinea pigs, such as wheels and ball toys, as they are not good in quality and most guinea pigs will not use them or play with them. They are also not safe, because when guinea pigs go inside of these store-bought toys, they will either panic or freeze.
Have fun making those homemade guinea pig toys!
Engle, Roger. “How to Make Homemade Guinea Pig Toys”. http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-Homemade_Guinea_Pig_Toys&id=4426210 .
Schmidt, Ashley. “Simple and Inexpensive Guinea Pigs Toys: Eight Ideas for Home-made Toys for Your Pet Cavy”. http://www.associatedcontent.com.
Sherwood, Rena. “What Homemade Toys Can One Make for a Guinea Pig”. http://www.ehow.com/print/facts_5002592_toys-can-one-guinea-pig.html.