Guinea pigs are intelligent and social creatures that love to play and explore.
Many guinea pig owners provide their pets with a wheel to help them stay active and entertained.
But do guinea pigs actually go on wheels?
It turns out that guinea pigs are natural wheel-runners! In the wild guinea pigs live in meadows and grasslands where they are constantly on the move searching for food.
This natural instinct to move and explore is still present in domesticated guinea pigs making them avid wheel-runners.
Guinea pigs typically love to run on their wheel for short bursts of energy.
They will usually stop to rest after a few minutes before starting up again.
This pattern of activity is similar to that of their wild cousins who would stop to graze on grasses and other plants before moving on to the next patch.
While some guinea pigs will use their wheel regularly others may only use it occasionally.
There is no right or wrong way for guinea pigs to use their wheel – it all comes down to individual preference.
If you’re considering getting a wheel for your guinea pig there are a few things to keep in mind.
First choose a wheel that is the appropriate size for your guinea pig.
The wheel should be big enough for your guinea pig to run comfortably but not so large that it wobbles or is unstable.
Second make sure the wheel is made of a safe non-toxic material.
Guinea pigs love to chew on things so a wheel made of plastic or metal could pose a choking hazard.
Look for a wheel made of a safe chew-resistant material such as wood or PVC.
Finally be sure to place the wheel in a safe secure location.
Guinea pigs are agile creatures and can easily jump or climb out of their enclosure.
A wheel placed near the edge of an enclosure could result in your guinea pig falling and getting injured.
When used safely a wheel can be a great way to help your guinea pig stay active and entertained.
If you have any concerns about whether a wheel is right for your guinea pig talk to your veterinarian for guidance.