Can Guinea Pigs Run on Wheels?

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Many small pets like hamsters enjoy running on wheels. Probably, you’re thinking your guinea pigs can also have a great experience running on wheels. 

But first of all, you want to be sure if guinea pigs can run on wheels too.

No! Guinea pigs cannot run on wheels. You should never even allow it as they can get hurt doing it.

Wheels are common exercise toys for way smaller pets like hamsters, rats, mice, and gerbils. 

They have lots of fun running on them. However, for guinea pigs, it’s a No-No!

Well, this is just brief. Let’s get to know in detail why wheels aren’t safe for guinea pigs to run on.

Keep reading below!

Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Run on Wheels?

Guinea pigs can’t run on wheels mostly because they’re not built for it. Though it might seem fun, for a guinea pig, it can become a disaster.

To be more specific, the main concern here is the guinea pig’s spine. Wheels can give guinea pigs serious spinal injuries.

The reason is that as guinea pigs run on wheels their backs will have to bend into a U-shape. This is something a guinea pig’s back can’t do. In the process, they can injure their spine.

However, pocket-sized pets like hamsters are very flexible and acrobatic. Their backs can curve quite well to run on wheels safely. 

In addition to this, they have speed and climbing skills, unlike guinea pigs. It helps them to remain steady on the wheels. 

Running, climbing, and jumping might be the life of a hamster, but guinea pigs are fine with burrowing and exploring. 

However, you can use other safe alternatives for guinea pigs. 

Let’s look at some of the toys guinea pigs enjoy playing with below.

Recommended Reading: Are Guinea Pigs Related to Hamsters?

What You Should Consider Using Instead of Wheels:

Paper Balls

These are one of guinea pigs’ favorite toys. These paper balls are safer options than running on a wheel. 

They are equally one of the easiest to make. Just get some pieces of paper, fold them up into a ball shape and toss them in your guinea pig’s cage.

Guinea pigs have different ways to have fun with paper balls. They can choose to bite it, push it around their cages, or even drag it with cage mates.

You can also check out these awesome paper toys!

Tunnels (Tubes)

Guinea Pig Playing in a Tunnel

In case you don’t know, guinea pigs are prey animals. As a result, they have natural prey instincts. One that makes them hide all the time.

So, it has become part of their normal activity, especially when playing. Guinea pigs now love to hide for fun. And tunnels make great toys for this purpose.

You can either make these tunnels for your guinea pigs or get some pretty ones from stores. 

There should be enough space inside the tunnel to fit your cavy. Your guinea pig could get stuck in it if it’s too narrow.

You can make things more interesting by placing some food inside these tunnels. 

Check out these lovely play Tunnels for Guinea Pigs.

Cardboard Boxes

These items make great toys for guinea pigs. One good thing about cardboard is that they’re simple items that you can find at home. 

Though it’s inexpensive it’s one of the best toys that can keep your guinea pig happy. They help create hideouts and obstacles, which are fun for guinea pigs.  

Your guinea pigs can equally chew on them as well. You don’t have to worry as cardboards aren’t toxic to guinea pigs.

In addition, instead of some deadly exercise wheels, you can place some cardboard boxes in your guinea pig’s cage.

Chew Toys

As the name suggests, guinea pigs can play with these objects and at the same time nibble on them.

These chew toys can be chew balls or even chew sticks. They’re guinea pig toys with an extra benefit. 

Chew balls specifically are kind of like snack toys made from hay or grass. This means your cavy can eat this toy as well as play with it. 

Moreover, guinea pigs need to do a lot of chewing to keep their teeth in check. This is where chew sticks come in handy.

They’re safe to chew on as they’re made from natural and organic materials such as plant stalks, wood, etc.

See these affordable chew sticks you can get for your little pet.

Your guinea pigs will equally enjoy playing with these chew balls. Get one for them! 

Dangling Toys

Guinea Pigs Playing and Eating Hanging Carrot

Guinea pigs get a lot of excitement from dangling things that are hanging in their cage. 

You can use a bunch of chew toys, ribbons, pieces of cloths, etc. 

It could also be a hanging foods or small container filled with hay or grass. Your guinea pigs should also be able to eat from it while it’s hanging. 

This should be through a small opening provided on it.


Guinea Pig Playing in a Playpen

Since guinea pigs like to move around and explore, a playpen can be a pretty useful toy. It’s more like a structure that keeps your guinea pigs safe when they play outside your homes.

In addition to this, you won’t have to worry about your furry friends getting lost outdoors as long as they play in a playpen.

So, you can set them up outside your home with your guinea pigs inside. Don’t forget to include other toys and treats in it.

Check out these foldable play pens you can get for your guinea pig(s).

Final Thoughts

To conclude, guinea pigs can’t run on wheels. Never allow it as your furry friend can get hurt, especially their spine.

It’s fine for pets like hamsters to run on wheels. For them, it’s fun and a good way to exercise.

Moreover, this doesn’t mean guinea pigs don’t need exercise. They do! Wheels are just a bad idea for guinea pigs.

There are just better ways they can exercise other than to run on wheels. In addition to this, they have other safer toys to play with than wheels.

Moreover, I hope you learned a lot from this article. Don’t forget to share it with other guinea pig lovers!

Share it with Your Friends!