Can Guinea Pigs Roam Free?

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Wild guinea pigs historically roamed free in South America, inhabiting burrows in rocky grasslands in groups of 10 or more. Roaming free outside can provide a modern guinea pig the opportunity to forage for natural vegetation but leaves him vulnerable to predators. You can let a guinea pig roam free inside your house for exercise.

In the House

Some guinea pigs can be trained to return to their cages to use the litter box. Begin by training your guinea pig to use a litter box inside the cage. Place a few of his droppings inside the litter box regularly until he gets the idea. After he consistently uses the litter, you can place his cage on the floor and open the door. Start with limited access to surrounding areas, and gradually give him more freedom as he consistently returns to the litter box.

Diapers

Another way to let your guinea pig roam free in your home is to diaper him. Prefabricated diaper suits work in conjunction with sanitary pads to absorb urine and contain feces. You can fashion a homemade diaper from a sock with holes cut on each side of the toe for your pig's rear legs and a sanitary pad tucked inside. Don't let your guinea pig wear diapers for extended periods; otherwise, he may develop an infection.

Pasturing

Guinea pigs enjoy roaming in your backyard, especially if you have a lush, chemical-free lawn or other nontoxic plant life to nibble. Guineas need access to hiding spaces and areas of sunlight and shade to avoid getting too hot or too cold. Standing water or spray from a lawn sprinklers can drench guinea pigs, leaving them vulnerable to hypothermia, so ensure they can't get wet. Make sure they have access to plenty of clean water served in containers that are not deep enough for guinea pigs to drown in. Change the water at least twice daily.

Considerations

While you can let your guinea pig roam free in your home and backyard, doing so exposes him to dangers he won't find in his cage. Guineas may nibble baseboards, furniture, upholstery or electrical cords in your home; the strong-smelling urine of the male may leave unpleasant smells in porous surfaces. Toxic plants and neighborhood cats are the two most common outside dangers. Guineas are capable of digging out or chewing holes in fencing to escape.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

Author

Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.

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