If you know anything about guinea pigs, you know they love to play. Although piggies are so cute, you can’t always be there to have a staring contest with them. As you find a toy for your little fur baby, you might be asking, do guinea pigs like stuffed animals?
Yes, guinea pigs like stuffed animals. Guinea pigs love to chew, drag, hump on, or use stuffed animals as pillows. Just make sure that the stuffed animals you buy are made of safe material. Avoid stuffed animals with small glass, metal, or plastic pieces that your guinea pig could choke on.
Stuffed animals are one of the best toys for guinea pigs. Not only are they affordable, but they’re also fluffy, soft and light. Guinea pigs can get comfortable with them easily.
In this post, I’ll tell you all about stuffed animals as toys for guinea pigs, what to look out for when selecting them, and other alternative toys you can get.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Do Guinea Pigs Like Stuffed Animals?
Many guinea pigs like stuffed animals. A stuffed animal can’t completely replace another guinea pig as a friend. But, it can offer comfort and companionship to lots of piggies. Good news, huh?
But, how can you be sure?
As you know, I LOVE social proof. And I wanted to get an overall sense of how guinea pigs react to stuffed animals. So, I manually surveyed 113 guinea pig owners about their little friends’ interactions with them.
Here’s a few highlights from the survey:
- Several pet parents had never considered introducing stuffed animal toys to their piggies.
- Some pet parents introduced stuffed animals after the piggies lost their companion
- Others introduced stuffed animals to piggies who didn’t get along with others. They were hoping that their little friend wouldn’t be lonely
- The personality of the guinea pig decided if they liked the stuffed animals.
- Several pet parents made DIY stuffed toys for their piggies such as pillows, socks etc.
68 respondents (60%) had introduced a stuffed animal to their guinea pigs. Now, 51 (75%) saw that their guinea pigs had positive interactions with the stuffed animals. Their fur babies snuggle and sleep with their stuffed animals.
But, 17 (25%) respondents who had introduced stuffed animals saw no reaction. Their guinea pigs completely ignored the toy.
And one aggressive piggie ripped out the throat of the stuffed animal her pet parent gave her. Then she tried to drown it in her water bowl. (Uh, yeah. Definitely a solo piggie there.)
I learned that pet parents offered a variety of stuffed animals to their piggies, like the following:
- Stuffed owl
- Red Panda
- Little Guinea Pig
- Build-a-bear horse
- Small Pink Pig
- Stuffed tiger
- Stuffed Teddy Bear
There doesn’t seem to be any connection between types of stuffed animals and whether the piggie likes them. But, to the majority of piggie owners polled, stuffed animals are a comfort to their solo or lonely fur babies.
Will YOUR little, fuzz spud like a stuffed animal for a friend?
Well, there’s only one way to find out. Buy a piggie-safe stuffed animal for your guinea pig, introduce them, and see how it goes.
But, what’s a “piggie-safe” stuffed animal?
Let’s take a look at…
Things To Avoid When Selecting Stuffed Toys For Your Guinea Pig
If you’re going to buy your guinea pig a stuffed animal, you have to make sure that it’s safe. (No accidents, please). So, you want to make sure that the stuffed animals you give your guinea pig doesn’t have:
- Eyes made of beads, glass, metal, or plastic
- Beans as their filling/stuffing
- Materials treated with chemicals
Remember, you can also DIY a stuffed toy for your piggie. Several piggie owners had made their own out of socks and pillows. This way, you won’t have to worry about any choking hazards or harmful material.
Some people said that their piggies liked the toys right away. But others said it took a while before their piggies warmed up to the stuffed animal.
When you first introduce stuffed animals to your little friends, you’ll have to give them time to get used to it. If they ignore it, you can remove it from their cage.
The piggies might (very likely) pee on the stuffed animal. So remember to clean it occasionally.
There’s no harm in trying to find out if your little fur baby can like stuffed toys. Guinea pigs are very playful so the likelihood of your piggie playing with them is high.
A few pet parents said that their piggies even brought their stuffed toy to their food. It seems they wanted to share it.
Are Stuffed Animals Okay for Guinea Pigs?
Stuffed animals are okay for guinea pigs as long as they’re free from harmful materials and chemicals. Plus, you have to make sure that there’s no loose pieces like buttons or beads on the stuffed animal that your guinea pig can choke on.
But you should know that this reaction is different, depending on the personality of your little friends. Some piggies quickly become comfortable with the toys. Other are warier and take a while to play and cuddle with the toys. And some don’t want to have anything to do with a stuffed animal
The best way to start is to give your piggie time with the stuffed animal. Observe to see if they react positively or negatively to it. If they don’t go near it, remove the stuffed toy.
Since pigs love to chew, the stuffed animals also become chewable toys to keep their teeth busy and reduce their growth.
Guinea pig’s teeth actually never stop growing. So constant chewing helps ground them and stop them from overgrowth that could hurt their jaws.
How do Guinea Pigs Play with Stuffed Animals?
Piggies like to play with their stuffed animals in different ways. Here are some of the most popular ways:
Use Them As Pillows
You’ll occasionally come across your piggie laying its little head on the stuffed animal like a pillow. Stuffed toys are fluffy so piggies enjoy laying on them as they sleep.
Hump on them
Stuffed animals keep guinea pigs entertained and also are great for *ahem* humping. Don’t be worried if the primary use of the stuffed animal you gave your piggie becomes a humping toy.
Drag Them Around the Cage
One of the best ways to know your little fur baby loves the toy is when they drag them all around the cage. There’ll be a lot of biting and chewing involved too!
How Can Guinea Pigs Play With Stuffed Animals Safely?
There’s a few things you need to look out for when guinea pigs play with stuffed animals:
- Eyes: Avoid anything with beads, glass, metal, or plastic eyes. These can come off and cause your piggie to choke.
- Buttons: Buttons can also come off and pose a choking hazard.
- Cut off the label: Once you purchase a stuffed animal for your piggie, make sure to cut the label since they love to nibble on them.
The best place to shop for safe stuffed animals for your piggies is in the baby section of stores. Typically, if it’s safe for a human baby, it’s safe for your fur baby.
Can A Stuffed Animal Help A Lonely Guinea Pig?
Yes, stuffed animals can help a lonely guinea pig. Some guinea pig owners introduced stuffed animals to their lonely piggies and noticed their moods improved.
Some piggies treat the stuffed animals as companions and eat and sleep with them. They also play and fight with them. You can also expect them to snuggle and cuddle with the stuffed animals once they get used to them.
Some guinea pigs get comfortable with stuffed animals very quickly. Others…not so much.
In a survey of 100 guinea pig owners, I found out that:
- 77% used stuffed toys as a temporary replacement buddy for their grieving guinea pig.
- 9% used stuffed toys as a permanent replacement buddy for their grieving guinea pig.
- 14% preferred using alternative toys with their fur babies.
Alternatives To Stuffed Animals That Guinea Pigs Can Play With
Maybe you tried to introduce stuffed animals to your piggie and they didn’t like it. Or maybe you want to supplement the stuffed toys with something else? Don’t worry, there’s a wide variety of things that your guinea pig can play with.
These toys can range from tunnels, twigs, wood, hay, stuffed socks, paper bags, and cardboard boxes. Here’s a few alternatives to stuffed animals to keep your furry entertained.
Hay Stuffed Socks
You know those lonely socks whose matches you have never been able to find? Don’t throw them away. They make for great chew toys for your piggies.
Make some holes in them and stuff them with hay. Then tie the ends with wool or safe string or if it’s long, you can just make a knot at the end.
This will be similar to a stuffed pillow for your piggie who will either drag it around or play with it. Even better, they will feed on the hay.
Just make sure to refill the hay when it’s finished and wash the socks occasionally.
Paper Bags Stuffed With Hay and Forage
Guinea pigs love the crunchy sound from paper bags. Added to the fact that it is chewable, you have a perfect DIY toy in your hands.
This is a simple toy that you can make in minutes. Find a paper bag and make holes on its sides. Fill it with hay or forage and tie the end with wool or any safe string.
Guinea pigs are chewers so they’ll love this toy with the added entertainment value. They can roll it around, sit on it or drag it all while eating the hay stuffed in.
Cardboard Boxes Stuffed With Shredded Paper Or Hay
Cardboard boxes are one of the best things for guinea pig entertainment. It is the second most popular toy among guinea pig owners. Cardboards are cheap, chewable and easily replaceable after piggies pee on them.
Ensure the cardboard box you give your little fur babies does not have glue, staples or tape. You can use;
- Oatmeal box
- Cereal box
- Tissue box
- Shoe box
- And store-bought boxes
For the store-bought boxes, make sure they weren’t sprayed with disinfectant. Some stores spray them with disinfectant which is harmful to your piggies.
To make a playhouse for your piggies, cut two or three openings. They should be large enough to fit your furries. Then add hay or shredded paper or any other treats your piggie loves.
Guinea pigs love burrowing, exploring, and chewing so cardboard boxes make for the perfect toy. Don’t forget to clean the boxes before using them.
What Toys Do Guinea Pigs Like To Play With?
Are you looking to buy a toy for your little fur baby? Don’t fret. You don’t need to find toys that are only for guinea pigs. A lot of cat and bird toys are very popular with guinea pigs.
Here is a list of some of the toys that have been big hits with guinea pigs.
Cat Treat Ball
Cat treat balls are a great toy for your furries. Guinea pigs aren’t like other rodents who can run on the wheel to keep active. They need a push to help them move around and the cat treat ball does just that.
This toy is three in one for;
- and exercise.
Take time to teach them how to use the toy and watch your furry be obsessed with it. Click here to get an affordable cat treat ball for your little friends.
Guinea pigs are furrow animals therefore tunnels appeal to their behavior. They love to explore and find their way out.
You can guide them through the tunnel with treats at some sections. This’ll encourage them to burrow their heads in as they hunt for the treats.
Click here for an affordable crinkly guinea pig tunnel that looks like it was made just for your little friends.
Balls are also just as fascinating to guinea pigs as cats and dogs. They love to chase it around biting and chewing it. You have to add it to your piggie’s toys.
Willow balls are great chew balls that your piggies can play with and also eat. Just like the cat treat ball, it helps them keep moving which is great for their health.
Click here to get affordable willow balls for your little furries.
Lots Of Hay
Saying guinea pigs love hay feels like stating the obvious, but guinea pigs do love hay. They can spend all day and night (they wake up at night) chewing on hay.
Hay is a great source of food for them and they love playing in it. Your piggies will roll around in the hay, eat and even pee in it. Remember to change it often since it will get damp from pee.
Click here to buy some affordable and good-quality Timothy hay for your little fur babies
Guinea Pigs Houses and Huts
It is the cutest sight to see your piggie jump into its little house or hut. Guinea pigs are prey animals so they love things that can hide them.
Your piggies will be drawn by instincts into the houses and huts since it hides them and feels safe. Click here to get your piggies a durable, cute hideout.
Things To Remember About Guinea Pigs and Stuffed Animals
- Guinea pigs love to cuddle. However, based on the breed, some may take time to bond with you and allow you to touch them. So be patient.
- Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs do not have a spine that can curve. Do not stick them into a ball as it may damage their spine.
- Guinea pigs are not as active as other rodents so select toys that will allow them to move around.
- Remember to replace and clean stuffed animals that your piggie plays with.
- Do not give your piggies stuffed animals with eyes made out of buttons, glass, plastic, or metal.
- Guinea pigs are susceptible to loneliness and depression.
- Guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing. Crazy, huh? Get your piggie chewable toys to help ground the teeth and reduce the growth.