How to exercise your pigs?

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:09 am

I think one of the contributing factors to one of my pigs getting bumblefoot is a lack of exercise. How can you motivate them to actually move around and be active? He just... sits there. The younger one will run around now and then with a case of the zoomies. I don't think I've ever seen the older male get the zoomies. We've had him over a year now and he never runs. He will walk around and talk when he wants something like water, food or attention. They get plenty of all three! Outside of that... he just sits in the hay and munches... he lays in his igloo and naps... he buries himself in the hay and sits there... we take him outside and he stays in one spot eating grass... as you can tell; all of his favorite activities include laying around.

Our younger kids take them out daily but 99% of the time they just hold them; the pigs don't move around much during cuddle time. If you put them down on a blanket they just sit there. Oddly enough they never step off the edge of the blanket or towel. It's kind of nice that they never run off... but at the same time they never get any real exercise.

Any ideas to get this guy more active?


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:32 am

Take him out by himself during floor time and place small pieces of a loved treat all around the room (my piggies have all looooooooved red peppe, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Carrots, too - but I reserve them for bribery during unliked situations, like getting nails cut and getting anal sac cleaned). That always gets them exploring the room!


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:44 am

Thanks Babbler

Are they pretty good at sniffing things out on their own from across the room? Do you need to leave a scent trail to get them to go out and explore? Or maybe something like a 'trail of veggie crumbs' for them to follow?


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:53 pm

Yes, I leave a veggie trail! Good luck!

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:44 pm

How big is your cage? Like people, some guinea pigs are naturally more active than others. I can't say that very many of ours have been overly athletic, although our Zachary (my avatar pig) used to enjoy running up and down the ramp to the upper level of his cage.

Several members here have built very stimulating habitats for their guinea pigs that include tunnels, hideys that are swapped out regularly, and "enrichment toys" that encourage foraging, such as paper lunch bags that are stuffed with soft hay (careful to avoid stiff hay that could cause eye pokes), etc.

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:48 pm

You might also want to read over in case his inactivity has a health cause.


Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:54 am

Sef: It's a pretty big C&C cage; it's the 'large 2x4 with narrow loft'. We've tried some things in their cage but they pretty much ignore them. Cardboard tubes of stuff get nibbled on then ignored (probably becuase they have a hay loft and hay kitchen ... so why work for it? maybe?) We got a couple of the rods you hang from the cage with wood on it... again; a few nibbles then ignored. This weird polygon wooden toy... ignored. They do LOVE their little stuffies but they just love laying on them =P

Lynx: Thanks! I read over that... the only symptom I've seen is low activity.

Thanks everyone!

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Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:30 pm

Mine is getting lazier as well. She has a little over 8 sq feet and takes a run now and then, but mostly is pretty comfy. I change her hideys out each day, move the hay pile, add or remove fleece forests, and have treat dispenser balls for her to roll around. Now that the sun is getting higher, she gets a sunbeam across her cage and loves to lay in the sun. I can’t blame her. Maybe it’s a middle age thing - that’s my excuse for not running around more!

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