The Omlet Blog

DIY toys for rabbits and guinea pigs 

Spending time with your rabbits or guinea pigs is a great way to grow your bond with them, especially when there are toys involved. DIY toys for rabbits and guinea pigs are easy to make with materials that are probably already in your home. And these toys aren’t just for your pets — you’ll find that watching and interacting with your rabbits or guinea pigs through toys is both engaging and entertaining. Discover how making some of your rabbits and guinea pigs toys can be fun and rewarding. 

Woman and child playing with rabbit in the Zippi playpen

Why do rabbits and guinea pigs need toys? 

First, it’s important to understand why rabbits and guinea pigs need toys. Think back to your childhood — you likely played with toys as a means of entertainment, but also to aid in the development and growth of your cognitive skills. The same is true for rabbits and guinea pigs.

Rabbits and guinea pigs are able to keep themselves active and entertained with toys, as well as grow their critical thinking and problem solving skills. These pets may be small, but they’re smart and enjoy objects to chew, toss, chase, or cuddle up with. There are several types of toys for rabbits and guinea pigs that can be purchased, but there are many that you can make at home. 

How to play with your rabbits and guinea pigs 

Playtimes are some of the best times with your rabbits and guinea pigs. Owners that play with their pets get to experience their individual personalities, and build a bond with them that lasts a lifetime. Through play, your pets will learn to trust you, and you’ll be able to identify their unique body language and needs. 

Start by sitting on the floor or the ground with your rabbits or guinea pigs. Offering treats will help entice them to approach you if they are not already comfortable doing so. Introduce new toys one at a time so your pets aren’t overwhelmed. Show them their toy, maybe offering some movement if your pet is comfortable with it. Hang or place the toy in front of your pet, and watch them explore this new offering. 

Some rabbits and guinea pigs can be taught to fetch small toys, while some are more interested in the aspect of chasing.  Play around with different ways of interacting with your pets, like with Zippi Rabbit and Guinea Pig platforms to help you both see eye-to-eye. 

Types of DIY toys for rabbits and guinea pigs 

The most common types of toys for rabbits and guinea pigs include: 

  • Chews 
  • Activity toys 
  • Tunnels 
  • Forage boxes 
  • Hideouts 

You can make your own versions of many of these toys using household objects, or with a short trip to your local hardware store. It’s important to remember to choose non-toxic materials for your pets’ toys. Never use treated lumber or paint for your rabbits’ or guinea pigs’ toys, and make sure that any cardboard or fabric is removed if your pets begin to nibble on them. And, it’s always a good idea to supervise your pets while they’re playing with their toys — especially if they are inclined or able to eat them. 

DIY rabbit and guinea pig chews 

Most rabbit and guinea pig chews are made from apple wood or compressed timothy hay, or a combination of the two. There aren’t many substitutes for apple wood chews for rabbits and guinea pigs, as they are the safest variety. But, by purchasing bulk apple wood sticks and timothy hay, you can craft your own chew toys by wrapping the sticks in strands of hay. Cut them to various lengths, and create different shapes for variety. Sisal rope can also be used to wrap apple chews and hay together — just remember to remove the toy as soon as the rope becomes frayed or gnawed. 

Two rabbits chewing on homemade toy

DIY rabbit and guinea pig activity toys 

Activity toys are those that hang from your rabbit and guinea pig run. They’re designed to encourage your rabbits and guinea pigs to stretch, nudge, or tug. Most of these toys are made from apple wood and sisal rope, which are safe options for your pet. Experiment by making spiral or branch shapes, or by threading alternating pieces of apple wood with other edible treats like rabbit and guinea pig-safe fruit or veggies. 

You can also hang a Caddi rabbit and guinea pig treat holder in their run to encourage the same activity. The Caddi reduces waste, and has lots of room for your pets’ favorite treats. 

DIY rabbit and guinea pig tunnels 

Rabbit and guinea pig play tunnels that are made for small pets will hold up better than DIY alternatives. Some owners make tunnels from drainage tubing, but the small holes designed to release water pose a risk to your pets’ feet. A Zippi Rabbit and Guinea Pig Tunnel System is the best investment when it comes to fostering natural burrowing behaviors in both pets. The safest way to create temporary tunnels for your rabbits and guinea pigs in the meantime is to use boxes connected end-to-end.

DIY rabbit and guinea pig forage boxes 

A shallow storage tote or livestock feed bin makes an excellent base for a forage box for your rabbits and guinea pigs. Pour 1-2 inches of sand or top soil into the container, or add scraps of recycled cardboard or paper to create a substrate for your pets to dig through. Rabbits in particular will appreciate the opportunity to dig in soil. Once you’ve added a layer of substrate, toss small toys, chews or treats into the box and watch your pet forage for their findings. 

DIY rabbit and guinea pig hideouts 

There are several ways to create hideouts for your rabbits and guinea pigs. As prey animals, they both appreciate the opportunity to hide when they’re tired, overwhelmed, or during games of chase with each other. Rabbit and Guinea Pig Shelters are specially designed to create a safe haven for your small pets, and are the best option to be kept with their rabbit or guinea pig hutch and run. But, short play sessions, or additional options can be created with cardboard boxes, overturned plastic plant containers with an entrance cut into them, or with other creative alternatives. Just remember not to use treated materials, and be aware that DIY options are not weatherproof, and should not serve as a substitute for their hutch. 

Omlet and your pets 

 From rabbit and guinea pig hutches, to outdoor rabbit and guinea pig runs , discover how your pets encounter their world when you’re able to take an active role in it. Explore with them, encourage them, and most of all, enjoy them on a daily basis when you have rabbit and guinea pig products that have been designed to bring you closer than ever.  

Guinea pigs inside the Eglu Go hutch

 

This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs


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