At HayPigs!® our vision statement is to “Enrich the lives of small furries (and their owners) every day.” So what does enrichment actually mean and how should we go about achieving it?
Long gone are the days when you simply bought your guinea pig a cage, threw some wood shavings in the bottom and fed and watered them each day. Our understanding of the social and wellbeing needs of small furries has dramatically developed over the last few years and we’ve noticed a real change in the way top-notch piggy parents are behaving.
Providing your guinea pig with an enriching environment is all about creating a home for them that meets their specific needs and allows them to go about their daily lives in a stimulating and safe setting. There are lots of ways of achieving this and at HayPigs!® we are always very keen to share some of our top tips and advice:
There is no doubting that guinea pigs (or piggies as we like to call them) love their food. Anyone who has ever had a piggy will know that familiar “wheek! wheek! wheek!” sound that they make to grab your attention. But when you stop and think about it, giving your guinea pig a bowl of food is actually a very easy win for your piggy and requires no effort (but for the wheeking!) on their part. So what we advise is to change it up from time to time. In the wild, guinea pigs would have had to forage for their food, finding little bits here and there. You can do exactly the same with their vegetables. Scatter them about, hide small pieces in tunnels or over arches and watch your piggies sniff them out. You’ll soon see them popcorning with delight when they discover a tasty morsel hidden in the corner or scurry away excitedly to hide, with a large treat clutched in their jaws. And don’t forget tasty fresh hay and forage can have a similar effect and shouldn’t just be left in a hopper all the time.
Give them space:
Piggies actually need lots of space to run around in and explore. They may also want to find a quiet corner for themselves to take a nap in where they feel safe and secure. A lot of pig parents are choosing to use C&C caging these days, a module grid constructed pen, that can be extended upwards and outwards. Typically, two piggies will need at the very least 1 square metre of floor space, but bigger is always better!
Exercise is really important for keeping your guinea pigs fit, healthy and happy, so making an interesting layout for them with stimulating archways, tunnels and hidey-holes is a great way to get them moving about. Guinea pigs are very inquisitive creatures and love exploring. As a rule of thumb we recommend changing up your cage / hutch layout every few days to keep them stimulated, or at least once a week after your ‘big clean’. Be careful not to overload your dwelling with too many toys as the pigs will need enough space to get around comfortably. Also be wary of creating bottle necks where your piggies may get cornered of feel trapped. It is not unusual for guinea pigs to chase each other around and a stressed piggy might need an escape route!
Feed their minds (not just their bellies!):
With the right handling and teaching, guinea pigs can learn to do all sorts of tricks for food treats. Just like dogs, they find this stimulating and are keen to please. We’ve seen videos of piggies weaving in and out of cones, playing basket ball, jumping through hoops and even shutting doors and rolling out yoga mats! If you don’t believe us, Google “Ace’s Amazing Tricks” to see our Canadian friend Jenna with her super talented piggy, Ace. He puts our border collie dog to shame with his agility moves and tricks! Training takes patience, praise and reward, but we guarantee both owner and animal will benefit hugely from the experience!
A little bit about us:
HayPigs!® is home of the multi-award-winning HayPigs!® Guinea Pig Circus™. Our family run business design toys, feeders and accessories for guinea pigs and other small animals – with a circus theme!
We pride ourselves on providing our customers with a fantastic user experience, from receiving and un-packaging our products to enjoying the interaction and play of using them with their pets. At the end of the day, it’s all about encouraging people to spend more time with their pets, enriching the lives of their small furries and enhancing their own wellbeing.
Included in our range of 6 completely bespoke products is the pig-defying ‘HayPigs!® Cavy Cannonball™‘, a tilting tunnel designed to stimulate your small furries through interaction, play and exercise. The ‘HayPigs!® Piggy Crash Mat™‘, An extra large cosy polar fleece bed – perfect for lap time snuggling. The hay-mazing ‘HayPigs!® Wheek Wagon™‘, a circus wagon themed hay hopper that provides a hygienic and fun way of presenting hay and forage. The ‘HayPigs!® Piggy Weightlifter™‘, the world’s first, horizontal, pet friendly, vegetable kebab maker. The pigalicious ‘HayPigs!® Food Craving Tamer™‘, a stackable, non-tip food bowl and the ‘HayPigs!® Circus Hidey Hut™‘, a snug and secure circus hut that can be machine washed and squashes flat for easy storage.
“Lady-humans and gentle-humans, you are invited to witness the greatest fur-filled extravaganza on Earth!”
For more information, check out the HayPigs!® website: www.haypigs.com
For enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org