Build your own guinea pig outdoor enclosure: Here’s how

Dogs and cats are not the only ones who enjoy exercise; you can also give your little darlings great joy with an outdoor guinea pig enclosure. When building, however, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of the rodents.

This guinea pig feels snuggly in his outdoor pen - Shutterstock / Peter Turner Photography

This guinea pig feels snuggly in his outdoor pen – Shutterstock / Peter Turner Photography

Above all, the right location, enough space and the right materials are important so that nothing happens to the guinea pigs and they feel really comfortable in their new home.

Guinea pig outdoor enclosure: which materials are suitable

If you want to build a guinea pig outdoor enclosure yourself, you should make sure that no plastic parts are used that the little residents can nibble on. Unfortunately, many trays that are used as the floor for the enclosure are made of plastic and thus pose a health risk for your pets. It is better to use wood or ceramic. The latter is easy to clean and does not weather.

When it comes to wood, you should make sure that it is untreated, i.e. free of paint or other agents that are intended to protect against moisture, insects, etc. Otherwise, these substances could also get into the guinea pig’s organism and cause damage to health there. Otherwise, the rodents also love to chew fresh grass. A base plate is therefore not absolutely necessary. A metal rabbit wire is recommended as a boundary for the sides of the enclosure.

A guinea pig hates being alone – Shutterstock / photos2013

10.05.2016 – 18:01

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When building, pay attention to the correct enclosure size

As with the indoor enclosure, there should also be sufficient space for the guinea pig outdoor enclosure. The minimum size for a small facility with two guinea pigs is at least 2 square meters. This gives the animals the opportunity to move around sufficiently and to avoid each other if necessary. According to the Veterinarian Association for Animal Welfare, a cage should generally not be smaller than 120 x 60 centimeters.

The larger the area in which guinea pigs are kept, the less exercise they need in the home, for example. Different floors are also welcome at the Meeris. If you build yourself, you can also take this into account. If the enclosure is too small, there is a risk that the animals’ muscles will atrophy, which can lead to a shorter life expectancy.

The location is crucial for well-being

Before you build a guinea pig outdoor enclosure, you should think about the right location. Ideally, it should be a bit away from the children’s play area, the street or the terrace, because the rodents like to be left alone and suffer from stress when there is too much hustle and bustle. Too windy corners are also not recommended, as this increases the risk of diseases in the guinea pigs. Avoid intense sunlight and create enough shady rooms that your pets can retreat to when the temperature is high.

Possible dangers in the outdoor guinea pig enclosure

In addition to the risk factors already described, there are other points that you should be aware of before you build an outdoor guinea pig enclosure yourself. If your darling is not used to going outside, you have to bring him closer to the new conditions step by step. Do not leave your guinea pigs in their new enclosure for too long and check regularly to make sure they are doing well. Important: A retreat in which it can hide. Small houses or a hidden niche are suitable for this, for example. This hiding place should be well insulated so that the sea ice creams do not freeze or are exposed to too much heat.

Even if the guinea pigs don’t climb out of their enclosure, you should build a cover. Otherwise larger birds such as ravens, crows or magpies can see the animals as easy prey. Although the rodents are not known to be good diggers like rabbits, for example, it is important to ensure that they cannot rummage under the side walls of the enclosure. Wooden slats or anchors in the ground are suitable as protective measures so that the guinea pigs do not run away.

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