Do Guinea Pigs Need Exercise Wheels?

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Guinea Pigs spend most of their time inside their enclosure, enticing their mood and attitude they need toys or amusement. However, few people wondered if Guinea Pigs, like hamsters, need exercise. You might be wondering, do Guinea Pigs need exercise wheels?

Do Guinea Pigs Need Exercise Wheels? 

Guinea Pigs do not need exercise wheels. In fact, giving them exercise wheels can give them more harm than good. When compared to hamsters and other pet rodents, Guinea Pigs do not need as much exercise, and having an exercise wheel can be dangerous for them. 

A guinea pig with soft black and brown fur stays in a cage with a white and green fence

Guinea Pigs are not very athletic pets. Compared to hamsters, they are not involved in tedious activities like running and climbing. Moreover, they can be very sensitive to heat and prone to various injuries concerning their spine if they are given exercise wheels

Risks of Giving Exercise Wheels to Guinea Pigs

Contrary to people’s beliefs that Guinea Pigs are athletic pets like hamsters, they do not like running or climbing at all. Guinea Pigs are not fond of exhausting exercises which is why it is not advisable for them to have exercise wheels in their enclosure. Giving them exercise wheels will not only stress them out but also introduce them to various health risks.

Here is a list of reasons why you should not give exercise wheels to Guinea Pigs:

  • Guinea Pigs have different body structure and anatomy compared to other rodents. Running on exercise wheels can cause injury, particularly in their spine. Unlike hamsters, Guinea Pigs cannot arch their back which happens when they are running on exercise wheels. 
  • Most of the exercise wheels available in the market have meshed or wired floorings which are not suitable for Guinea Pigs’ sensitive feet and legs. 
  • There are no exercise wheels available in the market that are big enough to safely accommodate Guinea Pig.
  • Guinea Pigs will probably never use exercise wheels at all. Putting exercise wheels in their enclosure will take up unnecessary space. 

How to Keep Guinea Pigs Healthy?

Even if Guinea Pigs do not prefer running and climbing exercises, they still want to exercise and amuse themselves. There are a lot of ways to promote healthy exercise and habits for Guinea Pigs without the use of exercise wheels or balls. Guinea Pigs are amazing and intelligent pets once you get to understand their needs and wants.

It will not only be enjoyable for Guinea Pigs but also for their owners as well since most of their exercises involve stimulation and bonding. 

A tri-colored guinea pig leans on a peach and blue fence in the backyard

Entice Their Intelligence

For Guinea Pigs, there is more than what meets the eye. Guinea Pigs are, in fact, smart pets that prefer amusements that will exercise not only their body but also their ability to think. Creating mazes, puzzles, and simple obstacle courses will help your Guinea Pigs to improve their overall health as well as their cognitive abilities. 

Provide Toys and Stimulation’s

Creating tunnels and hideouts in their enclosure will also help their mood. Guinea Pigs love burrowing and nibbling. They will enjoy finding out a secret tunnel or hideout underneath their enclosure!

This will not only serve as Guinea Pigs’ exercise, but it will also be training for their concentration and discipline. Even though Guinea Pigs cannot enjoy exercise wheels or balls, they can appreciate toys and other stimulations in their enclosure. You can offer Guinea Pigs toys that they can push around to break their boredom.

Here are some toy ideas for Guinea Pigs:

  • Cardboard Seesaw
  • Cardboard puzzles and mazes
  • Tunnels
  • Balls
  • Crumpled papers

Make sure to use non-toxic materials for Guinea Pig toys since they have a tendency to nibble at things. Balls should be big enough for them to push around, but not too small for them to accidentally swallow to avoid choking. Some recommend cat toys for Guinea Pigs but since cat toys usually have bells attached to them, it is advisable to remove choking hazards like bells and beads before giving them to Guinea Pigs. 

Bonding Time

While some Guinea Pigs might be uncomfortable with cuddles and hugging, making them feel loved and cared for is a must for them. Guinea Pigs are sensitive pets and giving them attention through lap time and minimal touches will help them feel calmer and relaxed in their environment and their owners. Bonding time can also include treat feeding and frequent interactions during exercise and training. 

A guinea pig with tri-colored fur walks on a dry ground

Related Questions

Do Guinea Pigs Need Exercise?

Guinea Pigs need exercise and they will probably love at least three to four hours of free roam or playtime every day especially if their enclosure is small. However, it is highly advisable for Guinea Pigs to have free roam time outside of their enclosure regardless of how big or small their cages are. Guinea Pigs with regular free-roaming time will be healthier, happier, and calmer. 

How Can I Get My Guinea Pig to Exercise?

To encourage your Guinea Pig to exercise, you must provide them with adequate safe space to run around and play. Moreover, you should give them different kinds of toys and amusements hidden all over their play space for them to discover. Make sure to also include hay and water for replenishments. 


Guinea Pigs do not need exercise wheels since they do not run and play around as hamsters do. Guinea Pigs prefer exercises that use their intelligence such as obstacle courses, mazes, and puzzles. They can also enjoy simple toys made out of cardboard and crumpled paper that is safe for them to nibble at.

Lap time can also be beneficial for their overall mood and wellbeing.