Unveiling the Secrets of Guinea Pig Burrows: Beneath the Ground

A fluffy explorer has explored the hearts and homes of millions worldwide: a guinea pig. Though there’s no relation with pigs or with the animal kingdom in Guinea, this little rodent attracts global attention toward its existence. These adorable little creatures originated from the Andes in South America. Starting from ancient times, their existence was limited to using livestock and folk medicine, especially for the indigenous Andeans. However, with time, guinea pigs have gained their place as domestic pets. In this article, we will discuss do guinea pigs burrow.

Do Guinea Pigs Naturally Burrow?

The simple and direct answer to this question is NO. You might be puzzled by this answer as all rodents, like rats; rabbits, burrow. Thus, saying that guinea pigs do not can be such a surprise, but the elaborate answer to this question will save you from all the puzzling. Guinea pigs are comedic animals in nature. These creatures are native to the green plains of the Andes mountain ranges in South America, and they live in smaller groups surviving on green grass. Green grass provides very little energy, so these animals often hunt for food. Therefore burrowing is unnecessary for guinea pigs as they always have to come out to find food.

Moreover, the little energy through green grass is not sufficient for digging burrows in nature. Thus it is clear; naturally, guinea pigs do not burrow. However, they are keen to burrow “burrows” from other burrowers.

Do Domesticated Guinea Pigs Burrow?

The simplest and the most direct answer to this question is YES. You’ll be more puzzled, as we mentioned that guinea pigs do not burrow earlier. Make note that only the nomadic wild guinea pigs are the ones that do not burrow. However, the domestic guinea pigs who are trained pets do, in fact, burrow. Thus, domestic guinea pig burrowing means there’s something seriously wrong with the guinea pig. Therefore burrowing of a domestic guinea pig can also be a sign of a health checkup or a security alert.

Sometimes these pets seem to burrow in their bed and bury themselves in those beddings. Some might burrow in the hay; providing enough hay and vegetables for them would be great. Guinea pigs are known as friendly and extremely clingy pets, and as a result, sometimes they might burrow in the owner’s hair to find the warmest spot to rest.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Burrow?

You might be thinking, why does my little guinea pig is burrowing? You may be concerned about its health. No need to worry. We are here to explain why your guinea pig might be burrowing. First, you must know that burrowing is a normal behaviour of a domestic guinea pig. This act will allow them to exercise and have a healthy body; however, burrowing also means they are looking for something absent in their familiar territory. We will first summarize the basic reasons for the burrowing behaviours of your guinea pig,

  • A search for food creates a safer place
  • Marking their territory
  • Boredom

Moreover, you may have noticed that your guinea pig sometimes burrows in your hair. The main reason behind this burrowing is that they are searching for warmth and security. Guinea pigs do not have such a thick outer coat of fur to protect them against the cold.

How to Provide Burrowing Opportunities for Guinea Pigs?

Burrowing can be vital to your domestic guinea pig’s life as you make your own life within an artificially created environment. Thus, if your guinea pig shows signs of burrowing, you must provide them with the materials. Therefore, you must be comprehended such materials. You can provide your guinea pig with a pile of shredded paper, which would be helpful for their burrowing patterns, hiding, and playing. Moreover, you can provide them with some hay for burrowing and playing.

You can also make their bed a little larger so they have room for burrowing. Thus, you can create an environment for your little puffy ball through simple things. However, you must be cautious about the materials you are providing them with, as they all must be regularly checked for the safety of our guinea pigs. Moreover, it would help if you made their territory a little larger.

How to Provide Burrowing Opportunities for Guinea Pigs?

Can Burrowing be a Sign of an Underlying Issue? 

Burrowing can signify good health, happiness, and severe problems. Thus understanding the “why” behind the burrowing is so vital for the well-being of your guinea pig. Therefore, knowing that burrowing could be an underlying sign of severe problems would greatly help you and your guinea pig. Burrowing can signify that the guinea pig is trying to hide away. They can be hiding from humans or some other animals that might have had a threatening effect on them. You might have to consult a veteran if your guinea pig hides from you.

Moreover, your guinea pig might be building a new nest because the artificially made nest would be too small for their needs. Therefore, you can pay attention to widening the space of the cage. If your guinea pig suffers from trust issues and stress, it might go for burrowing. So you must pay attention to your pet at all times.

Do Guinea Pigs Burrow Like Hamsters?

Guinea pigs are nothing like hamsters, partly because they both are rodents. Hamsters are unsocial, unfriendly lazy beasts who will skip exercises at all costs. At the same time, guinea pigs are active, friendly, sociable animals. However, we must provide hamsters with thick bedding as they often like to burrow in it. Therefore hamster beddings are often 2-3 inches thick. This thickness allows them to burrow easily and quickly without exterior complications. Thus, as domestic guinea pigs are also going to burrow at no time, you can also provide them with the same bedding so they can burrow freely.

Can I Put My Guinea Pig Cage on the Floor?

Guinea pigs are friendly and kindly beasts requiring so much assurance and kindness to be comfortable with their surroundings. As we mentioned earlier, guinea pigs do not have thicker skin and fur; they need safety bedding and safety flooring so they do not feel cold and are not at peace with their territory. Therefore if you intend to keep your guinea pig cage on the floor, you should install safety flooring for the comfort of the guinea pig. Therefore, directly exposing the cage to the floor is not the most intelligent solution.

VIDEO CREDITS: Squeak Dreams YouTube Channel

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