Guinea pigs are hunted and eaten in the wild. In the wild, it is the guinea pig who struts proudly across large open spaces that is the guinea pig who gets eaten first. The wise guinea pig who scurries and hides, lives to scurry and hide another day. So it’s no wonder that they like to hide for comfort and security. For this, reason, when shopping for guinea pig supplies, always remember to select a suitable nest box.
In the wild, guinea pigs are food. No matter how much we love our little pets, we have to face this reality. The fact that guinea pigs are hunted and preyed upon in the wild is what drives many of their behaviors. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your pigs do not naturally like to be picked up. Eventually, as you handle your cavies regularly and make friends with them, they may learn to tolerate the lifting; but they always look uneasy when you first pick them up. This is because, in the wild, being picked up meant danger. It was never a friendly, loving act. It was usually done by a bird of prey—or a much larger (and hungry) mammal.
It is for this reason that your domestic guinea pig instinctively loves to hide in small places. And it is also for this that a nest box or other shelter should absolutely be at the top of your shopping list of guinea pig supplies if you want your cavy to feel safe and secure.
Nest boxes come in several forms with a variety of advantages and disadvantages.
The Plastic Nest Box
Several varieties of plastic nest boxes are available. Some are shaped like igloos. Others are box-shaped. Some advantages of plastic nest boxes are that they have easy-to-clean surfaces, they come in a variety of colors and guinea pigs will generally not chew them up. Many of them come in translucent colors so that you can see your pigs right through the walls. A popular example of an igloo-shaped nest box is the
PETCO Small Animal Igloo Hideaway .
An interesting variation of the plastic nest box is one constructed from Super Pet Waffle Blocks. The nest box is reconfigurable because it is built from snap-together colorful plastic panels.
The Wooden Nest Box
Wooden nest boxes usually come in simple cube-like shapes. Most are a natural wood color although there are some colorful wooden nest boxes such as the Super Pet Tropical Hide-Out (which also offers adjustable vents to allow airflow through the nest box).
Guinea pigs like to chew on wooden nest boxes. (One manufacturer has even named their product Gnawsome Hut to emphasize this feature.) Depending on your point of view, this is either an advantage or a disadvantage. If you view your nest box as a shelter for your pigs—and only a shelter for your pigs—then you are not going to appreciate them chewing on it. On the other hand, if you view it as a multi-purpose object for your pigs to enjoy as a shelter and as a chew-toy, then this is the choice for you.
The Fabric Nest Box
A less popular option is the cloth tent for guinea pigs. An example of this is the
Super Pet Sleep-E-Tent . Advantages are that it is lined with fleece so that it is soft and plush for added comfort. The disadvantages are that it must be washed regularly. As an added feature, this particular model also unzips to form a hammock for your pigs.
The nest box is an important item that many people overlook. When it comes to guinea pig supplies, many items are frivolous and unnecessary. Other items are absolutely essential for your guinea pigs’ health, safety and wellbeing.
Do you know the difference? CLICK on this LINK for lots more FREE INFORMATION on essential guinea pig supplies . Or, CLICK ON THE PHOTO below for more information on the Super Pet Topical Hide-Out (with food-safe colors):