Do Guinea Pigs Really Need a Playpen?

Many guinea pig owners use a playpen. But, do guinea pigs really need a playpen?

You need a playpen for your guinea pigs to allow them to run and exercise regularly to keep them active, healthy, and happy. Moreover, if they live in a small cage, a wide playpen is mandatory to offer them enough open space and ventilation.

You can also check out what other things you need for your guinea pigs.

Now, let’s find out why you need a playpen for guinea pigs and which types of playpen you should use.

Why do guinea pigs need a playpen?

When do guinea pigs really need a playpen?

Here are some reasons for which you should use a playpen for your guinea pigs.

Allowing guinea pigs to exercise

Naturally, guinea pigs are very active and they need regular exercise. They like to run for hours in an open space like a playpen.

So, you can’t keep them inside a cage all the time. 

Even though you have a wide cage, you should get a playpen to allow them to have extra exercise.

Exercise helps them reach their maximum life span. Without exercise, they can become sick or depressed.

You can put them in a playpen when you watch TV or go outside for a while. They will enjoy spending time there.

Offering mental stimulation and keeping happy

Guinea pigs are social animals and have a lot of energy. They love to play, run around and express natural behaviors such as exploring and borrowing.

When you put them in a playpen, they can do exercise and express these behaviors. This provides them with mental stimulation and keeps them happy.

If you keep these highly intelligent animals in a cage all day, they can be frustrated and get depressed as they aren’t able to perform these interactions.

Keeping guinea pigs active and healthy

If you can’t keep your guinea pigs active, they will get ill and become obese. Over time, they will develop many health problems. So, you need to put them in a playpen regularly to keep them healthy and active.

Having a small cage

If your guinea pigs live in a small cage, you must have a playpen. A less spacious cage is unhealthy for them.

It can be overcome by allowing them to run and stretch their tiny legs in a large playpen every day. Only use the cage while they sleep or eat.

You can also check out the best extra large cage for guinea pigs.

Providing proper ventilation

Guinea pigs need proper air circulation where they live. A playpen can offer them enough ventilation that is required to stay healthy and happy.

Helping outdoor guinea pigs

When you have to bring your outdoor guinea pigs inside your home for some reason, a playpen can be helpful for them to stay there, allow them to roam freely, and perform their daily exercise.

Building a cage

Sometimes, a playpen can be used as a cage where guinea pigs can live permanently. Check out our other article to know why, when, and how to do that.

Now, as you know guinea pigs’ playpen plays a very important role in their life, you might need to know, what to put in a guinea pig playpen. Check that from my other article.

What is a playpen for guinea pigs?

A playpen is an enclosure that allows guinea pigs to exercise and run around. It gives them some floor time and they love to play and have fun there.

Generally, the term playpen is used for indoor guinea pigs. Similar types of enclosures for outdoor guinea pigs are known as runs.

A good playpen is durable, sturdy, and strong enough to carry the weight of the piggies. Moreover, they can’t escape it as well.

Some playpens can also be used as a cage while some aren’t.

Types of guinea pig playpen

There are different types of indoor playpens for guinea pigs based on the design and structure they are made of.

Some playpens are spacious while some are small.

But, a good playpen must be wide enough to allow your cavies to run around freely.

Usually, you will get metal, fabrics, and plastic-made playpens for guinea pigs.

Thin metal mesh playpen

These types of playpens are made of thin metal mesh. It’s the best choice for a guinea pig’s playpen and is also very popular. 

The reason is it’s durable and strong enough to hold the weight of guinea pigs though it looks thin. Moreover, guinea pigs can escape a playpen that’s made of fabrics or plastic.

Some products are built from powder-coated steel mesh. Wire mesh is rush resistant as well.

Furthermore, metal panels allow air to circulate in and out of the cage through the spacing. So, it provides a great environment for them to do play and exercise. Besides, wire spacing isn’t very big to harm your guinea pigs.

This playpen is very easy to assemble and disassemble. You can also have a similar type of playpen that can be folded.

When disassembled, this thin metal mesh playpen lies flat for storage. This allows you to transport it easily.

This type of playpen is available in different colors that make it interesting.

However, it’s not customizable just a metal yard fence or c&c type of playpen.

Metal yard fence playpen

The metal playpen is another great playpen for guinea pigs because it’s highly customizable, durable, and sturdy. This can even be used as a cage for them.

As it’s so versatile, you can extend the playpen anytime you want or give it a customizable look.

However, it’s so good to transport it often.

Besides, make sure that wire grid spacings aren’t wide enough or the cavies head may get stuck inside it.

Most of the playpens are open from the top. You can also get a roof for this playpen. So, if you want a playpen with a roof to ensure extra protection, it can be a great choice.

However, the open-top playpen is a better option for guinea pigs because they need open space and proper ventilation.

If you have other pets in your home such as a dog or cat, you can get a covered playpen. But, get a gridded roof that allows air to pass through it.

Plastic playpen

A plastic playpen is almost similar to a metal yard fence playpen, but the only difference is that it’s made of transparent plastic panels with a metal frame.

This playpen also offers a wide range of customization. It’s easy to put together and you can change the size and shape of the playpen as you wish. You can expand the playpen whenever you need it.

This product is durable is also easy to clean. It’s also safe for guinea pigs. It maintains a good height and you don’t have to worry about their escaping the playpen.

Fabrics playpen

There are many playpens available in the market for small pets that are made of polyester fabric.

All of them aren’t suitable for guinea pigs because they are small, and not so durable. 

Besides, some guinea pigs can escape from that playpen.

However, a few products are strong and sturdy and can be good for them.

You can get a playpen that has an appropriate height and is made of breathable polyester fabrics and a strong steel frame or mesh cloth.

If you need a small playpen, a fabric playpen is the right choice for you.

No assembly is required for this item and you can set it up simply.

As it’s waterproof, you can clean it so easily.

You can store and carry it wherever you want as it’s foldable and lightweight.

Playpen for outdoor

The outdoor guinea pig also needs a playpen. But, an outdoor playpen is called a run.

It is covered from the top to protect them from other animals.

The structure of this guinea pigs playground is durable and very sturdy.

Besides, this fully enclosed playpen also provides proper ventilation.

There are different types of outdoor runs available for your guinea pigs. You have to pick one that’s safe for your guinea pigs.

Some are foldable and easy to carry while some aren’t.

You can also get an outdoor guinea pig hutch with a run connecting with it. It’s portable, easy to set up, and easy to clean.

A pop-up guinea pig’s playpen is another unique variety.


Guinea pigs need a playpen where they can exercise, play and roam around freely. Exercising in a wide playpen ensures your guinea pig’s good physical and mental health.

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