What To Put In A Guinea Pig Playpen? [12 Ideas]

After putting your guinea pig in a playpen, many people think that they don’t need to do anything else. But, it’s important to put some important materials in it. But, what to put in a guinea pig playpen?

After placing a playpen, you have to put a lining material on the floor to ensure safety and comfort for your Guinea pigs. Then, put hideouts, tunnels, and toys in the playpen to encourage them to play and exercise. However, you cannot use certain types of toys and accessories in the playpen as those can be dangerous for them.

If you are using a playpen as a guinea pig’s cage, you also need to know about this.

Let’s find out what you should put in a guinea pig playpen and what you shouldn’t.

12 things to put in a guinea pig playpen

What To Put In A Guinea Pig Playpen?

Here are the best items that you can put in a playpen for guinea pigs.

1. Lining material

The playpen must be placed on a comfortable and flat surface. You can use a soft carpet, mat, or coroplast to line the floor and then place the playpen on it.

Guinea pigs’ feet are so sensitive and they need a soft and plain surface. So, putting a good liner can help solve this problem.

If you use a coroplast liner, you should also use fleece over it for softness while lining the playpen.

Know more about coroplast liner from our other article.

Our recommended product

Midlee Corrugated Plastic Cage Liner

2. Fleece or blanket

Though fleece is a liner, you can use it separately even if you use other liners like coroplast or mat. 

It provides extra comfort and softness. Moreover, putting one or two fleeces can allow your guinea pigs to borrow under them. They enjoy playing with it like that.

You can also use a small towel or a blanket for the same purpose.

The playpen should offer freedom to play and exercise. Fleece can contribute to this very well.

Check out our other article on fleece bedding.

Our recommended product

GuineaDad Liner – Midwest Size, Blue | Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners

3. Hideout

Another important item that you have to place in a guinea pig playpen is a hide house.

Guinea pigs can be scared or feel shy sometimes.

So, they need this small place to hide whenever they want. This is because of their nature.

Putting a hidey in a playpen can help them feel secure and comfortable.

You can expect them to run in the playpen and then go inside the hidey for a minute. It’s also fun for them.

As you are using it inside a playpen, make sure there are two openings in the hideout. This allows them to tunnel through it.

Having two openings is also beneficial if you have two or more guinea pigs in the playpen. 

Sometimes, when a guinea pig enters a hidey, others can block its way to prove its dominance. In this situation, the first one can get out through another door.

A guinea pig doesn’t like to share a hidey with others as they are a little bit moody. So, you have to set up separate hide houses for each guinea pig.

However, use a hideout that’s safe for guinea pigs.

Read my other article on Creative DIY guinea pig hideout ideas.

Our recommended product

Prevue Pet Products Wood Mouse Hut

4. Tunnel

A tunnel can be a great item put in a playpen. It encourages your guinea pigs to run in and out of it and helps them exercise. They love this activity a lot.

Get a tunnel that doesn’t hurt them and they can access that easily.

Our recommended product

TTANFY Tunnel Tube

5. Hay

Guinea pigs need hay every moment to maintain the growth of their teeth. Hay also supports their digestive system.

So, even if you put them in a playpen for some time, you must ensure you spread hay over the floor of the playpen.

Moreover, they also like to nibble under the hay or tunnel through it. So, putting hay allows them to play more nicely and happily.

However, you can’t provide any kind of hay to your little piggies. Timothy, orchard, meadow, and oat hay are the hay that you can offer them.

You can offer them Timothy and orchard hay any time you want. On the other hand, you can put oat hay in the playpen as a treat occasionally.

Learn more about hay for guinea pigs.

Our recommended products

Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay

Know about hay and its alternatives from our other articles.

6. Vegetables and fruits

If you are leaving your guinea pigs inside the playpen for a long time or going out of your house, you should offer them fresh vegetables and fruits.

You have to offer them a balanced diet timely. Without it, they can be sick.

7. Toys

You put your guinea pigs in a playpen to allow them to exercise and play. So, you can put a toy on the floor.

You can provide snuffed toys. They will love to nibble on and play with it.

But, don’t give small toys because it can lead to choking hazards if they chew on them.

Cardboard boxes or Wooden blocks can be good toys for them as they like to chew on different surfaces. This helps control the growth of teeth.

However, you should stay away from wooden blocks with paint and other harmful chemicals.

Homemade toys can also be great options if it’s large in size and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.

Guinea pigs love to explore new items. So, to make a variation, switch toys after a few days.

Learn more about making toys for piggies at home.

Also, check out the best chew toys for them before you use any.

Our recommended product

Kaytee Perfect Chews for Guinea Pigs

8. Balls

Guinea pig is so playful and that’s why they can play with a ball as well.

You can put tennis or ping pong balls in the playpen. They love to push the ball around for a while.

This is fun for them and also helps them to exercise. However, always be careful of your piggies getting hurt from the balls.

Our recommended product

Niteangel Natural Chew Activity Hay Grass Pet Balls

9. Cardboard box and paper bags

You can turn a small cardboard box upside down and cut a hole on one side. Piggies will like to climb in and out.

Cardboard boxes can be used to make a maze. They love to explore new areas, so it’s fun for them.

You can also offer them a stout paper bag. They love to explore that and produce rustling noises.

10. Exercise toys or items

As you use the playpen for their exercise, you must use some exercise items or toys to make it work. If they aren’t used to those items, you need to help or teach them.

Keep in mind that adequate exercise is necessary for them. Without these toys, they may get bored and stop exercising.

11. Obstacle courses

To make the playpen more entertaining for your guinea pigs, make some obstacle courses. They will love to explore new areas and have fun. Moreover, it’ll give them mental stimulation and help them exercise as well.

Learn how to make obstacle courses at home.

12. Ramps

You can also put a ramp to make your little pigs climb or walk on it. It can be a good exercise for them. If they start to like it, it would also be a fun game.

However, check out how to make and use a ramp at home.

Things you shouldn’t put in a guinea pig playpen

Here are the items that you must avoid putting in a playpen.

Hamster Wheel

You should never provide your guinea pigs with hamster wheels in the playpen because it’s dangerous for them.

Some owners think that guinea pigs are the same as other small pets such as hamsters or rats. But, the nature and structure of the body are very different.

Things like the hamster wheel are good for hamsters to perform their exercises and play with it. But guinea pigs can get seriously injured if you put them in the wheel.

The reason is that their body can bend it that way. Besides, their bones are very delicate and their spine is so fragile.

So, it can lead to spinal injury. This can also be life-threatening for them.

Hamster ball

Same as a hamster wheel you should not also give them a hamster ball for the same reasons. It can injure them and cause fatal complications.

Unsafe bedding materials

Don’t use wood shavings to line the floor of the playpen which is dangerous for your little piggies.

Cedar or pine shavings are harmful to them due to their aromatic oils. This is dangerous for their respiratory system and can be fatal.

If you choose wood-based bedding, make sure you use dust-free and kiln-dried pine or aspen for shavings.

Moreover, don’t use fleece or paper beading that contains a lot of dust as it will cause breathing problems.

Check out the best paper, wood, and fleece bedding for guinea pigs.

Unsafe toys

You shouldn’t give your guinea pigs those toys that are made of weak plastic.

These poorly made toys can be broken down easily and they may chew and swallow the broken portion. This can lead to serious internal injury.

Softwood-made toys can also be harmful to them as they might have aromatic oil that will cause respiratory illness.

Also, you can read my other article on what to put in a guinea pig’s cage, if you need it.


Guinea pigs need lining material, hide house, toys, and tubes in the playpen to exercise and play inside it. If you can ensure a good environment, they will enjoy the time and become so happy. Most importantly it’s good for their health.

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