Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Outside? (They’ll Love it!)

How to Take Your Guinea Pigs Outside

Several years ago it used to be really common to see guinea pigs kept outside. However, in recent years many people have learned that keeping their guinea pigs inside leads to a much happier and healthier life. If you keep your guinea pigs inside, you might be wondering whether you can take them outside for fresh air and fresh grass.

The answer is yes! This article will cover everything you need to know to successfully give your guinea pigs time outdoors.

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How to Take Your Guinea Pigs Outside

Several years ago it used to be really common to see guinea pigs kept outside. However, in recent years many people have learned that keeping their guinea pigs inside leads to a much happier and healthier life. If you keep your guinea pigs inside, you might be wondering whether you can take them outside for fresh air and fresh grass.

The answer is yes! This article will cover everything you need to know to successfully give your guinea pigs time outdoors.

How to Take Guinea Pigs Outdoors

If you want to take your indoor guinea pigs outside, you can’t just carry them outside and put them out on the grass. You need to have a plan to make sure your pet stays safe and has an enjoyable experience. Before you take your guinea pig outside, you need to make sure your yard is safe, prepare a secure guinea pig run, and consider the weather for the day.

Guinea pigs are prey animals, so it’s important to make sure you set up a safe environment for them to enjoy their outdoor time. They can be at risk from small children, dogs and cats, and even birds of pretty. Guinea pigs should always be supervised when outdoors and it’s important to make sure their outdoor space is safe and secure.

Can I Bring Grass Clippings Inside for My Guinea Pigs?

If you live in a city or your situation makes it hard or impossible to take your guinea pigs outside to have time on the grass, you may be able to bring the grass to your guinea pigs!

A lot of people are able to find alternatives. Cat grass, wheat grass, grass hay, and other versions of indoor-grown grass can be a good option. Your guinea pigs will enjoy the variety, even if you are only able to find a handful of grass from your yard or a local park (as long as it’s safe!) If you bring grass in from outside, make sure to cut it yourself – don’t use grass clippings from a lawn mower. It can be hard to tell if unsafe plants or materials are mixed into lawn clippings. And make sure you aren’t leaving wet grass into your guinea pig’s cage. If the piggies don’t eat the grass right away it can mold in the middle, which could lead to respiratory infections pretty quickly.

You likely know that grass hay (usually Timothy hay or Alfalfa hay for baby piggies) is an important part of their diet. In most cases, fresh grass is not a convenient way to provide the amount of grass hay guinea pigs need in a day. Make sure to always have unlimited hay available for your guinea pigs at all times.

Preparing an Outdoor Run for Guinea Pigs

If you are able to take your guinea pigs outdoors, you’ll need some sort of outdoor run.

Having the right outdoor run for your guinea pigs is important because it will contain your piggies and also help keep them safe and separate from predators. You want the run to be large enough for your guinea pigs to have space to move around. And unless you’re building a permanent run, you want it to be convenient for you to move around too!

Where I live, the biggest threat to my guinea pigs outdoors is birds of prey and other animals like dogs, cats, opossums, and raccoons. I like to be on the safe side and my run has a lid so my pets are totally secure.

My absolute favorite outdoor run for guinea pigs is this one from Aivituvin. These hutches are very well made, easy to put together, and provide enough space for my pets to move around and enjoy themselves. I am even thinking about buying a second one to be able to have multiple pairs of piggies outside at once! I highly recommend checking out Aivituvin hutches if you’re in the market for a run – they’re worth the money!

Where to Place the Outdoor Run

Once you have the perfect outdoor enclosure, you need to find the perfect spot for it. Where you set up your guinea pigs’ outdoor enclosure is important. You want to make sure the plants are safe (which we’ll talk about in a minute) and also be sure the spot is free from bird droppings, trash, or any unsafe nuts or plant matter from trees. I prefer to find a place on my own grass so I can be sure it’s untreated and safe.

You also want to make sure it’s in an area that isn’t going to experience extreme temperatures in the time your guinea pigs will be outside. Guinea pigs can easily get heat stroke or have other health issues from temperatures swinging too hot or too cold too quickly. I like to choose a nice shady spot that is going to keep the direct sun off my pets.

I also like to choose a place that isn’t super high traffic. We have cars going by our house often, so I wouldn’t want to put my piggies out close to the road. I also don’t like to put it in places that I know wild animals that live in our yard like to frequent.

Check out this video about my favorite outdoor run!

GET YOUR OWN AIVITUVIN HUTCH!

Making Sure Your Yard is Safe

It’s important to make sure the types of grass and plants you have in your yard are safe for your guinea pigs to be eating. Not all plants and grass are safe and healthy.

Make sure the grass your pet will be on is not treated with any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Untreated grass is safest, and it’s a good idea to look over the area you’re planning to put your outdoor run to make sure there are no harmful plants. Most types of grass are going to be safe, but it’s a great idea to look into what type of grass and plants are in your yard to be safe. This article does a great job going over safe and unsafe plants for guinea pigs.

You also want to make sure there isn’t anything sharp in the area you want to place your run. Also, check for any droppings from other animals or any spider webs or insects. I also remove all acorns (or other nuts) and sticks from the spot unless I am sure they are safe.

Considering the Weather

Once you have a safe outdoor enclosure and have established that your yard is safe, you’ll only have to consider the weather on the days you want to take your guinea pigs outside. If I want to give my guinea pigs an afternoon outside, the first thing I check is the weather for the day.

As I mentioned before, it’s important to consider the temperature during the time you’re planning to put your piggies outside – too hot or too cold won’t be healthy for your pets. The ideal temperature for guinea pigs is between 62-72 degrees. You also don’t want it to be really windy as that isn’t going to be enjoyable for your pet at all. And you definitely don’t want your guinea pigs to get caught out in the rain without shelter!

I usually take my guinea pigs outside in the early afternoon. That way, the sun isn’t shining directly down on them and the hottest part of the day is past. I make sure it’s dry and warm too – your guinea pig isn’t going to be excited about going out onto damp grass.

Taking Your Guinea Pigs Outside for the First Time

The first time you take your guinea pigs outside and give them access to fresh grass you want to keep the session short. Not only will your pet likely be overwhelmed, but they can have stomach issues if they eat too much grass too quickly. Especially if your pet is not used to having fresh grass, you want to start them off slow and work them up to longer outdoor sessions. It will be less stressful and easier on their digestive tract. I like to start out with 5-10 minute sessions and add about 5 minutes to each session after that.

Make sure to bring out a water bottle as well so your guinea pig always has access to fresh water. Leaving them for a long period of time without water can quickly lead to dehydration on a warm day.

How Long Can I Leave My Guinea Pigs Outside?

Depending on how often your guinea pigs get outside time and how nice the weather is, you might be able to leave your guinea pigs out for a long time. You want to make sure they are always supervised to make sure they stay safe and secure, but many guinea pigs will love spending a nice day on the grass once they’re used to it. Again, you want to start off with short sessions their first time outside and work up to longer periods to avoid stress or any health problems from too much grass to quickly!

I’m looking forward to nicer weather so I can get my guinea pigs used to having outdoor time again. Letting them spend an afternoon out on the grass while we do yard work is great way to spend a Saturday!

Final Thoughts on Guinea Pigs Eating Grass Outside

Giving your pet guinea pigs time outside to enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and fresh grass can be a great way to provide enrichment. They will enjoy getting to explore a new environment, and the fresh grass will be a great addition to your guinea pigs’ diet.

Learn More About Guinea Pigs:

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Outside?

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