You would think that a pet measuring between 8 to 10 inches or 20-30 cm wouldn’t need a large living space. But while this may be true for some animals, it is definitely not the case for one of the UK’s most popular pets, the guinea pig.
You see, a guinea pig by its very nature is a forager and spends most of the day with its nose to the ground looking for food. And unlike us humans, they don’t sleep a lot. Rather than going to bed when the sun goes down, cavies prefer taking quick naps throughout the day and night.
Obviously, your piggy won’t need to be doing this in search of food, but it’s part of who they are and what they do, which means they need plenty of space to do it. And this is where a run comes in.
Another reason that guinea pigs need a run is that they are social animals, and need companionship. Single cavies are lonely, which can lead to all sorts of health and behavioural issues.
Providing your guinea pigs with plenty of opportunities to exercise will keep them in shape and prevent the boredom blues setting in. Best of all, a happy guinea pig’s personality will really shine through, which is what owning these charming little critters is all about.
H&R’s Best Guinea Pig Runs at a Glance
XL Chartwell runs
Reviews of the Top 9 Guinea Pig Runs from H&R
Blowing your own trumpet is never nice, which is why we let other people do it for us. Not only have we been re-awarded Ethical Accreditation from The Ethical Company Organisation, but we also have an ‘Excellent’ 5-star Trustpilot rating based entirely on independent customer reviews.
This is why we’re confident about recommending our products for your furry friends. Take a look at the most popular run options currently available. We guarantee that there’s something to suit every need and budget.
1. 4ft Chartwell Guinea Pig Run
The 4ft Chartwell Run is one of our most affordable solutions to your piggy’s exercise needs, and at a height of 2.3ft, it’s also one of the tallest run available on the market. Built to withstand all weather conditions, the run is made using the highest quality wood, and is treated with a pet-friendly water-based preservative. The 19 Gauge wire mesh has 1″ x 0.5″ gaps, which are small enough to keep your pets safe from predators and stop them escaping.
What makes this run a popular choice is that it can be used on its own, or if you prefer, it can be attached to any of the Chartwell hutches. For your pet’s safety, and your peace of mind, there are two doors on the roof of the run that can be opened and closed independently. This allows you to pick up one piggy at a time without the other escaping.
Not only is there more than enough space for your cavies to forage and explore, but there is also plenty of room for toys, tunnels and other boredom busters.
Built to last, this is an excellent run at a very affordable price for one or two guinea pigs wanting to enjoy the outdoors safely.
2. 5ft Chartwell Guinea Pig Run
The Chartwell 5ft run, like the 4ft model, is manufactured in the UK using the highest quality materials for your guinea pigs’ safety and well-being. Measuring 1500mm x 980mm and standing 710mm high, it’s the perfect way to give your cavies the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy. It can be used as a stand-alone run, or it can be attached to your Chartwell guinea pig hutch.
The run features 1″ x 0.5″ 19 Gauge wire meshing, which keeps your piggies safe from potential predators but is wide enough to attach drinking bottles and hay racks. The 5ft Chartwell run is the perfect size for 2 or 3 guinea pigs.
3. 6ft Chartwell Guinea Pig Run
Perfect for 4 to 6 guinea pigs, the 6ft Chartwell run, like the previous two models, is hand-made in the UK and is designed with your guinea pig’s happiness and safety in mind. It has plenty of room, with two doors on the roof, making it easy to clean and access your pets quickly and safely.
The wood is treated with a pet-friendly water-based preservative that can withstand even the harshest UK weather, and the 1″ x 0.5″ galvanised wire mesh is small enough to prevent your piggies getting caught in it or being able to chew through it. It also stops foxes and other predators getting in.
The run can be attached to your Chartwell hutch or be used on its own, providing your outdoor guinea pigs with plenty of space to run, forage and play. We offer a next-day-delivery service, and the easy-to-follow instructions mean assembly is straight-forward and quick.
4. XL Versions of the Chartwell Run
Because guinea pigs need lots of space to exercise, the 4, 5 and 6ft Chartwell runs are also available in XL versions. These are perfect for any small animal, including guinea pigs and bunnies. The XL versions can also be attached to the Chartwell guinea pig hutches or used as stand-alone runs.
5. Folding Canterbury Guinea Pig Run
The Folding Canterbury Guinea Pig Run is one of the best options for piggy parents that don’t have enough space for a permanent structure. It folds down quickly and easily for convenient storage, and it’s portable, which means your guinea pig gets to explore new spots in the garden.
The run measures 1000mm x 1000mm and is manufactured using high-quality, heavy-duty wood and galvanised wire mesh. To withstand the UK’s weather, the wood is treated with an animal safe preservative, and the mesh panels are rust-proof.
Something we especially like is that this run can be used with a Canterbury guinea pig home, providing a bigger area for them to forage and explore. There are two large doors on the side of the run for easy cleaning and access to your piggies.
Some assembly is needed, but the run is hinged, which makes putting it together quick and easy. And of course, there are detailed instructions included in the purchase.
The Folding Canterbury Run is the perfect choice for homes with limited space.
6. 6ft Folding Canterbury Guinea Pig Run
As with all their products, the 6ft Folding Guinea Pig Run from Canterbury is designed with your pets’ safety in mind. Made using the highest quality Scandinavian pine, the rust-proof galvanised mesh and weather-proofed wooden frame can withstand the UK weather. This 6ft run folds down neatly for easy storage and can be moved to different areas in your garden.
We like that you can use it as a stand-alone piggy playpen or attach it to an existing Canterbury guinea pig hutch, providing your furballs with even more space to roam around safely. There are two large doors on top, as well as a convenient entry point on the side of the run.
Currently available on sale from H&R’s website, this is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a well-made, durable run that’s easy on the pocket and perfect for your piggies.
7. Folding 7.7ft Canterbury Guinea Pig Run
If you’re looking for the biggest folding run for your cavies, then the Folding 7.7ft Canterbury Guinea Pig Run is your best bet. We are incredibly proud that this run isn’t just good for your small pets, it is also doing good for the planet because for every tree cut down, 2 are planted. And as with all the runs reviewed here, it is manufactured in the UK.
By far the biggest run on the market, it’s over 7.5ft long and 4ft wide, but can be collapsed for easy storage. The run is hinged to make assembly easy, and there are four access areas – two on the top and two on the side. For your pets’ well-being, the 7.7ft folding enclosure has an antibacterial marcide coating that prevents diseases from spreading. The galvanised mesh panels also keep predators out, while keeping your piggies safely inside.
The good news is that the run is currently on sale at H&R, so it is the perfect time to spoil your guinea pigs.
8. Scratch & Newton Small Pet Shade
If you don’t have a shady spot to put your run, don’t stress. The Scratch & Newton Small Pet Run Shade will provide your pets with all the shade they need while enjoying playtime. It’s one of our most popular accessories and a must-have to keep your guinea pigs protected from too much sun, rain and wind.
Not only is it incredibly easy to use, but it also fits on any size run, providing all-over cover or, if you prefer, a designated shaded area. Simply add a water bottle to the side of the run, a bowl of food and a few boredom-busting toys, and voila, your guinea pigs have the perfect chill-out area.
9. Cosy Run Shelter
The wooden Cosy Run Shelter is perfect for your piggies’ play area, providing them with somewhere to hide or just take a break from all their running around. Designed and manufactured in the UK, it’s made using 10mm thick FSC approved wood and is treated with a pet-friendly water-based preservative.
The shelter’s sloped roof has an overhang to stop water collecting, and legs at the bottom ensure it’s s raised off the ground, so your piggies don’t get wet or cold when the temperatures drop. Best of all, it’s fully assembled, so all you need to do is add cosy fleece and hay.
There is a hinged drawbridge style door that can be locked with a secure toggle, and keeping your guinea pig’s house clean is made easy with the hinged roof. We love that this little guinea pig house doesn’t only keep your pet safe; it also adds a whole lot of character to the run. Simply add suitable bedding to the shelter and watch your piggies wheek with excitement.
Guinea Pig Run Buying Guide
With all the choices available, finding a run for your guinea pig isn’t difficult. But knowing which one is best for your furry friend can be a little tricky. This is because, in our experience, not all runs are created equal.
So what are the key features to consider when choosing a run for your guinea? Our buying guide tells you everything you need to know so that you can make an informed decision when buying this essential item.
What type of runs are available?
Depending on your needs, space and budget, there are various runs to choose from. While the types we have reviewed here can be used on their own or attached to your guinea pig cage, there are also hutch and run combos available. You can choose from a double decker styled combo with the hutch on top and the run underneath, or if you prefer, there are also hutch and run combinations that sit side by side.
Both types offer an all-in-one housing solution, but there is the risk that they don’t provide the recommended amount of living or exercise space. If you have three or more guinea pigs, you might want to consider a stand-alone run that can easily be attached to the existing cage.
1. What is it made of?
Typically a guinea pig (and rabbit) run is made from wood with galvanised wire mesh panels or metal, and you can choose between folding runs or permanent enclosures that attach to your guinea pig hutch. Although the metal ones are lighter and easier to move around, we prefer the wooden options. In our experience, they’re more secure, and the 1″ x 0.5″ galvanised mesh keeps predators out, and your guinea pigs safely inside.
2. Is it big enough?
A typical run measures 4ft in length and is approximately 1ft high, but when it comes to guinea pigs (and rabbits), it’s definitely a case of the bigger, the better. While a 4ft run is suitable for one or two guinea pigs, it’s not ideal for more than that. Quite simply, the larger their enclosure, the more opportunity they have to run around and get the exercise they need.
Also, keep in mind the height of the run. Although guinea pigs are small, they do like ‘popcorning’, otherwise known as jumping, and need the necessary space to be able to do this,
3. Does it need to be assembled?
Runs are usually sold or delivered in a flat-pack, which means you’ll need to do the assembling yourself. But don’t panic, assembly is pretty straight forward, and manufacturers supply the screws or fasteners, attachments and detailed instructions.
4. Does the run have easy access?
Ideally, you should get a run with hinged doors on top. This will allow you to access your guinea pigs easily. If you plan on attaching it to your guinea pig hutch, then a door on the side of the cage is a good idea, as your piggies will be able to access the run and their hutch quickly and easily. Make sure the doors can be securely closed with a catch or a clip so that your pets can’t get out, and predators can’t get in.
5. Is it safe for your guinea pigs?
Safety is one of the most important considerations when choosing the best guinea pig run. Make sure the wooden frame is treated with a pet friendly preservative and that the gaps in the mesh panels aren’t too big. And always check for weak points in the wood and mesh where your piggies may have been chewing. Predators, such as foxes, will also try and get into the hutch this way. Remember to buy a run that doesn’t have wire at the bottom as this can hurt your guinea pigs’ sensitive feet.
What to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Run
A responsible guinea pig parent knows that a run is an essential item, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding which one to buy.
1. How much space do you have?
Guinea pigs might be small in size, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need plenty of room to run around. Depending on how much space you have, you can choose either a free-standing run, one that attaches to an existing hutch or a hutch-run combo. Because cavies need loads of space, we suggest getting a run that is big enough for your cavies to comfortably run around, forage and even popcorn in.
2. Would a folding run be a better option?
Depending on the space you have available, you might want to think about getting a folding run. This type of structure isn’t permanent and can be folded away at the end of the day, which is ideal for smaller gardens or homes where space is limited.
These runs provide your piggies with a safe and secure exercise area during the day but fold down for convenient storage when playtime is over.
3. Where are you placing the run in your garden?
Make sure that you place the run in a protected area in your garden. Guinea pigs can’t be too hot or too cold, so it’s crucial that they are protected from the elements while in their run. Use a run shade to keep them cool in the summer months and don’t forget a hutch hugger for wind, rain and cold weather.
The run should always be placed on a flat surface to prevent your piggies from escaping underneath. And remember, a run should never be used as a permanent home for your guinea pigs, so when it’s exceptionally wet or windy, they should be kept, snug and safe, in their hutch.
4. How safe is your garden?
Your guinea pigs’ safety is your top priority, so it’s essential you make sure that your garden is a safe space. they’re Although we recommend that your piggies are always supervised while they’re in their run, it’s still essential that they are safe from potential predators
Natural predators for guinea pigs include foxes, badgers, cats, dogs and even rats. But certain birds, such as hawks, magpies and seagulls are also known to kill cavies. Only use a run that is fox proof, with a roof and is securely fixed to the ground. And never leave your pets in a run overnight. It’s not a permanent housing solution, and your piggies should be placed in a secure hutch overnight.
5. Are there any toxic plants or flowers nearby?
Guinea pigs love grazing, which means they’re going to chew on anything, including poisonous plants or flowers. For your piggy’s safety, and your peace of mind, check that there are no potentially toxic plants or flowers anywhere near their run, or hutch.
6. What kind of weather is good for guinea pigs in a run?
Guinea pigs are sensitive to the weather, so make sure it’s not too hot, too cold, windy or raining when they’re out in their run. To keep them out of the sun, you should always use a run shade and make sure they have some form of shelter in their run. Our cosy shelter and nest box is perfect for your guinea pig on hot days. And don’t forget the water. Cavies are prone to overheating and need access to water 24/7.
Guinea pigs don’t do well in the cold either, which is why we would recommend keeping them off damp or wet grass, as this can lead to some serious respiratory issues, including pneumonia.
7. What accessories are suitable for a run?
Guinea pigs are intelligent little critters that can get bored and depressed when not stimulated enough. Even when they are in their run, they need toys to keep them busy. Activity tunnels, chewable tunnels, and chew toys are all great ways to stimulate your piggies while they are in their run.
8. Is it safe to put guinea pigs and rabbits in the same run?
There are always exceptions where piggies and bunnies have cohabited quite happily together. But as a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to keep them in the same run (or hutch). This is because rabbits can accidentally injure guinea pigs, or even bully them. For your guinea pigs’ safety and your peace of mind, we recommend you don’t put rabbits and guinea pigs in the same run, or living enclosure.
Guinea pigs are at their happiest when they have plenty of space to explore, forage and exercise, which is why a run is an essential addition to your cavies’ housing set-up. Whether you’re looking for a hutch and run combo, a folding run or something a little more permanent, H&R has got the perfect solution for you.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, please feel free to share this with your piggy-loving friends. Better still, why not post a photo of your piggies in their run in the comment section below or on our Facebook page. You never know, your ideas could inspire someone, and improve the lives of guinea pigs across the country.