Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guinea Pig Burrow Bags

My wonderful husband got me a guinea pig for Christmas! His name is Remnar (if you like outdoors-type movies with twisted humor, watch Escanaba in da Moonlight).

Since we brought Remnar home, we have tried giving him several different beds, trying to figure out what works best. We've discovered that he loves to burrow in fabric--clothing, blankets, pillows, anything soft and warm. So we ditched the plastic barn that the pet store sold us and gave him a cardboard tube that I lined with some fake fur. He loved it, but it got nasty pretty quick. It turns out rodents poop a lot. He definitely needs something that is easy to wash. So I took a trip to the fabric store, got some fleece remnants, and made him a couple new beds that we are all happy with.

The first one is just a bag. It doesn't work so well as a place for him to sleep (I think he gets too hot if he stays in it too long). It does work great for lap time. I can pick him up easily while he is in it, and he doesn't try to run away. Then, while I am holding him, he has a safe place to hide if he wants to. Plus, he has fun just poking around in the corners.

The second bed is a bit more complicated, but definitely a success. It sits in the corner of the cage and ties to the top of it. Looks like a guinea pig teepee.

Here's how I made it:

Drape a tape measure in the cage; top to bottom, let a few inches lay on the bottom, then back up to the top. Now decide how far out you want the teepee to come and measure across the corner of the cage at the point you want it to stop. Cut a rectangle using these measurements.

Cut two 3-inch strips of fabric that measure the length of the rectangle, plus 6 inches.

From the rectangle, cut a triangle out of each skinny end, with the point measuring about 1/3 of the way down the length of the fabric.

Pin and stitch the sides of the triangles closed.

Attach the 3-inch strips to the inside edges of the bag.

Then fold them over and stitch to the outside to finish the edges.

Even out the overhanging strips at the top and cut slits down the middle to create the ties.

Remnar loves sprinting in one end of his teepee and out the other. It's also big enough for him to take chew blocks and toys into it with him.

The only problem is that he still poops in it. A lot. Luckily, it's easy to clean out and wash frequently. I suggest making at least two of these so the piggy has a teepee to hide in while the other is in the wash.

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