Guinea Lynx A Medical and Care Guide for Guinea Pigs

PETCO Promotes Unsafe Use of Pet Products


PETCO Promotes Unsafe Use of Pet Products

Following PETCO's Hamster Derby on Saturday, September 8th, 2007 will be a Critter Run open to guinea pigs and chinchillas.

The pet exercise balls they encourage people to use are unsafe and totally inappropriate for both guinea pigs and chinchillas.

While exercise balls can be fun for hamsters when used correctly, other species like guinea pigs and chinchillas do NOT belong in exercise balls! Angry pet owners may wish to write or call PETCO to complain about this dangerous practice.

Exercise balls are dangerous to guinea pigs.Older PETCO care sheets even pointed out that exercise balls were dangerous for guinea pigs. But the new care sheets have removed this warning!

The only people to benefit from exercise balls are the manufacturers and stores that push them.

You are free to download and print this flier to distribute as you see fit to management or customers or to mail to PETCO with your handwritten comments.

PETCO provides contact information online: addresses, phone numbers, and an online form mailer:


Henle15's wrote the following letter to PETCO. She encourages you to write your own or send a copy of her letter using contact page link above:

    I recently learned that another Hamster Ball Derby will be taking place in PETCO stores across America on Saturday, September 8, 2007.

    I however have one concern. I see that there will be a Critter Run after the Hamster Ball Derby. My concern is with the advertising/promotion of using a ball for guinea pigs and chinchillas. The spine of a guinea pig is extremely delicate and can be easily injured when put in the position that the ball places it. Even the biggest ball forces the guinea pig to bend in a way that is harmful to their spine.

    Another hazard to the guinea pig and chinchilla is the spacing of the slits in the ball for so called ventilation. A guinea pig or chinchilla foot can easily get caught in the slit while the ball continues rolling, therefore causing the foot to break or possibly be severed. Both animals are sensitive to high temperatures and may overheat in the ball. Guinea pigs have a different spine formation than a hamster, rat, or any other animal that may use a ball. Putting a guinea pig in a ball also causes undue stress to him/her and may cause illness.

    I urge you to reconsider advertising/promoting the use of a ball for guinea pigs in the Critter Run.



PDF text:


Exercise balls cause injury!

Never put your guinea pig in an exercise ball.

Exercise balls are a dangerous choice for guinea pigs as they may cause injury to their spine, legs, or feet.

The only people to benefit from exercise balls are the manufacturers who push them!

Thanks to Henle15 for bringing this to the attention of Guinea Lynx Forum members.

And thanks to Sef1268 for assembling the flier.

Guinea Pigs are for Life