Guinea pigs are cute and lovable creatures that love to play around in their cages.
You would notice them run frantically towards a hiding place whenever you go near their cage especially when they are in a new home. This is their natural defense mechanism looking out for predators.
One way to please them is through maintaining their cages with proper guinea pig bedding. You might have wood shavings or hay for them.
Guinea pigs poop every six seconds. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. But if you’ve ever owned a guinea pig or two, you know what I mean.
It seems like, for every pound of food you feed them, you get back two pounds of feces and a quart of urine. That’s why bedding or guinea pig litter is one of the essential guinea pig supplies you will need.
But guinea pig bedding materials are not created equal. When it comes to guinea pig supplies, bedding tends to be one of the most unglamorous items. But it plays a very important role in terms of your guinea pigs’ health and welfare.
What to buy for a guinea pig bedding?
A bedding is a substance that you evenly spread on the bottom tray of your pet’s habitat to absorb the waste (urine and feces).
There are many different types of bedding or litter material you can find at stores that offer guinea pig supplies. Timothy hay, crown pellets, care Fresh and newspaper shredding are best.
Separately or mixed will do the job.
To answer common questions with regards to guinea pig beddings like;
1. Can I use pine bedding for my guinea pig?
According to Mom.me , that though pine wood shavings have pleasant smell which can mask odors from your guinea pig urine, it is highly irritating to your pig’s respiratory system and can cause an allergic reaction that can result in a chronic skin problem.
2. Can you use cat litter in a guinea pig cage?
No, cat litter contains chemical that help neutralize odors, and it has a stonelike quality that can be dangerous if ingested.
3. Can you use newspaper for guinea pig bedding?
Stay clear of magazine shredding and make sure newspaper shredding is very dry. Ink from a recently printed paper is to be avoided. You can usually spot soiled areas and quickly remove and replace the bedding.
It is recommended that you change all beddings once every week and at most every ten days. Guinea Lynx suggested that you should wash and disinfect the cage and tray every three weeks or as needed.
Although bedding is one of the most mundane guinea pig supplies, it is also one of the most critical in terms of your guinea pigs’ health. Bedding serves as the “toilet” in your cavy’s cage. It will help keep the cage clean and dry but, if not chosen with care, bedding can also be a health issue for your pigs.
Best Bedding For Guinea Pigs Reviews
“Soft chopped straw” prepares an ideal bedding for guinea pigs to forage in and also rest on. It is also advisable to add meadow hay beneath.
This type of bedding serves two purposes since they can also eat it without the problem.
In fact, Guinea pigs will eat straw in the wild and by you using it as bedding you get to save money. Always check to see if the hay is aired out and doesn’t contain harmful mold. It usually spoils when it gets wet or is urinated on. – About.com
|Cheap and easy to get hold of||Doesn’t absorb liquids well|
|Non-toxic||No odor control|
|Can burrow, but not that well.|
Fleece are soft and dry material hence highly recommended for guinea pigs cage as well as in indoor cages because it keeps them warm also. It is also advisable to set a plenty area in order to use hay for foraging. Clean this material frequently using tack wash bag (washing machine).
The Pros and Cons Fleece Bedding according to Cali Cavy Collective are;
|Safe to use||Must be prepared correctly prior to use.|
|Gentle on piggy feet||Must be paired with an absorbent material|
|Can be decorated||Requires daily cleaning|
|Saves money long term||Extra steps may be needed to remove hay or fur|
|Surface stays dry||Requires regular washer/dryer access|
|Easily sized to fit your cage||Initial cost of purchasing bedding sets|
Because it is compressed into pellet form, it is a low-dust bedding. It is highly absorbent. These types of bedding retard the formation of ammonia gas from urine–which can be harmful to your pet. Some brands also contain odor-reducing agents.
Using shredded paper is an extremely cheap bedding solution. It is very soft for a guinea pig and they seem to like it well. It is a good option because it is dust free and soaks up urine quite well. It is important that you don’t use newspaper or other ink based papers. About.com said that these inks can be lethal to your guinea pig.
|Good absorbency||More expensive than other option like wood chips|
|Better odor control|
|Very limited amount of dust|
|No potential hazard|
Aspen is a hardwood. As such, it does not contain the harmful oils that are present in cedar and pine. This is evident because aspen wood (and the shavings) are not nearly as aromatic as the other two varieties.
Because it is lacking harmful wood oils, aspen bedding is perfectly acceptable as a bedding material. The downside is that it tends to be a little pricier than cedar or pine shavings.
Wood shavings are in fact the number 1 bedding option for Guinea pigs. The wood shavings can also be bought in a pellet form which makes it easier to handle. Since they are usually made from pine trees, they smell great.
Wood shavings are cheap but they also come with a hassle known as wood dust.
Sawdust is a big no-no because it can get in their eyes, or even worse, clog their breathing system.
Many people will air out their wood shavings before introducing them to their guinea pigs. Unfortunately, the strong wood smell can cause major problems for your Guinea pig.
|No volatile oils||Not as absorbent|
|Slightly higher cost|
|Does not provide much odor control|
What do you think is the best guinea pig bedding for your pet? We love to know it in the comment section below. We would appreciate if you would tweet and share this on Facebook.