Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guinea Pig Care: The Great Bedding Debate

Hi everyone! So this post is all about bedding/litter for guinea pigs. I call it the great bedding debate because it basically is a debate. One one side their is traditional wood shavings or paper bedding and on the other side their is fleece bedding.

So here are some safe bedding/litters for guinea pigs:

Aspen wood shavings (do not use pine or cedar, only aspen)
Recycled paper bedding such as Carefresh or Eco bedding
Fleece with towels and or newspaper or puppy training pads underneath

So here is what I like and dislike about each option:

Aspen: pretty much the only thing I like about this is that it is pretty inexpensive. I don't like that it is rough, dusty, and I can't stand the smell at all.

Recycled paper bedding: I love this stuff it is very absorbent and cleaner and softer than wood shavings. However it is pretty expensive and guinea pigs go through it quickly.

Fleece bedding: Because guinea pigs are messy and other bedding or litter costs so much, guinea pig owners have turned to fleece. I like the use of fleece a lot. It is fun and makes the cage look really nice, and after the initial cost you don't really have to purchase anything else for bedding. The fleece is nice because it wicks away moisture to underneath it where you can put towels or something else to absorb it. The only thing about fleece is that it needs to be changed and washed about every three days, but most bedding would need to be changed about that often with guinea pigs too.

Hay: I almost don't even consider this an option for bedding/litter for guinea pigs because of a lot of reasons:
It is super pricey to use for bedding
It is not absorbent AT ALL
It is messy and just doesn't look that nice

So what I like to do with the guinea pigs at the shelter is mix bedding. For most of the cages I prefer to use fleece with towels underneath. Then for their "kitchen area" I put in another type of bedding. At the shelter we use wood shavings because that is the least expensive, but I prefer to use a recycled paper bedding. The reason I do this is because wherever the guinea pigs eat most is where they are most likely to urinate. The fleece stays fresher and cleaner for longer, and the bedding is easy to scoop out an replace.

So that is what I do. If you do use fleece you have to wash and dry it three times without any kind of fabric softener or dryer sheets. This is because fabric softener will prevent the fleece from being able to wick away moisture and the guinea pigs would end up sitting in their own urine. Fleece should also be changed and washed pretty frequently.

And lastly here are some definite no-no's for bedding:
 No pine, no cedar, and absolutely no cat litter.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I would've thought it was simpler than that! I guess whatever you choose, you still have to put a lot of effort into their care and it makes sense to use the nicest but keep the cost down. You sure have researched it well for anyone who needs to know.
    -Old Animal Lover