Guinea pigs are small, sensitive pets that come with a lot of responsibility. One of the most important things to know is what guinea pigs need to feel comfortable and safe in their new home.
Do guinea pigs need bedding in their cage? Guinea pigs need to have some type of bedding in their cage. Having a proper type of bedding for guinea pigs is extremely important for their health and comfort. Also, with certain types of beddings like fleece, the cage can be kept clean and odorless as it absorbs urine and spilled water.
In the following sections of the article, we will discuss the different types of beddings for guinea pigs. In the end, we will give recommendations for the type of bedding to use for your guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Why Do Guinea Pig Needs Bedding?
First of all, guinea pigs are prey animals. They are used to hiding from danger and over time, they got to the point where they love to hide. Bedding is something that is very nice and fun for them as they can hide in it. This is an entertaining way for them to spend their time.
Secondly, it is not a surprise that guinea pigs prefer having some type of bedding. No one likes to sleep on hard material, especially guinea pigs, as their cages are made out of metal.
Guinea pigs also have a high body temperature, and they enjoy keeping it that way. This is why they love fluffy beddings. It is also very cozy and comfortable.
Another reason why it is better for the owner to buy bedding is that it collects urine and wet substances that can be found in a guinea pig cage. It is a lot easier to take out the wet bedding and replace it than to scrub out the cage every day. This method is called spot cleaning.
You can spot clean every day with a minimum effort. This way, you can scrub the cage once a week, so it is much more convenient.
What Makes Some Guinea Pig Bedding Better Than Others?
A rational owner searches for great absorption and no odor when they are looking for bedding for small pets like guinea pigs. There are many types of beddings that you will read more about later in this article.
Many brands make every single type of bedding. You need to keep in mind that the benefits or disadvantages of a bedding type might vary from brand to brand. This is why some things that we have said may not be applied to every bedding.
Following this idea, we think it is important to mention that multiple layers of bedding are also important and can play a big role in the absorption process. They can also make the cleaning last a lot shorter.
It is obvious that any pet would prefer soft bedding rather than harsh materials on the floor of their cage. Usually, guinea pig cages smell like urine, and this is normal. Beddings can help with that if you choose an odor control one.
However, odor control beddings contain a lot of chemicals to keep the air fresh. So, it is probably more irritating for guinea pigs’ sensitive skin. It is definitely up to you, but it is good to know that there is such an option on the market.
Related: What Is the Best Guinea Pig Bedding: Ultimate Bedding Guide
Types of Guinea Pig Bedding
A type of bedding that was frequently used in the past is wood shavings. It was frequently used, but it isn’t used anymore because technology evolved.
Moreover, it was discovered that some wood shavings, such as cedar, contain some oils that can get your guinea pig sick.
In general, wood shavings are not a good option because they are not very absorbent, so you will need to wash the cage more often. They don’t offer any odor control over the cage. We presume that for guinea pigs, it is not pleasant at all to sleep in a wet smelly cage.
Another very common bedding is paper bedding. A lot of companies produce it, but it differs very much when it comes to different brands. Some may be more absorbent than others, some may be more comfortable.
But still, in general, paper bedding seems to be a little harsh, and it doesn’t seem to do a good job at absorbing urine.
Bad paper bedding can cause respiratory problems, allergies and it can make cleaning the cage a real nightmare.
When it comes to paper bedding, it is all about the brand. Be careful though, most of the brands put the paper bedding in small packages, so you think you need to buy a lot more packages. It is actually enough because it expands after you take it out of the package.
Finally, if you find a good brand of paper bedding, it will be more expensive than wood shavings but it will be more useful. It cannot possibly affect your guinea pig’s health.
- Only the Best for You and Your Furry Friend: The ideal Bedding for your rabbit, guinea pig, gerbil, hamster, chinchilla, rat, or mouse; Small Pet Select Premium Small Animal Bedding Paper comes in the biggest sizes out there; Each bag expands 3x in volume from its packaged size; A high quality product at an affordable cost that will last
- 100% Unbleached Virgin Fiber: Made In The USA without any harmful chemicals or additives; The virgin Never Been Printed paper breaks down easily and organically for safe disposal in your garden, compost, or organic waste bin
- Comfy Is Key: Super cozy and soft but still super absorbent; We have developed this product for optimal absorbency which aids in odor control without any added artificial scents; Safe for your pets and for you!
- Recommended Use: Line the bedding inside the pet's habitat; Remove and replace as used; Damp bedding can cause urine scald, so we recommend removing damp spots or soiled areas between changes and replacing the paper bedding every one to two days (or fluffing to prevent large damp areas where your animal stands); Store in a dry place
- Pawtastic Products for Your Pet: When it comes to pet care, quality should never be compromised; Small Pet Select is a family-owned company that handpicks each of our products with love; We aim to deliver the safest, most effective, and highest-quality pet essentials
Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding
A very useful type of bedding is a fleece. It is undoubtedly the softest one, and it is perfect for sleep. If it is pre-treated correctly and layered over properly, it will be very absorbent. It is reusable, so it’s also good for the environment.
- Excellent Absorbency: The Original GuineaDad Liner features a patented multi-layered construction that quickly and effectively transfers liquid from the top fleece layer to keep your guinea pig’s habitat dry and clean. It can hold large amounts of liquid, preventing leaks and odors.
- Soft and Comfortable: Made from premium-quality, guinea pig-safe materials, the liner provides a cloud-like surface for your guinea pig to walk and rest on, ensuring their comfort and well-being.
- Easy to Clean: Cleaning the Original GuineaDad Liner is a breeze. Simply remove waste and debris, and then toss it into the washing machine. It is machine washable and retains its absorbency and quality even after repeated cycles.
- Eco-Friendly and Cost-effective: By choosing the Original GuineaDad Liner, you make an environmentally conscious decision. Its absorbent layer is crafted with eco-friendly bamboo blend, making it sustainable. Even our packaging transforms into a cute and pet-safe hidey – Crunchy Condo or Tunnel.
- Note on Size: GuineaDad guinea pig cage liners are intentionally created larger than cages. After the first couple washes, GuineaDad Liner will shrink to fit the cage better. If the liner is bigger than the cage, you can use the extra length to cover the wall. Always great to guard against the guinea pig pee stream! Size guide illustrated in picture and/or product description below.
Related: Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding: Detailed Reviews and Tips
A well-known alternative for bedding is hay. Hay is also food for guinea pigs and sometimes a toy for them. They love to hide in the hay.
They love to eat hay, and we don’t think that it’s a good idea to have your guinea pig confused about the use of hay. So, it needs to emphasize is that it isn’t a good idea to let your pet eat their bedding.
- Hand-Selected Timothy Hay - We hand-pack each box in small batches to ensure only the highest quality 100% US-grown 2nd cut Timothy hay arrives at your door. 2nd cut Timothy hay is a perfect balance of stem, seed head , and leaf to provide the rough fiber needed for normal wear to healthy teeth and yummy features with a fresh smell to keep them coming back for more.
- Earth-Friendly Packaging - As small animal owners, we know the importance of packing delicious snacks in safe ways for our small animal companions. No compression packing here that damages stem and leaf integrity, each package is shipped in a high-strength corrugated box for easy storage (and fun digging!).
- Minimally Handled & Delivered Fresh - Make it easy to provide exactly what your little friend needs with regular shipments of fresh from the farm hay to wear down growing teeth and protect digestive health. Each delivery of premium Timothy hay for rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas includes a great mix of protein, fiber and fat to keep them healthy. Your small pet may not thank you with words, but happy oinks and binkies will make you feel like the pet owner of the year.
- Great for Bedding - In addition to being a crucial part of many small pet diets, Timothy hay also makes cozy bedding for hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, ferrets and more. Since most of us aren’t up for doing laundry with tiny duvets, hay makes a wonderful, fresh smelling alternative that they will love to snuggle into.
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! - For you and your pets. We know pets can be picky. If your bunny (or piggy or chinny) stomps and turns up her nose, you can still rest easy.
Related: 8 Best Hay for Guinea Pigs: A Helpful Guide
Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs | Recommendation
Most people use wood shavings or paper-based bedding in their guinea pig cage. As long as it isn’t cedar, sawdust, or pine, it is completely fine. The disadvantage of these types of beddings is that they can get very messy and they aren’t very absorbent. With these beddings, your guinea pig is going to live in a dirty cage.
Also, wood shavings and paper bedding are not reusable, so they are not good for the environment. Moreover, they can get very expensive even if they are not the best choice.
Don’t make the mistake of using newspapers as bedding. Besides the fact that the cage will be a total mess, guinea pigs will certainly eat the newspaper.
Related: Guinea Pig Pine Bedding | Can Guinea Pigs Use Pine Bedding?
Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding
The newest and the best type of bedding so far is a fleece. It is definitely a lot cheaper and also eco-friendly. Fleece as bedding is magical because it allows spot cleaning so you can go longer without cleaning the whole cage.
You need to put a towel under the fleece. The urine will pass right through the fleece and it will be absorbed by the towel. You can wash that towel periodically and the fleece will be dry to the touch.
We definitely recommend fleece as bedding for guinea pigs. It seems to be the most efficient bedding out of all of them. Fleece can be washed and reused so it is good for the environment.
It requires one or two layers of towels and this is not a problem. Towels are also reusable and it keeps the cage much cleaner because of the many layers of bedding.
Because it allows spot cleaning, you can even put little fluffy pillows in your guinea pig’s cage without worrying about them. This is a simple thing but it’s exciting for them to have a special place in their cage where they can really relax.
Do not buy something if you have no idea what it is. Always be careful about what you want to do for your guinea pig. They react to every single change. Sometimes, their reactions might be something serious. For instance, they can react to any bad type of bedding, which can bring allergies and respiratory problems.
Always be careful when buying something for guinea pigs and especially take special care with their diet. Best of luck!
List of Sources
Preference of Guinea Pigs for Bedding Materials: Wood Shavings Versus Paper Cutting Sheet
Use of Soft Hydrothermal Processing to Improve and Recycle Bedding for Laboratory Animals