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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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!