Guinea pigs can sometimes be very sensitive animals. Safe and comfortable bedding is vital for a guinea pig’s health, especially since they stay mostly in the cage. We’d all like to believe that any bedding that’s in the pet store is good for a guinea pig. Sadly, manufacturers are at times more focused on sales than on what’s actually good for guinea pigs.
Out of many bedding products on the market, only a few are suitable. The four most common, reliable choices are hay, paper-based bedding, aspen bedding and fleece bedding. The best choice of bedding in our opinion is fleece bedding and in this article, we are going to talk about how to make it yourself (DIY guide).
How to make guinea pig fleece bedding? In order to make fleece bedding for guinea pigs, you just need to buy a few things and have some creativity. With materials such as fleece fabric, absorbent pads or cotton towels, and waterproof mattress protector you can make a great washable fleece bedding for your guinea pig and in that way even save yourself some money. You can make guinea pig fleece bedding by using a sewing machine or you can make it also with your hand using a big needle and sewing thread. The hardest part is the preparation for the sewing process as you will need to wash materials for at least three times, measure the cage, then mark materials with a fabric pen, and finally cut the materials with fabric scissors. Our DIY guide is going to save you some money and the fleece bedding for your guinea pig is going to be safe, comfortable, and soft.
The fact is that we can all go to the pet shop and buy different types of guinea pig fleece beddings, but why not make one all by yourself? You will save some money and you are going to be sure that the materials safe and comfortable for your little pet.
In this article, we have given you our step by step instructions on how to make a guinea pig fleece bedding. Now let’s start with our DIY guide!
Fleece Bedding for Guinea Pigs | Step by Step Instructions
Making fleece bedding is relatively simple. You will need to buy some materials and carefully follow our step by step instructions:
Step 1: Clean the Cage
Before adding fleece to a cage, you need to thoroughly clean the cage. This means taking everything out and cleaning each item individually with a vinegar solution. Using a mixture of water and white vinegar is the safest way for your guinea pig because commercial cleaning products can contain some chemicals that aren’t good for the guinea pig’s skin and health in general.
Also, you can discuss with your exotic vet what product you can use and how to use vinegar. Before putting objects back, make sure to use the solution to wipe the base or liner of the cage.
Guinea pigs love when their cage is clean and if you do it often and in a proper way, your guinea pig will be happy and healthy.
Step 2: Buy Materials
The first thing you need to buy is a piece of soft and comfortable fleece fabric. It’s important that you choose good material because it will be easier to remove from it guinea pig’s hair, food or hay.
You can find different fleece fabric, with interesting patterns and colors, and we suggest buying it with some pet patterns as it just looks appropriate and cute.
- An ideal bedding for pet carriers, beds and nest; Also perfect for sofa or car seats to stop from scratching or shedding.
- Comsmart soft pet blankets are suitable for pets in every season and many situations, such as warm blanket, mat pad, bath towel, picnic blanket and so on.
- Made by double-sided fleece material, not so heavy but in good warmth, also ultra soft with comfortable touching.
- Cute cat blanket with paw print; 6 pack of the black, brown, blue, grey, pink and white one, you can change and wash anytime as you like.
- The soft dog blanket size is 24x28 Inches, which is not too big or too small for your pets, such as kitties, puppies and many other little animals. Please make sure the blanket size is big enough for your pets before purchase.
Absorbent Pads or Cotton Towels
The second things you need to buy are absorbent pads or cotton towels. Towels and absorbent pads are amazing choices as they will absorb the guinea pig’s pee or any spill, the liquid will pass right through the fleece and onto the absorber, keeping the cage as clean and as dry as possible.
There are different absorbent materials that are made especially for absorbing liquids, but cotton towels are also good replacement.
- Washable Training Pads - Economical & Eco-Friendly: Set of 3 reusable pads with a size of 46” x 27”. Reduces waste compared to conventional disposable pads making these reusable training pads the better and more sustainable choice. Made of 100% polyester and needle-punched non-woven layers, these pads are the ideal choice for puppies, aging/sick pets, or dogs without outdoor access.
- Machine Washable & Waterproof Dog Training Pads: Machine washable and dryable, but hand washing and air drying will help prolong product’s usage. Reusable pads are easier to wash every few days rather than constantly mopping up your floor and cleaning up the mess.
- Superior Absorption & Odor Control: Absorbs and retains both liquids and odors. Holds up 4 cups of liquid. The top layer keeps the pad breathable while the waterproof TPU backing prevents leaks. The overflow prevention seam is also designed to prevent damage to furniture and floors.
- Durable & Long-Lasting: These dog training pads are sturdy enough to last a long time. Includes waterproof backing that will continue to perform after many washes, keeping your house tidy and free of mess.
- Multi-Purpose & Top Quality: These dog training pads are great for housebreaking and potty-training puppies, providing protection to crates and kennels, pet carriers, and house furniture. Also great for dogs with incontinence problems, dogs who must stay indoors to recover from an illness or injury, cats with litter box aversion, etc. So, you can be rest assured while leaving your pets home alone.
- Soft, quiet and 100% waterproof top surface repels all liquids including bodily fluids, perspiration, urine and accidental spills
- Ultra-thin hypoallergenic fabric with noiseless polyurethane backing blocks dust mites and allergens - vinyl-free materials safe for the whole family
- Fully-elasticized fitted sheet style protector features deep pockets for a smooth, secure fit on mattress depths up to 18"; Design is intended to be used with a fitted sheet placed over the protector to keep the feel of your mattress
- Crinkle-free protector can be machine washed and dried on low heat; Easy to follow care instructions help you make this protector last
- Twin size protector measures 39" x 75"; Backed by a generous 10-year warranty
Other Tools That You Will Need
- Fabric scissors
- Big needle or a sewing machine
- Fabric pen
- Sewing thread
- Measuring tape
Step 3: Washing Fleece
These materials must be machine washable. Before you start measuring and cutting, you need to wash them properly (at least three times). This way, you will remove all the things that could be bad for your guinea pig’s skin and also washing it three times creates permeable materials out of them (water can pass through them onto the absorbent).
Check if liquid runs through the fabric freely, after each cycle: Place the fleece on your chosen absorbent material, and pour liquid on it. If the water doesn’t pass through the fabric, redo the washing and drying again.
It’s essential that nothing stays on the fleece because the guinea pig’s pee has to pass right through and soak into the towel/pad. Otherwise, the cage will overflow with urine.
Carefully choose the detergent for washing and it could be good to add some white vinegar. White vinegar will work as a disinfectant and will destroy bacteria and get rid of the unpleasant smell.
Step 4: Measuring and Cutting
When all of your materials are dry, it’ time for measuring and cutting. First, measure the area of the cage and be very precise because later if you cut the materials to short, they will not be large enough to cover the whole cage.
Write your measures on the paper and add a few inches to both, length and width (around 2 inches or 5 cm). This will be important later when you start sewing and it is easier to take out of the cage when it is a few inches longer.
Now you need to use your measures and apply them to your materials with a fabric pen or with something else. After you have drawn out the measures cut it and then use that piece of material as a pattern for the other materials. Cut all of your materials very carefully, precisely, and make sure that all of them are of the same size.
Step 5: Creating the Final Product
The last step is combining everything together and sewing. It is easier if you use a sewing machine but it isn’t necessary. You can make everything with your hands although it will take a little bit longer.
Now you need to put your materials together. Every material has two different sides and to make things easier to explain we are going call them the right and the wrong side.
For example, when using a mattress protector the wrong side goes on the bed while the right side is on the top (you are sleeping on the right side). The same goes for the fleece fabric. This is very important to keep track of as we are going to put different sides of these materials together and in the end, invert everything so that the final product has no visible stitching.
Now carefully follow these steps by order:
1. First place the absorbent pad or a cotton towel on the floor, it does not matter which side is facing up.
2. Now place the mattress protector on the top of the cotton towel or absorbent pad with the wrong side facing up.
3. Now cover everything with the wrong side of the fleece fabric facing up as well.
It is extremely important to follow which side is facing up as we are going to sew only three sides and in the end invert the whole bedding. This way there will be no visible stitches and the absorbent pad or the cotton towel will end up in the middle if you carefully follow the instructions.
In order to make the sewing easier, put the pins on all sides in order to keep the materials in place during the sewing process. Now just sew it up with a big needle and a strong sewing thread. When you finish all three sides, now you need to invert the bedding. Invert it from the inside out, just like when you are changing the sheets of your bed.
The towel or the absorbent pads need to end up being in the middle. If you have followed our instructions, your fleece bedding for guinea pigs, in the end, needs to be constructed like this:
- The waterproof mattress protector on the bottom.
- Followed by an absorbent pad or a cotton towel in the middle.
- At the top, the fleece fabric.
What you get by following this guide is a fleece bedding with no visible stitches on three sides. The last (the opened side) can be stitched as well and the way you are going to do it depends on your visual preferences. It is very important to note that the whole process is way easier if you use a sewing machine.
Use the video below for a more detailed visual example of how this process should look like:
Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding: Maintenance
A responsible adult (not a child) must sweep or vacuum the fleece at least once a day. Otherwise, all the guinea pigs’ droppings and secretions accumulate on it, which turns the cage into an extremely unhealthy and sickening environment.
Typically, the fleece will start to smell bad at some point. Besides washing or changing it every two to three days, pre-soaking the laundry can help remove odor.
How to Wash Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding: Instructions
Step 1: Remove Evrything Form the Fleece
First, dust off any shavings or debris. You can vacuum the rest of the food and feces or do that with the plastic scoop. Important thing is to remove everything that can be seen with your eyes before you put the fleece in the laundry machine. Also, you can shake the fleece a little bit or brush guinea pig hair.
Step 2: The Laundry Machine
Now put it in the laundry machine. The fleece should be washed with unscented detergent and hot water, without fabric softener and dried naturally. Add 60ml (1/4 of a cup) of white vinegar as a disinfectant.
Step 3: Drying The Fleece Bedding
Guinea pig fleece bedding can be dried in the drying machine, but you need to be sure that fleece doesn’t get over dried. We recommend to dry fleece on low heat just one cycle and then leave it to dry on the air.
Advantages of Having a Fleece Bedding
• Cheaper in the Long Run
Fleece can be washed and reused for a long time. It’s better than constantly having to buy new beddings.
• Enviromentaly Friendly
Reusing fleece and towels is better for the environment than wasting wood shavings on guinea pig poop.
• Guinea Pigs Love It
Guinea pigs are very happy every time they see a new pattern or new colors and fleece comes in a variety of them. Some of them even ‘popcorn’ (jumping up and down).
• Easy to Maintain
Removing poop from fleece is easier than searching through shavings. Consequently, the cage also smells and looks better.
• Safe for Guinea Pigs
The guinea pigs can walk freely on the soft fabric with no fear of getting wounded by a pointy piece of wood. It also eliminates the risk of eye, skin, or respiratory infections that can be caused by other beddings.
Buying a Guinea Pig’s Fleece Bedding
If you don’t have enough time for DIY or you aren’t enough creative for making your own guinea pig fleece bedding, you can buy one. There are many different fleece bedding products for guinea pigs, but they can cost you a lot of money.
With the amount of money that you can spend for buying one guinea pig fleece bedding, you can buy all the materials and make two or three fleece beddings all by yourself. Having two or more fleece beddings is an advantage because you can replace the dirty fleece bedding with a clean one while the dirty one is being washed.
If you don’t like the DIY approach we recommend the following guinea pig fleece bedding.
- DUST FREE, Really! - GuineaDad fleece liner is the ultimate guinea pig bedding that has absolutely zero dust. This fleece guinea pig bedding provides guinea pigs the optimal condition to thrive.
- SAVE TIME AND MONEY - As a guinea pig owner, it takes a considerable amount of time, money, and effort to clean and replace guinea pig cages with bedding. With GuineaDad’s guinea pig fleece liner, not only is it easier to clean, but will only cost you a fraction of the time and money.
- QUALITY YOU CAN TRUST - Through a laborious mix of science and ingenuity, various industry experts’ advice and guidance helped to develop the best guinea pig bedding available that is trusted and loved by 100,000+ guinea pig parents and experts worldwide.
- UNRIVALED INNOVATION - GuineaDad is the only liner scientifically designed with your guinea pig in mind.
List of Safe Bedding Alternatives for Guinea Pigs
This non-toxic, chemical-free, eco-friendly, odorless, and dust-free bedding is common among responsible guinea pig owners. However, it’s less absorbent than paper-based bedding and fleece, and more expensive.
• Large Granule/Strand Paper Pellets (Unscented)
This bedding is loved among pet owners for its high liquid and smell absorption capacity. It has all the advantages that the aspen does, but it’s heavier and a bit expensive.
• Natural Paper
A natural, safe, expandable, eco-friendly alternative that’s great at keeping odor at bay. Make sure to buy a good brand, otherwise, the bedding will be dusty and mushy.
• White Paper (Unbleached)
A soft, 100% biodegradable, and economical option that’s mostly dust-free. Inferior brands give a strong paper odor and varying levels of absorption.
• Soft Paper
Compostable, almost dust-free, and highly absorbent of liquids and odors, which means that it can get quite heavy. Beware of low-standard brands that collect dust.
List of Unsafe Beddings for Guinea Pigs
• Softwood Shavings or Chips
Cedar and pine contain oils, phenols, and dust that cause respiratory problems in guinea pigs.
This is a dry version of hay that does not absorb liquids and droppings at all. Besides, it’s stiff and sharp and therefore a potential hazard for the guinea pig’s sensitive eyes, ears, nose, and feet.
• Corn Husks
Thin, long strands that are extremely prone to mold and very dangerous if ingested.
• Clumping Cat Litter
This alternative is full of unhealthy chemicals that give it it’s clumping properties. It’s bad for the respiratory tract and even worse if ingested.
Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Bedding for Guinea Pigs
The most important factor to consider when choosing the bedding is safety. The dirtier the environment, the higher the risk that the guinea pig will develop a dangerous infection because they are extremely sensitive to chemicals and bacteria.
Some beddings are rough and uncomfortable. Others don’t absorb urine well. As a result, the cage becomes stinky and unsanitary. Once again, the guinea pig’s health is at risk.
Another unusual occurrence is when a guinea pig eats the bedding. For example, when using paper as bedding, wet balls of paper can form in its stomach, blocking digestion and causing serious damage. Notice if the guinea pig likes to taste the paper bedding. If so, switch to aspen or fleece.
Fleece bedding is one of the best options for guinea pigs. It’s safe, soft, affordable, eco-friendly, and can be made in a few easy steps. Just be sure to carefully follow our instructions if you decide to take our DIY guide.
Fleece bedding must be cleaned at least once daily. Only a responsible adult can be in charge of doing so, as cleanliness is extremely important for the guinea pig’s health.
Hope you liked our DIY guide on how to make guinea pig fleece bedding and for more guinea pig realted content please keep following our site!
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Potgieter, F. J., Wilke, P. I., The dust content, dust generation, ammonia production, and absorption properties of three different rodent bedding types. Laboratory Animals, 1996.
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