Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by ellen
Wondering about the best bedding for guinea pigs? Learn more about guinea pig bedding options and which you should use.
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Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs
There are a variety of beddings that can be used for your guinea pigs. They include pine shavings, cedar, CareFresh, aspen, and fleece/cotton cloths. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, you should consider using pine or CareFresh.
Keep in mind that aspen shavings for guinea pigs are not quite as soft as pine. But, it does work for guinea pig cage bedding.
Learn more about caring for guinea pigs.
Here are a few bedding options that pet parents might want to consider using for their guinea pigs. Buy the best guinea pig bedding you can afford and change your pet’s cage regularly.
Why is bedding important for guinea pigs?
Bedding is essential for many reasons. It helps absorb their urine, keep the cage dry, and reduce ammonia fumes. Good guinea pit bedding will absorb urine and keep your piggy comfortable.
Comfortable bedding also provides insulation that keeps your guinea pig at a proper temperature during hot or cold weather. Plus, it’ll make them feel more secure in their surroundings by providing them with a familiar scent to sleep on.
It can also help keep your guinea pig comfortable sleeping or resting.
How often should you change your guinea pig cage?
Cage bedding should be changed once a week to keep your guinea pig’s area clean and fresh. You will also need to deal with any wet or soiled areas in the corners of the cage. One way to do this is by lining the bottom with paper towels, which are easy to replace when they become soiled, too.
Regularly changing your piggy’s cage is an essential part of guinea pig care. And, it’s important to keep your guinea pig’s feet healthy.
Health warning for guinea pig owners
If you let your pigs sleep in dry and dirty environments they can develop nasty diseases such as respiratory infection and swollen feet causing bumblefoot.
You also need to give your piggy plenty of hay which is the main component of their food source. Ensure your guinea pigs have a hay kitchen that has a room where they can dig and forage.
Recycled paper bedding
Using paper products such as recycled newsprint or craft paper can be a good idea because they are inexpensive and easy to replace.
But, paper-based bedding is not the best choice when it comes to your guinea pigs’ health, though, because the inks could contain heavy metals.
However, there are natural paper bedding brands that you might want to consider that use paper as an absorbent layer. Many guinea pig owners choose this option because paper bedding is dust-free.
Be aware that it has no odor-resistant properties so using this as bedding for guinea pigs may not be ideal. This brand is highly recommended.
Pine shavings are very absorbent, inexpensive, and available almost anywhere. They’re a great option for bedding as long as you don’t use anything else in the cage along with it.
Never combine pine shavings with cedar because that can hurt your guinea pig’s health. You can also find pine shavings that are made from kiln-dried pine, which means they’re safer because the chemicals in the wood aren’t left behind after processing.
Cedar is not a good bedding for guinea pigs because it’s very aromatic and can contain harmful phenols. If you use cedar for your guinea pigs, you should change it immediately and use a different type of bedding.
A lot of people think Carefresh bedding is too expensive and not cost-effective, but if you buy large-sized bags, they’re actually quite affordable. The bedding absorbs urine and keeps odors at bay. This is another option to consider using if you have a large space that can accommodate it.
Wood beddings such as aspen shavings, kiln-dried pine shavings, and paper pellets aren’t great options because they’re dusty and can lead to respiratory problems.
The dust also sticks to wet spots on the floor and attracts insects like roaches. If you want to use wood shavings like pine bedding, look for ones that are sized appropriately for small animals.
It’s very important if you use this option to change your guinea pig’s cage very frequently.
Hemp bedding is safe, natural, and comfortable to use. It’s also very absorbent which makes it easy to keep the cage dry.
It may sound pretty good, but you need to know that hemp bedding can hold onto moisture. If your guinea pig has this kind of bedding in their habitat then make sure you change it daily and use a cage liner.
Guinea pig fleece bedding
Fleece and cotton cloth make good bedding for guinea pigs because they’re soft and comfortable to lie on. You can cut them into pieces or loops so the cavy doesn’t swallow it completely.
This is a wonderful option that is dust free and safe for your guinea pig’s respiratory system. You can purchase fleece cage liners or sew your own guinea pig fleece blankets.
I really think that this is the perfect bedding for a pet parent who wants to provide an absorbent layer underneath other natural materials. I really love these cage liners.
Just like Carefresh, it’s important that you don’t use fleece bedding with paper bedding or pine/cedar shavings because of the dust they can produce.
Is fleece better for guinea pigs?
Fleece has only recently become a popular small pet bedding choice for guinea pigs and has now become a safer and more affordable solution.
Do people prefer fleece sheets? It largely varies depending on factors such as your money, the time you need to take care of the animal, and your preferences.
You can find fleece liners right here. They make ideal dust-free bedding material for your guinea pig. Changing the fleece liner regularly helps with odor control.
Learn how to make your own guinea pig fleece blanket.
What bedding is bad for guinea pigs?
While I’ve shown you the advantages of using certain beddings, there are also a number of options that you should not use with your guinea pigs. These include:
Bedding without a proper moisture system in place. This can lead to urinary tract infection or even problems with your pet’s sensitive respiratory system.
Unsafe bedding materials such as paper, wood chips, straws, and sawdust.
You should also avoid using any type of cloth that’s not fleece or cotton because they can be dangerous to your guinea pigs if they swallow the material. It can cause an intestinal blockage and is not safe for your furry friends.
Can I use cat litter for bedding?
Don’t use traditional or clumping cat litter with guinea pigs because it has a lot of dust and chemicals that can hurt them. You also need to make sure you buy unscented or hypoallergenic options because the scented ones can irritate your guinea pig’s skin, cause respiratory problems, and stress them out.
This is not a good option for any of your small pets or pet rabbits. Use absorbent bedding you can find at local pet stores instead.
- Can you bathe guinea pigs?
- Do indoor rabbits need bedding?
- Cleaning a guinea pig cage
- How to make your guinea pig love you
- Recipe for guinea pig treats
- Easy dog crafts
Where can I find guinea pig bedding?
There are many different bedding types and depending on what you want, you can look here for the ideal small pet bedding. You should be able to find guinea pig bedding and litter here:
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.