Your guinea pig needs a lot of things in order to be healthy and well cared for. And you, as their owner, are responsible for all of those things.
But just how do you make sure you have everything they need? And what do they even need?
Well, one of the things that they need is a comfortable cage and that starts with finding the best bedding for guinea pigs.
Why Does the Right Bedding Matter?
The bedding in your guinea pig cage is designed to absorb moisture from their urine and feces. This means that it’s going to slow down bacterial growth and then reduce gases and toxins that can occur if bacteria is allowed to fester for too long.
Unfortunately, your guinea pigs are highly susceptible to disease and bacterial infection (which can come as a result of that moisture) is one of the biggest reasons for disease. Even worse, 40% of guinea pig owners report that their pet has had a bacterial infection at least once.
Upper respiratory infection especially can be dangerous for your guinea pig and can even cause death. But by using the right quality bedding you can actually reduce the chance of bacteria growing and therefore reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
What Bedding Does Your Guinea Pig Need?
There are actually a number of different types of guinea pig bedding, but some are most definitely better than others. You’ll want to choose between paper, fleece, wood shavings and hay.
Paper – Paper bedding is one of the most common and it’s going to be inexpensive. It’s soft and it’s quite absorbent. Plus it helps cut down on odors. But don’t use just any paper as bedding. You want something that’s high quality and doesn’t include dust, which can result in respiratory problems.
Fleece – This is a great option because it’s nice and warm as well as comfortable. Keep in mind that it’s not going to absorb at the top layer but will allow fluid waste to flow through, which means you’ll need something under it to absorb the waste. This material, especially when made of cotton or polyester, is a great choice for guinea pigs who love to burrow.
Aspen – This is one of the best types of wood shavings that you can use and even though it’s going to be inexpensive, it’s safe and does not have oils, dust or scents. Not only that but it is highly absorbent, so you don’t have to worry about the mess and it helps cut down on odor.
Pine – Another safe type of wood shaving is pine, which is a less expensive wood that does absorb but can contain oils, which are not good for your guinea pig long term. They should be soft and completely dry if you are going to use them and monitor the shavings and your pet.
Hay – Hay can be combined with other materials to provide a soft and comfortable bed but it shouldn’t be used exclusively. That’s because hay is also part of your guinea pigs diet. Not to mention it doesn’t really absorb much and it doesn’t cut down on odor.
What You Need to Know to Choose the Right Guinea Pig Bedding
There are a number of different things you want to consider when it comes to choosing the right guinea pig bedding, and we’re going to take a closer look at each of the important factors from price and material to maintenance and cage size.
Price – One thing to consider is how well the material is actually made. You want something that is going to last well and that it will provide the benefits you want without risking your guinea pigs health. Don’t opt for the cheapest product as they may contain dust or other allergens that are bad for your pet.
Material – Consider the specific material that you’re getting and make sure that you are using something that’s effective as well as affordable. Also, make sure that it’s got great absorption and odor control as well as being soft. You may need a little trial and error to find the perfect material for your pet.
Maintenance – Some types of guinea pig bedding are going to require more maintenance than others. You want something that will fit your schedule and what you’re able to take care of. You don’t want something that requires changing daily if you don’t have time for that. Instead, make sure you can keep it up as needed.
Cage Size – Finally, make sure that you check out the cage that you’re going to be using. You want to make sure that you have bedding that will fit into the cage, which is even more important for fleece or other material inserts rather than things like paper or wood shavings.
Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs
Available in several sizes and colors this pet bedding is made with natural paper fiber to create a soft, dry and comfortable surface for your small pets. It’s an excellent texture and size for burrowing animals as well as nesting and helps to cut down on odor for as long as 10 days.
Up to 2x as absorbent as shavings, this bedding will keep your pets dry longer and also make sure that they’re warm and you don’t have as big of a mess. It’s also 99% dust-free so you don’t need to worry about their respiratory system and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or synthetic dies. But it is biodegradable.
Best Aspen Guinea Pig Bedding
This bedding is available in several different package sizes to make sure you have enough for your furry friends. It’s also made with high quality, all natural aspen, so you know exactly what you’re getting. There are no additives or potentially dangerous fibers included in this package and you can feel confident knowing just what your pet is sleeping on.
The kiln dried shavings are directly from logs and are both recyclable and compostable. That means they’re not only better for your guinea pig but they’re better for the environment as well. This bedding gets rid of the odor and also helps cut down on how often you need to change it out.
Natural Paper Bedding for Guinea Pig
Natural paper bedding is a great way to give your pet what they need and also make sure that you’re protecting them against harm from less reputable brands. It’s made with absolutely no chemical additives right here in the United States. Not to mention it’s soft and comfortable while being highly absorbent.
Each bag expands approximately 3x in volume to get plenty for your pets cage. It’s also made with pure, unbleached paper that has never been printed. You’re not getting recycled content here. You’re getting something that’s completely safe and ready to go for your guinea pig.
Bed House Winter for Guinea Pig
When the weather gets really cold outside you may want something a little warmer for your furry friends. This pad is available in different sizes and a couple color options to make sure they stay more comfortable even when there’s a bit more air flow.
It’s made with soft fleece that’s not only comfortable but warm as well. Not to mention it’s lightweight and easy to put inside their cage. You can use this for any type of small animal and especially to create a comfy corner for them to rest in.
White Small Animal Bedding for Guinea Pig
This shredded paper is designed to absorb up to 2x as much liquid as wood shavings. Not to mention it can absorb up to 6x it’s actual weight. You’ll also get odor control and 99.9% dust free material. That means it’s better for you to clean and safer for your guinea pig to be around as well.
This product is actually white paper, which means there’s no dyes or additives and you can feel safe using it around your pet. It’s great for keeping the cage looking fresh and clean and making sure that you always know when it needs to be changed out.
Waterproof Reusable & Anti Slip Guinea Pig Bedding
This four layer mat is made with fleece as well as a waterproof center layer and an anti-slip gel bottom to make sure that it’s everything you’re looking for with your guinea pig. It provides a soft and comfortable surface and fits the base of their cage.
This mat is highly absorbent and cuts down on odors, which means that it feels soft and doesn’t smell for a longer period of time. It’s also great for cleaning because you can put it in the washing machine to get it ready to go again and you’ll get two in a pack so you can swap them anytime.
Wood Aspen Shavings for Guinea Pig
Wood shavings are a great way to go when it comes to bedding for your small animals. There’s enough to cover the base of your pets cage with no problem and you’ll be able to rest assured that it’s 100% natural aspen wood, which means it’s safer for your pet.
This bedding is able to absorb up to 4x its weight in moisture and it cuts down on odors. It also doesn’t give you a lot of dust, which means it’s safer for your guinea pig, without causing the respiratory issues. But they can still dig and burrow as much as they like.
When it comes to getting a guinea pig you want to make sure you know what you’re doing and that you’re getting them exactly what they need as far as bedding. So, we’re going to take a look at a few frequently asked questions you might be wondering as well.
What bedding do I need to stay away from?
In general, make sure that you stay away from pine bedding and straw. Pine is actually dangerous because even though it has a good smell and cuts down on odors, you’re going to have increased potential for respiratory, urinary and skin issues.
Straw, on the other hand, is similar to hay in look and your guinea pig may try to eat it, but it’s not actually edible. Also, it’s not soft so it can hurt their feet, ears and eyes.
Should I be using fleece bedding for my pig?
Fleece bedding can be good, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best option. Make sure you consider this material as well as some others when you’re looking into the different options and choose something that fits your needs.
What else can I use for guinea pig bedding?
If you don’t have any bedding left in your home and you’re not sure what to do the best thing you can do is shred up newspaper. Now, you don’t want to do this all the time because it’s not really edible and your guinea pig will likely eat it if it’s under their feet.
What about hay for bedding?
Hay is actually safe to use but keep in mind that it needs to be actual hay and it needs to be soft. If it’s not it could damage their feet and more. Also, you need to make sure there’s no dust in it as dust can cause respiratory problems.
Finally, make sure that the hay you get is good quality so your guinea pig can eat it and enjoy as well.