Last Modified

March 18, 2023 by Umair Shahid

The guinea pigs are the best little rodent pets one can have. They love to play around and interact with humans.

According to a survey, the small mammals owned in Canada from 2016 to 2022 were 1.23 million. People love to keep guinea pigs, but very few of them have an idea about guinea pigs’ bedding.

If you are a new guinea pig owner, you must be worried about taking care of your little buddy. An ideal substrate must comfort your guinea pigs. It should be absorbent and soft.

I will guide you about all the factors you must keep in mind while choosing suitable bedding for guinea pigs.    

Bedding materials for Guinea pigs:

Besides the basic comfort level, the guinea pig bedding must be eco-friendly and toxicity free. There are several products that you can use as bedding material for guinea pigs. I will discuss some of these options.

Fleece liners:

One of the most common bedding materials for guinea pigs. These fleece liners are highly absorbent and insulating. They are easy to replace and keep the guinea pig cage clean.  

Some fleece liners have an insulating bottom layer. This layer prevents the leakage of any liquid material from the cage. The middle layer of fleece liners is also very absorbent.

This option is the best option for guinea pigs. The fleece liners are very costly. However, you can wash and reuse them several times.    

Cloth:

The cloth has nearly the same advantages as the fleece. But it is a less expensive and reusable method. You can use natural cloth materials like cotton, silk, etc. for guinea pigs.

It is preferable to use cotton because it is highly absorbent. The cloth material is not as good absorbent as fleece liners. Therefore, I suggest you change them frequently.

This bedding material is less expensive and dust-free. You can frequently change it, and it is nontoxic. However, it can give a foul odor and might not be as good as a fleece liner.

Wood shavings:

Wood shavings are another best way to keep the guinea pigs comfortable. However, there is one problem it can create dust in the cage. Wood shaving or sawdust is a very inexpensive option, and it can keep your pet clean as well.

However, it can cause scratches and abrasive damage to the feet of guinea pigs. Wood shaving can also become toxic for some pets. There are some toxic contents in the wood that can harm the respiratory tract of guinea pigs.

Paper:

When I say paper, many of you must think about the inexpensive newspaper you can use for bedding.

No, it is the worst material for guinea pig bedding. The newspaper has ink that can be toxic for guinea pigs.  

There are many commercial paper beddings for guinea pigs. These commercial bedding are pellets, confetti, or shavings.

Try to use natural paper material and do not use commercial additives that can harm the health of your guinea pigs.

Important Points to consider in the Best guinea pig bedding:

Many factors are crucial to helping select the best bedding for guinea pigs. According to veterinary experience, the following are some factors that you must consider while buying guinea pig bedding.

Comfort:

The primary factor that matters while buying guinea pig bedding is the comfort level of your pet. The bedding must be less abrasive, and it must not scratch the feet of the animal. The animals do not feel happy and playful if the bedding is not comfortable enough.  

The comfortable bedding that normally guinea pigs have are fleece, cloth, and paper liners. If the material is very abrasive, it contributes to foot infections in guinea pigs. These little rodents are very prone to diseases like pododermatitis.   

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Non-toxic:

The guinea pigs are sensitive animals. They do not bear the toxins above the lower threshold level. Sometimes, the pigs are also prone to eat the bedding.

The bedding must not have any adverse effects on the guinea pigs. The processing of bedding materials also causes the accumulation of toxins in the body of guinea pigs over time.

Dust-free:

The bedding material that guinea pigs need must be dust-free. The thin dust particles in the air can cause inflammation of the lungs in the guinea pigs.

The dust particles damage the respiratory tract of the guinea pigs and harm their health.  

Wood shavings are not the best bedding for guinea pigs because of this problem. The tiny particles of dust cause inflammation of the respiratory tract of the guinea pigs.

Absorbent:

The best property that a bedding material must have is its absorbency. The most absorbent bedding material is fleece. This absorbent material prevents humidity in the enclosure.

This absorbent material is also helpful in keeping your pet dry and clean. Good bedding material is key to keeping guinea pigs healthy.

Insulating:

The guinea pigs, like other rodents, are very sensitive to temperature variations. These little furballs need an insulating material to maintain an ideal temperature in their cage. In winter, good bedding provides the best insulation for the guinea pigs.

Similarly, in summer, the insulating bedding will help to keep guinea pigs free of heat stress.

The fleece absorbs and insulates the cage in the best way. However, some people use wood shavings to get the best insulation.                                                

Odor-free:

Some bedding materials are perfumed, and they keep the guinea pig cage odor-free. However, some pets dislike keeping this perfumed bedding. You can use paper bedding to keep the guinea pig cage odor-free.

People Also Ask

1.What should be the preferable bedding for guinea pigs?

The preferable bedding for guinea pigs is paper bedding and fleece liners. The fleece liners are clean, easy to replace, and perfect to use for guinea pigs.

2. How often should I change the guinea pig bedding?

You can change the bedding material for your guinea pigs after three to four weeks. The bedding material must be easy to wash and replace. Keeping bedding for a very long time can cause odor and damage the health of the guinea pigs.

3. Is wood shaving toxic for guinea pigs?

Wood shavings are a good bedding material, but it is not preferable for guinea pigs. Pine and cedarwood can be toxic for guinea pigs. These woods contain a high number of benzoic compounds that cause toxicity in guinea pigs.

Conclusion:

The guinea pig bedding is the most significant component of keeping a guinea pig as a pet.

It is as essential as feeding them. While choosing the best bedding material for your pet guinea pig, make sure you choose the material that will provide the maximum comfort and cleanliness to your guinea pigs.  

Research Links

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/expanim/52/1/52_1_11/_article/-char/ja/

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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