Guinea pig bedding is a topic that every owner has an opinion on and there is no one right answer. Choosing the best bedding for guinea pigs is really a matter of personal preference, both your own and your pet’s. In most stores you’ll find wood shavings and paper bedding, but others are turning to reusable guinea pig fleece bedding over absorbent materials to line their piggies’ cages. As guinea pig owners, we actually opted for reusable fleece bedding, because it works best for our lifestyle and our piggies.
Choosing the Best Bedding For Guinea Pigs
There is really only one bedding type to avoid when choosing the best bedding for guinea pigs. Cedar or pine shavings for bedding are never a good choice. They contain oils that are not good for the health of your piggie, plus they will not absorb moisture, so things become smelly and messy very quickly when using wood shavings as bedding. Though once popular, shavings really are not the best bedding for guinea pig odor control or for their overall health and comfort.
Using Paper Bedding for Guinea Pigs
Paper bedding for guinea pigs is a relatively inexpensive choice. As any product, there are multiple brands available, each having a different level of quality. You will want to find a brand that has a low amount of paper dust, is soft, and is absorbent. Some have odor control properties, but you will want to take care to read ingredients to ensure that you are not putting dangerous chemicals or strong fragrances in with your small pet.
When using paper bedding, you should spot clean every day or two, then do a complete bedding change once a week. The ease of cleaning and changing paper bedding for guinea pigs, as well as the affordability, have many declaring this as the best bedding for guinea pig odor control.
Using Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding
Other guinea pig owners choose to place layers of fleece over an absorbent base, such as mattress pads or old towels, as bedding in their guinea pig cages. Guinea pig fleece bedding is quite comfortable for animals, but does require quite a bit of maintenance.
When using guinea pig fleece bedding, you’ll need to wash the fleece layer regularly, plus change the absorbent base layer. The key to making sure that fleece bedding is the best bedding for guinea pig odor control is washing the fleece multiple times before using. This will create a property in the fleece that allows any liquid to pass through to the absorbent base, keeping the fleece layer dry and odor-free. Always wash it in laundry detergent that's free of colors and fragrances. I also add a splash of vinegar to the laundry to get rid of any smells - it takes them right away and it's not harmful to the guinea pigs.
How Often Do You Have to Change Fleece Bedding?
We spot clean our piggies' cage a couple of times a day and change out the fleece everyday, but we're also a bit picky about keeping the cage clean. Many people do a full cage clean with new fleece bedding every third or fourth day. It's all about what works best for you and your guinea pigs.
You may want to try a couple of different types of guinea pig bedding to make sure that you find what works best for you and keeps your guinea pig happy. Whether you use paper bedding for guinea pigs or give guinea pig fleece bedding a try, the real factor into finding the best bedding for guinea pig odor control is maintaining the cleanliness of your guinea pig’s cage on a regular basis.