Guinea Pig Bedding

Guinea Pig Bedding Options

Guinea pig sitting in his bedding.
Guinea pig sitting in his bedding.

More on Guinea Pig Care

This hubpage is an excerpt from my new book The Real Guide to Guinea Pig Care, where you can find all the information you need to provide your guinea pig a happy and energetic long life. I hope you enjoy.

Guinea Pig Bedding Options

Choosing the best bedding for your guinea pig, has a lot to do with money, time, smell, and most importantly your pet's health. A variety of bedding options are available and based on my own experience you can see what will work best for your guinea pig.

Most of the time Pet stores will encourage you to get whatever fits your budget, they assume that just because a guinea pig is on a package that it is safe for them. Unfortunately this is misleading and can cause the pig and the new owners all sorts of problems.

Instead, doing your own due diligence will allow you to find something that works for you and your new pet.

Black Guinea Pig on Wood Shavings

Wood Shavings- Most Popular Guinea Pig Bedding

The most common and often considered the most cost effective guinea pig bedding seems to be wood shavings. While wood shavings of a particular kind can work very well, there are two that come with stern warnings.

Aspen Shavings- This is the safest and still cost effective shavings option. While it may be a tad uncomfortable on their feet, it can be used successfully for their entire lives, they get used to it very quickly. The cost is more than the other shavings option, but the only one that is completely healthy for the guinea pigs. I was able to buy this for $11. We had four cages at the time and were able to use it for a month.

Pine Shavings- This is not as safe as Aspen, but is far more cost effective. A friend is able to buy about double what I would get with Aspen, at half of the cost. She did say that the pieces are very large, and that seems to be annoying so she is going to try a different, possibly more expensive Pine. This is the most common bedding I should say for guinea pigs. Many people use it the whole time they have pigs with no problems. However there is a bit more smell, and the fumes off the pine can cause respiratory problems for the pigs, just like cedar can. Try to avoid using this if at all possible, it is not recommended. A safe pine shavings product is one that is kiln dried.

Cedar Shavings- Should NEVER be used with guinea pigs. It can be lethal for them, and can cause all sorts of health problems from respiratory to skin issues and liver problems from the fumes that come off the cedar shavings. While it is the cheapest, again it should NEVER be used with guinea pigs. We got a pig that had been on it for awhile and she was covered in a skin issue and was sneezing all the time. We weren't sure if she was sick or not, but within a week on our normal bedding (fleece) she was as good as new. Their living conditions make a huge difference.

Cedar Shavings are Not for Guinea Pigs

CareFresh, Yesterday's News, & Soft Sorbent for Guinea Pigs

Carefresh is recycled newspaper that is then shredded (and cleaned) then packaged for cage use. This is nice and soft on the pig's feet. I found it to be a bit expensive. With four cages we went through $20 of Carefresh each week when changing. If you have one pig, this will work fine, but if you have more you might want to find something more cost effective. I did like how soft it was, no smells from the pigs, and it didn't get all over like some things do. I didn't like the dust, and while it says low dust it was enough to bother my crazy nose.

Yesterday's News- a cat litter that can also be used for guinea pig cages. It is more costly, but can be purchased in bulk. Will get all over the place from running pigs so it will require sweeping daily.

Soft Sorbent- I loved using this when we first got the guinea pigs but after awhile it was a pain. While it is nice and non-smelly, it got ALL OVER the place. Our cages have about 4-5 inches on each side but the piggies were still able to kick it all over. Not only that but when we pulled them out they had it on them as well. They liked it, because it wasn't hard, but it was still costly. What is nice is that you can buy it with scents in it, to further keep the pigs smelling good.

Video on Guinea Pig Bedding

Guinea Pig Bedding Products

Carefresh Natural Premium Soft Pet Bedding, 60- Liter
Carefresh Natural Premium Soft Pet Bedding, 60- Liter

Commonly used and cost effective for one or two pigs.

 
Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Pet Bedding, 27-1/2-Liter
Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Pet Bedding, 27-1/2-Liter

Great for smells, soft, no dust, good for a couple of guinea pigs.

 

A Guinea Pig Loves Hay

Guinea Pigs and Hay or Timothy Hay

Guinea pigs love hay, they love to eat it, hide in it, frolic in it. They NEED it! Some times people think because the guinea pigs need hay, they can live in it. I think it's mostly a matter of perspective. While they do like to run and borrow through it, it isn't the best to fight smell, it isn't absorbent for bedding and should be changed much more often than once a week. It loses it's freshness very quickly.

But like I said, they do NEED it. They need to eat Timothy Hay specifically, and they have to have it available all of the time, unlimited amounts. They need it for their diets and it is available at all pet stores.

However, the best place to get it is a local farm if they sell it, put a post on Craigslist or search on Craigslist for timothy hay. It will make a huge difference in price.

So, yes, use hay, but not as bedding, use it for their entertainment, and purchase timothy hay for their diets.

What to Never Use as Guinea Pig Bedding

Sawdust should not be used as guinea pig bedding.
Sawdust should not be used as guinea pig bedding.

More Products You Should Not Use

Wood Chips- These are far too big and hard for guinea pigs. They can cause hard to their eyes, feet, etc. It also depends on the kind of chips they are, if they are pine, cedar, aspen, as discussed above only aspen is acceptable. But still in this size Wood chips are not a good option.

Sawdust- These pieces are too small and can be inhaled by the guinea pigs. This causes a lot of problems for their respiratory systems and may kill them. Never use Sawdust for guinea pig bedding.

Corn Kob- Should not be used as bedding or food for guinea pigs. As bedding it molds very quickly and gets stuck to other objects. As food it isn't digested well and can expand in their digestive tract causing blockages that can be life threatening.

*Health Alert* Guinea pigs are animals of prey and for this reason they do not show many signs, if any at all, when they are sick. Your pig could be very ill without you even noticing, you must keep a daily check on their health, and watch how they behave, eat, drink, etc.

My Favorite Bedding for Guinea Pigs- Fleece

My own guinea pig rescue fleece bedding.
My own guinea pig rescue fleece bedding.

Fleece Bedding for Guinea Pigs

We use fleece for our guinea pig rescue. Ever since the first time we put it in for the first time the pigs have loved it. But we have learned some things about it, along the way.

Buy the fleece and wash it multiple times before you use it in the cage. You absolutely must do this. Then get a bunch of towels you don't need any longer. You probably won't want to use them again after you start using them for poo and pee :)

Another suggestion I found was to put old newspaper down as well. So lay the newspaper on the bottom of the cage, 2 layers. Add towels, another 2 layers. The towels fold over in corners and such, and that is where the pigs will relieve themselves most of the time (corners and sides). What I do is just use two towels and double layer the corners and sides.

Lastly, you add the fleece on top of the other layers, if you can use 2 layers of fleece this will work best, especially for the moisture and scent.

Literally you will see a huge difference by following these suggestions, and the pigs will popcorn all over the place their first time in there.

Guinea Pigs Popcorning

Comments 34 comments

6 years ago

This was some great information.


Danielle Schaeffer 6 years ago

wow. who knew there was so much to know about how to take care of a guinea pig. Or that they were that common as pets.

Danielle


Reneekylie 6 years ago

Thanks for the information. I actually learned a few new things from your site. This was very informative. Keep up the good work.


Squibuss 6 years ago

WOW! I think that before people are allowed to get a guinea pig that they should have to read this article first. This is better info than they hand out at PetSmart.


Jessie 6 years ago

oh i have a warrning do not use news paper as a beding because when i got my first guinea pig i had no back yard and so he lived in my room and his feet got burnt from the ink pour boy.

it did not kill him but he is dead now RIP


ticklebug82 profile image

ticklebug82 6 years ago from Oneida, NY Author

Jessie, just under neath the other 4 layers, to make it easy for clean up. No piggies are hurt on my watch, and RIP little piggie.


Vivian 6 years ago

Great info, We are thinking of using fleece bedding for our piggies. Thanks!


lizmoss71 profile image

lizmoss71 6 years ago from Orpington, UK

Nice hub, but I'm surprised you don't mention either megazorb or vetbed. I have used megazorb for ages, but recently swapped to fleece. The only problem with fleece is you have to clean them out more often than with megazorb or shavings.


ticklebug82 profile image

ticklebug82 6 years ago from Oneida, NY Author

Hi Liz. I haven't heard of either of those, thanks for telling me about them. I've found that the fleece lasts quite awhile, do you do the double layers of fleece and towels underneath?


lizmoss71 profile image

lizmoss71 6 years ago from Orpington, UK

Yes I do but you still need to sweep up poop and hay daily to keep it looking OK.


finatics profile image

finatics 6 years ago

Great hub, we used to use pine bedding for our guinea pigs until we learned it wasn't very good for them. So we switched to shredded newspaper (no coloured ink, and papers with not a lot of ink on them) and they love it. It's very soft and inexpensive!


chardee42 profile image

chardee42 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

My girls have 2 guinea pigs. We use Carefresh and you're definitely right about the dust.


ticklebug82 profile image

ticklebug82 6 years ago from Oneida, NY Author

I would like to find out more about the newspaper, we like the fleece, its pretty easy to clean, but I don't like getting my hands all pee when it's time to clean it. Small price to pay I suppose for not having to pay for bedding but still yucky.

I used carefresh before, it was nice and soft, but I got annoyed how fast it would compact and the dust when we put new carefresh in or cleaned was a lot. It seemed to get all over just like other beddings.


lucy 6 years ago

wht is the best cage for gp?


Mary Green 6 years ago

I really like the c&c cages, they are big and easy to access the piggies.


btom profile image

btom 5 years ago from Chicago

My absolute favorite was the carefresh.


gwyneth24 5 years ago

those guini pigs are so cute


Adel 4 years ago

is clean and soft good for your guinea pigs brething????


Fresh 4 years ago

I've been using wood shaving for the last year and i did not have any issues with the piggies.. as i am in Sri lanka, i don't have access to the other products.. even hay is not easy to find.. :)


Jderdall 4 years ago

For my pig pen play area I put old pee pads previously used in hospitals. You can get them at second hand stores or go to your local hospital and ask if they have old ones. Easy to clean up and soft. I put towels underneath for extra cushion. They dont leak thru and wash up great every couple days. Used them for my potty training kids so I had quite a few.


Kinsey 4 years ago

Can you use puppy pads???:)


Nathan 4 years ago

WOW, taht is cool info, I'll make sure to use it


Song 4 years ago

I want you people to please be very aware of Yesterday's news. DO NOT BUY IT FOR YOUR PRECIOUS LITTLE BABIES!!

Just now my baby Banshee choked on one of the pieces from yesterday's news, those pellets.

I am just giving fair warning. I am not home all the time and came home to discover that this had happened. I thought it was something I was unaware of maybe she was sick, but my boyfriend discovered the piece in her throat.

DO NOT DO IT!

A vet recommended it for them and I am so upset that I listened. I will not buy again.


Joanne 4 years ago

My guinea pig just died, and I always used cedar shavings. I never thought much about it, but now I feel terrible! I'm never going to use shavings again!


Sarah 4 years ago

A few years ago I had a guinea pig named Cocoa. She was the first one I ever had, and I wasn't very informed on how to care for her. I just found out about how harmful cedar bedding can be, unfortunately a lot too late. I used it all the time, assuming it was safe because it said it was for small pets. It even had a cartoon of a cavy right on it. I feel absolutely awful that I didn't look into it, but I didn't know. I am NEVER using cedar bedding again. I'm just glad I found out now, seeing as I am about to purchase another little piggie. I'm infuriated anybody would advertise something for an animal to which it would be lethal. I'm now positive it was the cause of Cocoa's death. She had all the symptoms. I promise to do better this time.


Guinea lover 4 years ago

i wouldn't recommend sawdust or anything like that because sawdust attracts mites if not put away or closed up proply


Drodlerge 3 years ago

We utilized to receive high on lifetime although lately We've established a weight.


elizabeth 3 years ago

This is really helpful I think I will potty train my pigs instead it won't be as bad as sweeping it out every time you look at the cage oh and I will use fleece.


Futamarka 3 years ago

К основным характеристикам Парик относятся: отсутствие влагопоглощения, устойчивость к резким переменам дам и длительный срок прострации. Этот завивочный шиньон является экологически безопасным и не подверженным факторам биологического и климатического воздействия. Пеноплекс не поддерживает горение, что позволяет использовать его для хохотаний с повышенным риском возгорания.


cheryl 3 years ago

Why is walmart allowed to stock their shelves with cedar shavings indicating on the bag that it is for guinea pig use? My poor guinea pig has suffered from the use of this product, almost causing death. They should be forced to pull this product off their shelves as it is causing animal suffering by unbeknown buyers.


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Cheri 3 years ago

just wondering if anyone can give advise about washing the bedding.

My problem is with the bits of hay on the blanket that don't just shake loose prior to going into the washer. Seems to be tough on my washer...?


GuineaPigsNC 2 years ago

What about hemp guinea pig bedding? American guinea pig owners love the comfort and absorbency hemp bedding offers .


gepeTooRs 7 months ago

Excellent weblog here! Additionally your website rather a lot up fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link for your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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