What Is The Best Bedding For Guinea Pigs?

Many of us share our homes with furry friends. Our animals come in all different shapes and sizes. They also come with all different sorts of needs. Caring for an animal is a very rewarding thing to do. But, it can also be challenging when it comes to knowing what the best way is to care for our pets, including what products are right for them.

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Guinea pigs are pretty popular amongst households that have pets other than cats and dogs. Typically, there are about 1.5-2 million guinea pigs residing in U.S. homes. People keep them because they’re cute, furry, and often quite entertaining to watch. You’ll witness lots of funny antics if you sit back and observe a guinea pig.

Most of us will keep our guinea pigs in a cage much of the time. That means we’ll have to fill the cage with things like food dishes, a water bottle, toys, and some sort of bedding material. Not all bedding for guinea pigs is safe, so let’s take a look at what you need to know about the different kinds of bedding available for your guinea pig and figure out which is the best option.

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Types Of Bedding For Guinea Pigs—What Do You Put In The Bottom Of A Guinea Pig Cage?

The most common types of guinea pig bedding, the stuff you put in the bottom of their cages, are paper bedding, fleece bedding, Aspen wood bedding, or blends of paper and wood. These are common because they are all considered to be acceptable forms of bedding for guinea pigs.

There are some other materials that people do use sometimes. Other types of wood, straw, cat litter, and corncobs are some of what guinea pig owners have been known to use. Experts have dubbed these as unacceptable, though, and recommend against using them.

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Is it OK To Use Shredded Paper For Guinea Pig Bedding?

While paper bedding for guinea pigs can be found at most pet supply retailers, some people find it to be more costly than they’d like because you have to replace it in the cage quite frequently. Resourceful guinea pig owners then sometimes think about shredding paper themselves to put in the cage so they can save a little money.

Shredding up blank paper that’s not colored with any kind of ink is fine as an alternative to the pet supply shop paper bedding. Plain, white computer paper works well for this or even unmarked brown paper bags.

Can Guinea Pigs Use Newspaper For Bedding?

No newspaper should ever be used as bedding for guinea pigs. The reason is in the ink that’s used to print the newspaper stories. That ink can be seriously harmful to a guinea pig. When the newspaper gets wet, it can easily leak ink into the cage and onto the skin of the guinea pigs living in the cage. Sometimes, guinea pigs will even eat the bedding in their cages. If you’re using shredded newspaper as bedding, then your guinea pig would be ingesting the ink on the paper and that’s definitely not safe.

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Can Guinea Pigs Use Cat Litter For Bedding?

There are a number of reasons you should not use cat litter as bedding for guinea pigs. One of the most serious issues with cat litter for a guinea pig is the chemicals that are used in it to eliminate odors. Those chemicals can be harmful for a guinea pig’s skin, as well as cause health problems should your pig ingest them.

Another hazard of cat litter as guinea pig bedding is it gets tangled up in the hair of these animals. That causes a nuisance to your pet and an inconvenience to you. It can even cause your guinea pig pain.

Lastly, the texture of cat litter can be uncomfortable under the feet of guinea pigs. The reason for this is those little pebble-like pieces that cat litter contains. A guinea pig has very sensitive little feet that don’t do well walking around on rocks or rough terrain.

Are Fleece Liners Good For Guinea Pig Bedding?

Fleece bedding is in the form of a liner that sits on the bottom of the cage. It has a lot of benefits for the pig, for you, and for the environment. It’s cost effective because you don’t have to keep replacing it with new fleece. It gets reused so it doesn’t create a lot of waste. It looks nice and stream-lined laying flat in the cage, rather than cluttered up with paper bedding, and it’s soft and gentle on your pig’s feet. So yes, fleece liners are good for guinea pig bedding.

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Is Fleece Or Bedding Better For Guinea Pigs?

Using paper bedding or fleece liners are both good choices for guinea pigs. The trick with the fleece is to keep it clean and free of solid waste. For the bedding, you need to just make sure you’re selecting acceptable forms of bedding materials so your piggy doesn’t get harmed. Weighing out which is the better option for your guinea pig may be more about what’s better for your entire household.

What Is The Cheapest Bedding For Guinea Pigs?

You’ll find that paper bedding is the cheapest option most of the time. However, it can start to get expensive due to having to change it out to keep the cage clean for your guinea pig. A more cost effective alternative for the long-run is using a fleece liner that you can throw in the laundry. Unlike paper bedding, you can reuse the liner so there’s no replacement cost.

What Bedding Is Bad For Guinea Pigs?

Shredded paper bedding that has ink or other kinds of dye on it is bad for guinea pigs. As was stated above, paper bedding can be some of the best options to use in your pig’s cage, but only if it’s ink and dye free.

Wood shaving bedding is bad for guinea pigs, unless it is Aspen wood. Aspen is the only acceptable form of wood bedding for these animals, or any small animal, for that matter. 

Cat litter is extremely dangerous for guinea pigs. It’s bad for their feet, their skin, and their tummies should they ingest it.

The absence of bedding is a bad idea, as well. Sometimes owners decide not to put anything in the bottom of the cage. This leaves the guinea pig to walk around on wire or plastic that is too hard for their little feet. It also means they can get covered in their own waste because there’s nothing to draw it away from them. Some type of material, such as paper bedding should be covering the bottom of the cage at all times.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Blankets?

Guinea pigs do like blankets. You’ll want to make sure to find an appropriate size for a guinea pig. But, they do like to snuggle up under things like blankets to help keep them warm and comfortable.

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Should I Cover My Guinea Pig’s Cage At Night?

Many guinea pig owners do cover their cages at night. This is totally fine and helps keep your piggy warm through the nighttime hours. However, it’s important that you only cover part of the cage. Leave enough uncovered so there is enough air making it into the cage and so that light can make it in when the day comes back around. Good ventilation and light are both essential to maintaining your guinea pig’s health and well being.

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The Best Bedding For Guinea Pigs

The best bedding for your guinea pig will provide comfort, cleanliness, and security. It will be soft, free of inks and other chemicals that are harmful to guinea pigs, and have properties that help it absorb wetness. You should stick to paper bedding, Aspen bedding, blends of these, or fleece liners to give your guinea pig the best bedding for his needs.

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