1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Severe Weather predicted in the UK Monday 16th October - Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Anniversary Herd is proud to announce our Halloween / Guy Fawkes Photo competition for details please click.....here!. Closing date extended - until Tuesday 17th 18:00 GMT.
    Dismiss Notice

Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview

Discussion in 'Housing and Enrichment' started by sport_billy, May 9, 2014.

  1. sport_billy

    sport_billy Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    39,503
    Likes Received:
    21,838
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    This is a broad overview of various types of bedding used to give owners an idea of what is 'out there' and the pro's and con's of each Guinea Pig bedding.

    Fleece

    Fleece is one of the materials you can use as bedding for guinea pigs. You can either use it in conjunction with an absorbent layer such as towels, puppy pads or Fleece buy cage liners already made with an absorbent layer built in (made to measure)

    Fleece needs to be washed without softener as softener decreases its ability to wick away moisture and requires multiple washes before first use to make it absorbent. It should also be washed at higher temperatures (60 C / 140 F) regularly to rpevent the build-up of bacteria and smells.

    Fleece needs changing ever 3-4 days to prevent it from becoming smelly and you will need to poo pick 1-3 times a day. It is also worth placing hay on a plastic tray on top of the fleece to avoid getting hay everywhere as it sticks to everything.

    Always shake fleece off before washing it and it is recommended to wash it in a washing machine inside a horse bag

    to stop any hair and rogue pieces of hay clogging up your machine.

    Made to Measure cage liners can be bought online from sites such as this one accessories - Correx Cages

    Pro’s
    Fleece is comfortable for pigs
    Can be useful for piggies with allergies
    Long lasting bedding solution often lasting years

    Cons
    Needs laundering so this is a hidden cost
    Initial set up cost of purchase
    Is a higher maintenance bedding than woodshavings/paper based beddings
    Needs poo picking 1-3 times daily

    Vetbed

    Vetbed is a bedding ideal for guinea pigs. It is used by vets, hence the name. Vetbed is hypoallergenic which makes it ideal for skinny pigs as their delicate skin requires a gentle bedding. It is very good when a guinea pig is older or has arthritis as it is easy to walk on.

    Vetbed cannot be used on its own. Towels are good to use underneath. Vetbed and towels need to be washed every three days and sixty degrees. It is unhygienic to leave it any longer as it harbours germs and can promote fungal conditions and other skin complaints.

    Vetbed needs to be washed in a horse washbag so no lose hay damages the washing machine. You will need to remove poops two or three times a day.

    Pros
    It is hypoallergenic so will not cause allergies.
    Warm in winter but not hot in summer.
    Easy to walk on so ideal for older guinea pigs or ones with arthritis.

    Cons
    Washing is tiresome.
    Removing poops two or three times a day.
    Electricity bill will increase.


    Auboise

    Is a wood derivative bedding manufactured from the core of the Hemp plant. It comes in 20kgs bags and predominantly used for horses/equine environment.

    You can purchase it online however often the delivery price can make it equal or more expensive than the cheap bedding of wood shavings. Costs approximately £11-14 for a 20kgs bag. It comes slightly compressed and generally dust free.

    Uses with newspaper as the base, then scatter a good layer of Auboise on the top. Whilst dust isn't visible there is naturally some, at this point some people spread a layer of hay over it. Leave a few minutes between putting bedding down before putting pigs back into the environment.

    It's absorbent which is the biggest selling point and manages odour well. It's mainly good for heavy duty areas where there is prolific weeing. The heavier the used area the better and this is it's strength, whereas medium used areas the liquid tends to go straight to the newspaper. It doesn't smell and manages boar smell very well. You really don't smell anything until you start cleaning it out.

    In a 120 ferplast cage containing 2 boars you should expect to change the bedding weekly.

    Pro’s:
    Generally Dust Free
    Good for heavy duty areas were pigs wee
    Very little smell

    Cons:
    Expensive
    Can be costly when factoring in delivery from online


    Oil Seed Rape Straw Based Bedding:

    Raviera Rape Straw Bedding 20kg or Bliss Basic 20Kg (Priced from £7.49 to £9.99)
    Both Raviera & Bliss are manufactured from oil seed rape straw & are very similar to Auboise.
    Use it exactly the same as Auboise, You put a 10mm to 15mm layer in the bottom of the cage then liberally spread a layer of hay over it. This can last a week between changes depending on how many piggies are in the cage, spot cleaning mid-week & changing the hay in areas they use as a toilet is ample & there’s generally no noticeable smell.

    Pros’
    Generally dust free
    Usually 25% to 35% cheaper per bale than Auboise.
    Hemp based & oil seed rape based bedding can be composted if you have the space in your compost bin.

    Con’s
    Need to source online so be aware of hidden delivery costs


    Fitch Bedding

    Fitch is a popular and very soft substrate that you can use for your guinea pigs produced from a perforated paper and is very soft and warm, it is very absorbent so will not get wet too quickly with piggie pees!
    Fitch is easy to clean as it can just be scooped out, wiped down and new bedding poured in. Fitch is pure white so it does show poo and pee quite a bit so if your house proud or just like immaculate cages you may need to spot clean quite a bit!
    Fitch bedding can be found in selected equestrian stores or online at Fitch Recycling - Fitch Pet Bedding

    For those with a amazon voucher or who just prefer to order on amazon you can buy it there too. They use Yodel and delivery is usually within 2-4 days following despatch.

    Pros
    Very Soft and Comfortable for pigs
    Virtually Dust Free
    Easy and cheap to order online
    Only needs changing about once a week if you spot clean.

    Cons
    It's a disposable bedding so may not be as cost effective as bedding like fleece that could last years.
    Can be hard to find instores.
    It isn't the cheapest disposable bedding around.
    Multiple recent reports from reputable sources of till receipts being found in the bedding.


    Recycled Paper Bedding - Papelit & Back 2 Nature

    Recycled paper bedding is made from 100% recycled paper. It can be used as a base for a whole cage or in litter trays. It is dust extracted which makes it good for guinea pigs with allergies.

    Papelit has been more cost effective in the long term as the product arrives in a large bag with lots of separate bags inside. Both products seem to have the same absorbency and odour control.
    Place the product inside litter trays without a lining. The reason not using a lining is because hair and poop collect in-between the bedding and lining making it hard to remove.

    This bedding needs to be spot checked and mixed every day. It can last a week before it needs totally changed over. Mixing the product helps disperse the wet pieces stopping the pigs sitting on urine soaked bedding and possibly causing scalds.

    Papelit can be bought here: Papelit Cat Litter : Recycled 100% Paper Cat Litter 30 litres for £9.50

    Back 2 Nature is available in large pet shops and on sites such as Amazon and eBay.

    Pros:
    100% Recycled
    Can be used in compost, placed in paper recycling bins and also garden waste bins
    Highly absorbent
    Long lasting
    Good odour control
    Dust Extracted

    Cons
    Wasteful until the correct amount for needs is met
    Storage if bought in bulk
    Heavy once wet


    Woodshavings

    Woodshavings are one of the materials you can use as bedding for guinea pigs. It is best used in conjunction with newspaper placed underneath the layer of Wood Shavings . The most important thing about Wood Shavings is choosing a brand that is dust extracted this is much better for your guinea pigs lungs as they won’t be breathing in all the wood dust that can be on other brands. Never use Cedar shavings.

    Woodshavings needs changing ever 4-5days to prevent it from becoming smelly and you will need to remove any really soiled shavings as and when in between cleans.

    Pro’s
    Less labour intensive than fleece or fabric beddings
    No setup initial cost
    Stays fairly dry
    Fairly cheap

    Cons
    Some piggies are allergic to wood shavings and it can cause respiratory or skin problems in those pigs
    Repeat purchasing unlike fabric bedding types


    Snowflake

    Snowflake softchip is a high quality woodshaving based bedding.
    Use a few sheets of newspaper as the first layer and to absorb any wee then add a top with a layer of Snowflake, which doesn't need to be too thick. Some people then finish with a good sprinkling of hay to totally cover the layer of Snowflake.

    Pro's
    Soft and non dusty especially compared to some traditional wood shavings
    Excellent at absorbing moisture
    Great for spot cleaning
    Less labour intensive than fabric beddings
    Bales can be ordered in various sizes

    Cons
    Some piggies are allergic to wood shavings and it can cause respiratory or skin problems in those pigs
    Repeat purchasing unlike fabric bedding types

    Supreme Science Cosy N D:
    Supreme Science Cosy N Dry - Member Reviews

    I would like to thank the following for their contributions to this thread
    @Stewybus
    @GuineaPiggie
    @piggyfan
    @theoretikos
    @lil
    @smileyface:)
     
    #1 sport_billy, May 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  2. Oliviaaa

    Oliviaaa Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    For the fleece bedding can you hand wash the towel and fleece?
     
  3. rosie and bramble

    rosie and bramble Teenage Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    Tyne & Wear
    Personally i wouldn't hand wash but if you do machine was check your filter after each wash to make sure it doesn't get blocked of any bits of hay that you have not managed to get off the fleece :)
     
    Oliviaaa likes this.
  4. ZoomiePops

    ZoomiePops Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Cheshire
    This was very helpful. Is there a reason why hay hasn't been mentioned for piggy bedding? Those of you who use a deep layer of hay in the c&c or hutch - could you tell me where you get the hay please? My piggies have oxbow timothy and orchard grass hay in racks that they cant get enough of! So my question is specific to just bedding hay as I'm sure you can appreciate that oxbow is too expensive to use as bedding! Is supermarket hay good enough for bedding? Thanks.
     
    abby likes this.
  5. SammyBee

    SammyBee New Born Pup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Colorado, United States
    This is very helpful, although I am still having trouble deciding on the bedding I should use. I have 2 piggies and a 2x6 C&C cage with a loft. I also have a kitchen insert. I have been fairly sure that I will use fleece for all but the kitchen where I will use recycled paper, but now I am not so sure. I would love something that doesn't spread the hair and dander too badly and is relatively easy to maintain. I have no problem with putting a lot of effort into initial setup. What do you think I should use?
     
  6. Treacle

    Treacle Teenage Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    East Midlands, UK
    Just set my boys up on fleece, had old dog fleeces. Washed them 3 times with white vinegar in the rinse. Just need to get a horse wash bag to be able to wash them safely. My washing machine filter isn't something that is easy to get to, although it says it is self cleaning. There is enough pet hair in my house to kill any washing machine, and this one is five years old now. It will help with washing dog and cat beds too.
     
  7. TracyM

    TracyM Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Braintree Essex
    hello, does anyone have a link to a good site for fleece?
     
    MyGuineaPigPals likes this.
  8. zedder

    zedder Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Leicester
    I have just started using wood pellets the same stuff as cat litter as a base bedding sawdust then covered in hay working well in my outside hutches really cheap and hygienic.how are you lot using fleece surely your having to wash it daily or it'll covered in wee and poo can't be viable surely.
     
  9. Chief Guinea Pig

    Chief Guinea Pig *Christmas Advent Organiser*
    Senior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    16,202
    Likes Received:
    12,280
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    I have seen this site before, I personally like to shop at Primark for fleece, it is really cheap and good quality.
    I don't know if it ships to the UK though.
    http://www.joann.com/fabric/fleece-fabric/anti-pill-fleece/
     
  10. Fleece is a very good bedding. Poops need to be removed twice a day and it is washed every three days.
     
  11. zedder

    zedder Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Leicester
    Sounds like a lot of upkeep I only change my hutches once a week how do you have time for this lol.
     
  12. I make time for it.
     
    djm1 and RowanOtis like this.
  13. MissBubblegum

    MissBubblegum Teenage Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    Caithness, Scotland
    it doesnt take that much time for poop duty lol. it onoy adds 5 mins to my morning and night pet routine topick up the dustpan and brush and give the cage a once over :)

     
    RowanOtis, Sue and GloriousGuineaGirl like this.
  14. 7squeakers.

    7squeakers. Adult Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,682
    Likes Received:
    3,744
    Location:
    Essex, UK.
    I have tried many different types of bedding over the years, from straw to paper pellets. At present, my piggies have fleece cage liners in their Trixie huts where they sleep. They have Vetbed (or Profleece from Profleece.com) in their grass huts where they rest and play. I intend, sometime, to put Profleece in their Trixie huts too. When the Vetbed needs cleaning, I put it under the shower and then through the spin cycle in the machine. This saves water and electrickery and helps them dry faster- in this warm weather anyway!
     
    RowanOtis likes this.
  15. MushiiPeas

    MushiiPeas Teenage Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    643
    Location:
    Eastbourne
    I know it was a warning but I've been using Fitch for way beyond six months now and have never ever had a receipt in a single bale... so fingers crossed they sorted that out :)
     
  16. Hannah Boyd

    Hannah Boyd Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    Leeds
    Aubiose hemp
    I recently switched from shavings (I now know not particularly suitable but we had always kept ours on this) to Aubiose hemp bedding. This was because two of the piggies have a fairly persistent fungal skin problem. The added expense is easily worth it! I skip out damp areas 1-2 times a day and the hemp is so absorbent that I do not need to take much bedding out, whereas with shavings I did have to remove a fair bit. It also feels very soft (even though doesn't look it!). I also use hay - a small agricultural bale which is much cheaper (still good quality) than supermarket or pet store hay.
     
    eileen and Florrieberry like this.
  17. Jennifer D

    Jennifer D Teenage Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    837
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Have you tried a pillow case? I looked into getting a horse bag for washing but the cheapest I could find was $80! I wash all my fleece in a pillowcase that's tied at the top and it comes out clean. I don't know if the horse bags are bigger than a pillowcase though- that might be an issue.
     
    RowanOtis and cassybaby89 like this.
  18. MamaPiggy

    MamaPiggy Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    I would like fleece bedding, but there are some problems. I have to go to school, which takes a lot of my time. And my mom is allergic to guinea pigs, we did not know this until after she gave me 2 baby boy guinea pigs. So after I play, cuddle, or take them out for floor time, I have to to take a shower. And I don't have time to take 2 or 3 showers a day. So if there any way I can do a poop sweep once a day? Or every other day? And what should I put under the fleece, towels or newspaper? I have a 2 by 4 ft c&c cage with 2 boys. And can I use a pillow case instead of a hoarse bag, because they are expencive.
     
    cassybaby89 likes this.
  19. lady liberty

    lady liberty Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    California
    I have tried many different beddings over the years,from straw to paper pellets.
     
  20. MamaPiggy

    MamaPiggy Junior Guinea Pig

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Oh, never mind, I have it figured out. This is a really good form by the ways.:tu::clap:
     

Share This Page