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Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview

sport_billy

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#1
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.

Buy Fleece that is 100% polyester

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

Pros
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:)
 

rosie and bramble

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#3
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 :)
 

ZoomiePops

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#4
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.
 

SammyBee

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#5
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?
 

Treacle

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#6
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.
 

zedder

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#8
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.
 
P

piggyfan

#10
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.
Fleece is a very good bedding. Poops need to be removed twice a day and it is washed every three days.
 

7squeakers.

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#14
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!
 

MushiiPeas

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#15
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 :)
 

Hannah Boyd

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#16
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.
 

Jennifer D

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#17
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.
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.
 

MamaPiggy

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#18
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.
 
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