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Fleece Blankets

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Lou1975

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I'm curious about the preference for fleece blankets in hutches & cages.

Why do you find them useful (if you do)?
Does it have to be a certain type of fleece?
How often do you wash them?

Any other advice/opinion?

My pigs are outdoor piggies btw.... x
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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The fleece you would be looking for is called anti pill fleece, or invest in a slightly more expensive anti pill micro fleece. These can be found in stores like Primark, eBay, the range, asda and other supermarkets.

Fleece needs to be changed every three to four days, without a fabric softener, but with non bio detergent and white vinegar(optional) at 60 degrees. Before first use you have to wash the fleece without any detergent at least three times to allow it to remove the water barrier. You can check this has been done successfully if a drop of water on the fleece sinks through, not stays on the top. If it stays, you need to wash it again.

Fleece also needs an absorbent layer underneath to hold the urine. This can be towels, which I find great. Or puppy pads. You can also buy cage liners which are fleece, but built in absorbent layer. You can buy these from:
http://ziggyspiggies.webs.com

Fleece needs to be spot cleaned (remove poop) at least once a day.

To avoid clogging up washing machine you will need to brush down the fleece and shake it to remove loose hay and hairs. And optional would be to have a horse wash bag, found on amazon/ebay which allows fleece to be washed well, but all hay and hairs keep contained in the bag.
 

Lou1975

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Thank you very much! I'm planning ahead for colder weather.....
 

PiggySmitten

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Thank you very much! I'm planning ahead for colder weather.....
Look out also then for cheap offers on snuggle safe heat pads before they become in demand again in Autumn. I got mine last summer for just over £10 each from VetUK. For our 2 boats who live in a hutch outdoors, we have 4 of them - one each in the hutch and another pair to warm up and replace them with (you can't reheat them until they are stone cold).
 

Hank288

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I had a lot of problems getting my fleece to wick washing with no washing powder. I washed them with non-bio tablets from Aldi and it worked a treat, they now work perfectly. So do be aware of this when preparing them, don't give up with it. I have heard really great things about special made liners though so that might be an idea. Thanks @PiggySmitten for the tip about where to buy cheap snuggle safes, I have looked for a while.
 

Lou1975

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Why is it better than newspaper covered in woodshavings?
 

gogoguineas

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A lot of people prefer it as its reusable, i.e you're just washing the fleeces and disposing of newspapers, as opposed to the cost of buying shaving or megazorb etc. For a lot of people with extra spacious cages this is cheaper than continually refilling their cage with a bedding type like this.A lot of piggies prefer it as it is comfy and soft and warm. Some people think shaving can irritate breathing, I never used to find this but may depend on the quality of shavings you buy.
It's personal preference really, and what works well for your lifestyle too.
 

Lou1975

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This is all great information, thanks! I'm just getting myself into a right tizz about what to do for the best; keep them outside or in. I thought keeping guinea pigs was supposed to be a fun hobby, but this is giving me sleepless nights....
 

MelyH

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My husband and I use a combination of fleece and towels for our babies. We have amassed a huge collection of fleece and towels. We use absorbent double layer fleece squares in areas where they sleep and corners where they love to go potty. It's a lot of work, we have to vacuum everyday and change out towels and fleece 3-4 times a week. We also have to do a special guinea pig load of laundry every week. (we use scent and dye free detergent and bleach for their loads).

The reason why we go through all of this work is because our guinea pigs love it and it makes them comfortable. When we change out towels and put new ones in, they popcorn and run around and smell, it really never gets old. Just yesterday I was talking to their vet and he told me he prefers fleece and towels for guinea pigs, it's better for them than the dusty bedding.
 

MelyH

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My husband and I use a combination of fleece and towels for our babies. We have amassed a huge collection of fleece and towels. We use absorbent double layer fleece squares in areas where they sleep and corners where they love to go potty. It's a lot of work, we have to vacuum everyday and change out towels and fleece 3-4 times a week. We also have to do a special guinea pig load of laundry every week. (we use scent and dye free detergent and bleach for their loads).

The reason why we go through all of this work is because our guinea pigs love it and it makes them comfortable. When we change out towels and put new ones in, they popcorn and run around and smell, it really never gets old. Just yesterday I was talking to their vet and he told me he prefers fleece and towels for guinea pigs, it's better for them than the dusty bedding.
Also these are the fleece squares we use for them. We are in the US so I don't know how online ordering works for regular Amazon or if the seller sells in the UK but I highly highly recommend these. They are worth the money ($15 is substantial for a single fleece square) but the quality is amazing, they are super thick.

 

PiggySmitten

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Also these are the fleece squares we use for them. We are in the US so I don't know how online ordering works for regular Amazon or if the seller sells in the UK but I highly highly recommend these. They are worth the money ($15 is substantial for a single fleece square) but the quality is amazing, they are super thick.

There's quite a few good sellers in the UK for these pee pads. Cavy Couture, Ziggies Piggies, CandECosies are three that spring to mind but people on here can recommend loads.
 

PiggySmitten

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A lot of people prefer it as its reusable, i.e you're just washing the fleeces and disposing of newspapers, as opposed to the cost of buying shaving or megazorb etc. For a lot of people with extra spacious cages this is cheaper than continually refilling their cage with a bedding type like this.A lot of piggies prefer it as it is comfy and soft and warm. Some people think shaving can irritate breathing, I never used to find this but may depend on the quality of shavings you buy.
It's personal preference really, and what works well for your lifestyle too.
I agree totally - disposable or washable depends a lot on your lifestyle and what works for you and you won't really know unless you try both but if you are happy with one, there isn't necessarily any reason why you should try another.

I have one set up with fleece (a c&c set up) and 3 set ups (double storey hutch and two shop bought cages) with Aubiose (hemp based bedding) which is disposable at present.

Traditional wood shavings can dry out guinea pigs feet a bit - you might not notice it at first but you will probably notice the (positive) difference a couple of weeks after changing from that to a different sort of bedding. I certainly did with ours. I wasn't having any particular problem with their feet either but I do feel now I won't go back to wood shavings ever having seen the difference.

I've used all of these at some point:
Woodshavings with newspaper underneath
Carefresh with newspaper underneath
Fleece with puppy pads underneath
Fleece with towels underneath*
Fitch with newspaper underneath
Fitch with nothing underneath
Aubiose with nothing underneath
Aubiose with an old shower curtain underneath*.

*=the 2 options I'm currently using

Happy to share my views if any of these appeal to you and you want to know more! But they are just my views. It's great that you care about your piggies but please do enjoy them and don't stress yourself out over the care of them. There are few hard and fast rules so you shouldn't generally feel or worry that you might be doing things wrong.
 
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