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Bedding Options for Guinea Pigs

Bedding Options

1. Hay

Pros

- It’s a great insulator in cold weather.

- Guinea pigs get lots of enrichment from hay as bedding.

- They can forage in it and eat it, as well sleep in it (always provide feeding hay too!).

- It’s natural / compostable.  

- Can be used in conjunction with absorbent Aubiose (see below).

Cons

- They will trample it down and wee and poo on it (obvs!).

- It needs daily attention to spot clean dirty areas and add fresh hay on top. (Although - FYI…..ALL bedding choices require some level of daily cleaning!!)

- Hard or sharp strands can occasionally ‘poke’ a guinea pig’s eye.

2. Fleece

Pros

- Can be custom made to exactly fit the cage size you have.

- Soft and cosy on those little guinea pig toes!

- Many designs available to suit your taste and even theme your guineas’ cage.

- Easy to spot clean daily and sweep up the poos.

- Once you invest, it’s reusable (machine washable).

Top tip! Invest in a laundry bag to wash your fleece in,to stop the inside of your machine getting clogged up with hay/hairs).

Cons

- You need multiple liners to allow for cleaning / drying time.

- Needs to be washed regularly in your washing machine.

- Can mean a lack of opportunity for provision of hay.

- Can be expensive to ‘set up’.

Top tip! You can create a ‘hay box’ area at one end of your caging, or use a large tray to put piles of hay in.

3. Vet Bed

Pros

- Super soft, so ideal for older guinea pigs or those recovering from surgery.

- Wicks away moisture, so the top stays clean, dry and therefore more hygienic.

- Can be vacuumed or shaken out daily to remove hay/poops/food.

- Once you invest, it’s reusable (machine washable).

- Could be something you have just for ‘emergency’ use, as opposed to everyday bedding.

Cons

- Thick and ‘chunky’ material, so can take up space to store.

- You need multiple pieces of vet bed to allow for cleaning/drying time.

- Needs to be washed regularly in your washing machine.

- Can mean a lack of opportunity for provision of hay.

- Can be expensive to ‘set up’.

4. Paper

Pros

- Absorbs moisture well (as long as it’s a good quality paper bedding).

- Soft and comfy.

- Can help to keep things smelling fresh and control odour.

- Will be low in dust (as long as it’s a good quality paper bedding).

- Easy to spot clean dirty areas regularly.

- Natural / compostable.

Cons

- Can be expensive (repeat purchases).

- Potential to get ‘kicked’ out of the cage and cause some additional mess.

- Bulky to store.

5. Woodshavings

Pros

- Can be easily spot cleaned in between full clean outs.

- Natural / compostable.

- Fairly absorbent.

Cons

- Some guinea pigs can still be allergic to woodshavings, causing health problems.

- Can be expensive (repeat purchases).

- Potential to get ‘kicked’ out of the cage and cause some additional mess.

- Bulky to store.

6. Aubiose (Hemp)

Pros

- Controls odour well, as it’s super absorbent.

- Can be easily spot cleaned in between full clean outs.

- Natural / compostable.

- Can be used in conjunction with hay!

Cons

- Usually comes in a large bag, so bulky to store.

- Can be expensive (with delivery cost, as heavy item).

- Potential to get ‘kicked’ out of the cage and cause some additional mess.

Making the Right Choice for You

Here at HayPigs! we have tried various types of bedding and combinations through the years. As we said, it can very much be a personal choice!

Our current set up sees us using mainly fleece liners, with a large hay box area full of hay (with either newspaper and/or Aubiose underneath). We also present plenty of feeding hay in racks/feeders and floor-time hay boxes/trays for foraging in too! We find this manageable (with a large hutch and herd of seven piggies) to do daily clean ups (sweep up poos and hay/food, freshen up hay box). It’s also fairly quick to do a full clean out too - as long as you have two full sets of fleece liners!

Good luck with whatever bedding you choose and for more hints and tips on cleaning, then check out our cage cleaning page!

Cage / Enclosure Options

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