Bedding for Guinea Pigs

There are many types of bedding materials that can be used for a guinea pigs home. Here I will explain what type of bedding I use for my guinea pigs. At the bottom of the page is a link that explains about other types of bedding that you can also use.

For my guinea pigs cages, I use several layers of newspaper to cover the base of the cages. Newspaper is not only absorbent, but it also helps with warmth and makes cleaning out easier by being able to roll up the bedding in the newspaper. In our area, our local newspaper is only 10p on fridays, so I buy quite a few papers as I have 4 cages, 2 guinea pig cages and 2 rabbit cages. Its quite a saving when you have a few cages to clean out. Another option is to ask family or friends if they could save their old newspapers for you.

Kiln-dried Pine Shavings:
I then add a layer of kiln-dried pine shavings. There has been a few question marks as to wether kiln-dried pine shavings is safe for guinea pigs. Some say it contributes to respiratory problems and fungal infections. I have used it for many years without any problems. A site that I trust and often turn to if I need extra help, is Guinea Lynx They also think its one bedding that can be used. I am always open to different opinions though and it is a personal choice. Its what works best for you and your guinea pigs.

I buy my kiln-dried pine shavings from a local equestrian centre ( horse supplies ). Please never use Cedar woodshavings as it contains aromatic oils that's been proven to be toxic to guinea pigs. Never use Sawdust as its too fine. Remember guinea pigs are low to the ground and enjoy foraging for food with their noses, so fine particles can be inhaled. When using kiln-dried pine shavings, check for any bits of wood that could hurt your guinea pigs feet and find another supplier if your not happy with quality of the pine shavings. Remember it shouldn't have much sawdust, just flakes and the pine shouldn't smell too strongly. You could air the shavings for a while to be extra cautious. Always remove your guinea pigs out of the cage when doing a complete change of their bedding. See my Cage Cleaning page for more information.

Lastly comes the third layer. I use a good layer of fresh hay to cover the kiln-dried pine shavings. Guinea pigs do enjoying running around in their cage. By covering the woodshaving with hay, it avoids the woodshaving being kicked around, perhaps getting into their eyes and in their food bowls. Guinea pigs not only need large quantities of fresh hay for eating, hay makes a very comfortable bed. They can also burrow in the hay. See Squeekie's little mountain of hay below.

I buy my hay by the bale, also from my local horse supplies. Buying hay by the bale is very economical and its often better quality than pet shop bought hay. You do need somewhere dry and clean to store the bale. If you just have a couple of guinea pigs, you could ask the horse supplies centre to bag you up a few bags of hay rather than buy a full bale. Always check for unusual objects in the hay, including prickly thistle. Anything that isn't hay, remove it. Its rare, but I've found the odd empty crisp packet, a milk bottle top and a large feather, so always check the hay before giving it to your guinea pigs. Fresh hay should not smell mouldy or be damp, disregard any hay that isn't fresh as it could be harmful to your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs adore fresh hay

Guinea Lynx: Bedding Here is a very informative site that tells you about other types of bedding materials you can also use for guinea pigs.

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