Guinea pigs, just as is the case with other pocket pets, require soft and absorbent bedding in their cages. When you use a good product, it will keep the cage dry and free of any strange odors between the cleanings that are done weekly. Initially, wood chips were the most commonly used materials but paper-based materials are currently more preferable. The question that most people ask is, what can you use as bedding for a guinea pig?
Things You Can Use As Bedding
You can make use of wood shavings. Initially, the animals used to be bedded on wood shavings before being kept in aquariums. However, aquariums are very small and never offer enough ventilation. Aspen shavings are costlier and are very difficult to find. Before you choose to use them, you must remember they do not have volatile oils.
Pine shavings are more economical. Unlike aspen, they have volatile oils. There are experts who believe the oils might damage the liver or respiratory system of the animals. This is more so when they are used for prolonged periods. It is advisable to open the bag with the shavings and have them dispersed in some open container. After some days, the oils dissipate.
Wood pellets are very economical but not easily obtained. Their major benefit is that they prevent bad odors and are very easy to use. They have a downside though. The pellets might be too hard for the pigs to walk on. As a recommendation, you should use another bedding material for complementing to make it more comfortable to walk.
There is also the option of using paper. This is economical, absorbent, available and provides warmth. It is also used for providing complement bedding stuff to bedding material such as shavings. It is preferred because cleaning is made easier since it can just be rolled up and cleaning done. There is however the concern that printed ink could be toxic to the pigs.
Fleece is a new product that can be used. It is primarily used with homemade cages that are built from corrugated card-boards and storage grids. This will allow cavy owners to be able to customize the cages and thus ensure their pets have enough room. Fleece is soft and very absorbent.
There are some downsides of using fleece. In the first place, it should be cleaned daily. The debris from food or hay and droppings accumulate fast. This is because it cannot fall into bedding as it does with paper or shavings.