One of the most important wishes that I have for my guinea pigs is that they have a comfortable living environment. I’m sure you wish the same for your pets as well, am I right?
Part of creating the perfect living environment for your little pals is getting your hands on the best type of bedding. With so many options out there I decided to both do my research and also try out which product actually worked the best. Here’s what I learned:
What is the best bedding for guinea pigs? The best guinea pig bedding comes with great anti-bacterial properties, great odor control, highly absorbent materials, dust free materials, and it’s made out of healthy & natural materials. My top recommendation is the GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0, but others work well too if you decide against this one.
In this article you will learn more about all the things you would want from a good guinea pig bedding. By the end of the article you will also find a list of different guinea pig bedding products and what my top picks are ranked from best to okay.
Why Choosing the Right Bedding is Important
When I first got my guinea pigs I ended up buying the wrong type of bedding material. I wanted to make it easy for myself so I went with simple chip made out of wood. What happened was that I ended up with bad odor and had to change the bedding every 2-3 days to keep the smell and bad hygiene away. I quickly realized that this was way too much work to keep up with. Not only that, I also learned that going with simple chip isn’t the healthiest choice for my guinea pigs either.
After a lot of traveling back and forth to the pet store buying several materials and trying them in my guinea pig habitat, I have finally found which type of bedding that works best for my guinea pigs, as well as my own and my family’s needs. I even went to the veterinarian to get advice on this matter. Worst of all, there are some brands which claim to offer the best materials for both your guinea pigs health and your own, but the fact is that these claims are far from true.
So, to make your buying decision easier, and ensuring that you get the very best materials I’m going to list all the factors you need to take into consideration when choosing the bedding, as well as listing all the products I have tested that has proved to be effective.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Bedding for Your Guinea Pigs
There are several factors that you should check for when choosing your bedding. Some of this information may seem unimportant and even tiring to read about. But, don’t let that stop you, it didn’t stop me because the life of my pet matters a lot. Remember you will buy the beddings once and they will serve for a considerable period of time.
Knowing the right brands also makes it easy to make consecutive purchases. In my case, I have specific brands in mind which I’m going to recommend to you shortly. They never disappoint and they keep my pets happy as well. There were certain diseases which used to affect my pets, but they are now gone because the hygiene of the habitat where my guinea pigs spends most of their time has improved greatly. With that said, here are the factors to check out:
It is normal for the pet to have some form of smell, especially after it urinates on the bedding. You need materials which have been formulated to deal with the problem of the bad odor. There are several manufacturers out there who have taken the imitative to come up with beddings which are highly effective in managing the bad smell.
Highly Absorbent Materials
To avoid cases where the urine from guinea pigs can mess with the floor of the habitat, look for a highly absorbent bedding. Bad moisture control can lead to an increased risk that your guinea pigs get various infections. This is something that I have encountered due to poor hygiene in their cage and it was not an experience I wish for any pet lover. To fix this issue I learned that having a bedding made out of moisture absorbing materials is the best way to keep good hygiene in their cage and to effectively avoid infections.
To ensure that you get the best moisture absorbation possible from your choice of bedding, make sure you check out the product description before buying the bedding. Below I’m going to list the best products in the market with high absorbing abilities as well.
The best bedding for your guinea pigs should be antibacterial. You will keep your pets safe if they can spend time on a bedding which have antibacterial capabilities. This in combination with a highly absorbent material almost completely eliminate the risk of your pets getting infections caused by the habitat.
To avoid that your pets get irritation from the material, you should go for a bedding made out of all natural materials. Some antibacterial materials are not made from natural sources and can cause harm to your pets skin and fur.
You need to avoid dust because it can affect your guinea pig. There are several bedding brands out there, but most of them come with dust which can affect the comfort of your pet. Not only that, some people find themselves reacting negatively to dust and some are even allergic to the dust. So, the best materials should have some level of dust control measures.
Healthy & Natural
Before the guinea pig were domesticated, they used to enjoy nature freely, that is why I insist on having natural materials for my pets. To land on the best materials you can use to make the pet happy, check out the ingredients used to make them. Avoid harsh chemicals because they can expose the pet to adverse reactions. The use of chemicals can as well pose risk to you as the handler of the pet. I try as much as possible to go for all natural materials for all my pets. It works very well because the pet gets to enjoy the environment which is as close to natural as possible.
Odor Control Duration
I have elaborated on the odor control point above, but now I’m talking about the duration. There are some materials which can eliminate odor for a period of five days, ten days and others up to 14 days. For the best results, I go for materials which can manage odor for a long period. This leads to less work on my part and also creates a healthier environemt for my guinea pigs.
Safe for Pet
In most cases, the manufacturers will indicate that the materials they provide are safe for pets. However, you will be surprised if you talk to a veterinarian that this often isn’t the case. From my experience interacting with the vet, most of the materials you can find in the market aren’t 100 % safe. For instance, a lot of pet products include chemicals which can expose the pet to various side effects. So after consulting with my vet I became very careful when selecting my bedding brand to avoid such materials.
Do you have different types of pets at home? For instance, if you keep your guinea pigs in the same habitat as another pet, like rabbits or gerbils, then going for materials which have been developed to work well for different types of pets is a wise choice. I have included few of these products in my list of the top recommendations below.
As the materials absorb moisture, they tend to expand in volume. This is a factor I had to take into consideration when doing my research. There are some materials which expand two times their initial volume while others can expand up to three times their volume. To be on the safe side, it is necessary to go for materials which can expand several times. They are the most effective in handling the liquids in the pet cage.
The leak-proof factor is important mainly for portable cages. If you ever need to travel with your guinea pig, you will need leak-proof materials. Several manufacturers label their bedding as leak proof. They may be leak proof but from my research, the degree of leak protection varies. The best way is to go for materials which are highly effective in preventing leaks. I’ve researched several fabrics in the market and you will find the product I recommend for traveling guinea pigs below. It is not easy carrying a cage which is leaking.
The experts never lie, right? Well, after trying several products, it reached the point where I had to consult an expert in the field. The right materials for you to buy should be veterinary recommended. Any company which is serious in providing quality materials for the pet should take the initiative to do more research. A quick chat with your veterinarian and you will discover several secrets about the bedding. I did the research on your behalf to have all the necessary information you need here. I love my pets and I would like you to also enjoy having your small animal living under optimal conditions.
It is good to care for the environment when out buying the bedding, so the best thing to do is to go for a bedding that is biodegradable. These kind of beddings will not put as much of a negative mark on the environment. Personally, I stick to materials that are mostly biodegradable so that I can easily dispose of them. You can easily tell whether the materials are biodegradable after you check on the ingredients used to make them. All natural ingredients are easily biodegradable.
The issue of allergy should not be overlooked when choosing the materials. For me, this is among the main factors I take into consideration before buying the materials. Some of my family members are allergic to dust hence going for a bedding which develop a lot of dirt can be a big issue. There is no need for making my lovely pet happy at the detriment of my family members. I had to strike a balance between the two. Fortunately, there are several materials which are non-allergic. So, I listed them in my findings below as a way of making it easy for you to pick the right materials for your own pets.
This applies to the case of fabrics. If you choose to go for fabric instead of shavings or chips, then you need to be able to wash your bedding from time to time. This is not always an easy task, since they in some cases can attract a lot of dirt. To solve this problem, I had to carefully shop for machine washable fabrics which I can easily clean.
Remember for the pet to be happy it should be raised in a clean environment. I can easily make the environment clean by cleaning the fabric bedding on a regular basis. You can check my top recommendations below to get the best machine washable bedding for your guinea pig.
My top 2 Recommended Guinea Pig Beddings
Now that we have been through what you should look for when it comes to getting the best bedding for your furry little pals. What follows below is my list of top recommended guinea pig beddings ranked from best to okay.
1. Kaytee Extreme Odor Control Pet Bedding
This is the best bedding for guinea pig odor control, which comes in a simple design. With up to 14-day odor control capability, this bedding is designed to make it easy to keep your guinea pig cage close to you in your home. Guinea pigs, just as any animal, tend to urinate and defecate, which can lead to bad odor when the droppings are not handled well; this would not be the case when buying the Kaytee Extreme bedding. Some of the features which made me rate this bedding second highest include:
- 14-day odor control: This makes Kaytee Extreme suitable for those who worry a lot about odor and or don’t want to go through the struggle of cleaning the cage too often. With up to 14 days of odor control, you will have a very comfortable time keeping your guinea pigs close, such as in your living room.
- 99.9% dust free: The Kaytee Extreme is also 99.9% dust free hence I do not have to worry about dust allergies. Remember too much dust in a home can lead to various problems not only for your pet, but for yourself and for your family members as well; this is not the case with this type of bedding. The Kaytee Extreme were made by pet lovers who were after making it easy to stay with their pets.
- Highly absorbent: People tend to love using wood shavings as their main type of bedding, as wood shavings is one of the most absorbant material. The Kaytee Extreme is not made out of wood, yet it surpasses the wood counterparts due to it’s high absorbing power. It is two times more effective in absorbing moisture than the wood shavings hence highly effective in making your pet comfortable.
- Versatile: Kaytee Extreme is also a versatile type of bedding, which means that apart from working well in your guinea pig cage, it is also highly useful as a bedding for other pets such as rabbits, dwarf hamsters, Syrian hamsters, chinchillas, and gerbils.
Ease of use: 3
Total score: 4.1
If you are interested in the Kaytee Extreme Bedding you can read more about it on Chewy here.
2. Carefresh Complete Natural Paper Bedding Confetti
With the natural paper application, the Carefresh work well in making your pet safe at all times. I was looking for a natural paper bedding for my guinea pig when I came across the 10-liter capacity Carefresh. The product works very well when it comes to keeping my pets comfortable as well as making my family members happy. I don’t have to fear foul smell due to the Carefresh’s effectiveness in controlling odor. Some of the features which made me rate this bedding at third place include:
- 10-Day odor control: Even though this makes Carefresh less effective than the 14 days offered by Kaytee Extreme, 10 days is still a long odor control time. When trying to manage odor it is necessary to look for a bedding material which can last long in keeping the home odor free. With the 10-day odor control capability, it is an effective bedding which work very well in keeping my home comfortable. Family members enjoy staying close to the guinea pigs due to the effectiveness of the beddings in eliminating odor.
- Highly absorbent: Carefresh is made out of highly absorbent materials and promises a three times higher liquid absorbation effectivness than most wood shavings, making it 1x better than the Kaytee Extreme on this point. To easily control the issue of guinea pig urine in your home, this is the most effective beddings you can buy. It is carefully formulated to make the whole issue of controlling the liquids in guinea pig cages very effective.
- 99% dust free: With 99% dust free, they register a tie with the Kaytee Extreme. As you know by now, you should ideally go for a guinea pig bedding which is dust free. With a dust-free bedding it is easy to clean up the place. Use of dust free beddings is also necessary for controlling the issue of allergies in a home.
Ease of use: 2
Total score: 3.6
If you are interested in the Carefresh Complete Natural Paper Bedding Confetti you can read more about it on Chewy here.