When I rescued my first two guinea pigs, Alvin and Theodore, they came in a small store-bought cage with wood shavings. I knew nothing about guinea pigs at this point, and naïvely used the rest of the wood shavings that came with them.
After a couple weeks of having the piggies, I switched over to paper bedding, buying into the “odor control” marketing on the packages.
The odor was horrendous; the dust and paper were all over my room and the piggies were laying in pockets of wet paper…I could tell they were miserable.
I was miserable.
And I was spending close to $60 a month on this paper bedding…
Then my life changed forever…
I discovered the magical world of fleece bedding…my life and the lives of my piggies were forever changed! (And my bank account loved it too!)
Now, you may think I’m being a bit dramatic, but I tell you, once you switch over to fleece you will never want to use any other bedding in your guinea pig cages again!
1.The odor was minimized
2. I no longer have wood or paper shavings all over the place
3.I have saved so much money since switching to fleece! (Since switching to Fleece 3 years ago, I estimate I have saved roughly $2,160!)
The first thing that you must know before switching over to fleece bedding is that sweeping the cage daily is a must; however, I am able to sweep four cages in under 20 minutes, it is very quick! You can do this with a small hand held broom and dustpan, or a vacuum (preferably a filter free vacuum or you will spending a majority of your time cleaning the filter out…I learned my lesson the heard way!).
In the end, I chose to a hand held dustpan and broom, and over the years I have used several different kinds. With all the hay you have to sweep up, the best set I have found to use is here. It holds up, and haven’t had to replace it once since I bought it two years ago!
Next, choose the kind of fleece that you want to use. There are three options, no way is better than another, it all comes down to your own personal preference:
1. A simple sheet of fleece at the bottom of the cage with some sort of absorbent material under (I prefer U-Haul pads, but you could also use puppy pads or even old towels).
2. Fleece Flippers from Guinea Pig Market which is what I prefer to use due to the small removable pieces of fabric, making cleaning a lot easier! (Note, they are not a sponsor of this post, I just REALLY love their products!)
3. You can get a custom made fleece cage liner on Etsy or Amazon. If you have a Midwest cage, I absolutely LOVE the liners by Cozy and Clean. They have the most adorable patterns! My favorite pattern is the Woodland Friends! Or even if you don’t have a Midwest cage, you can get a few of them to match your guinea pig’s cage size.
Now that you have decided on the type of fleece that you are going to use for your piggy’s cage, you must prepare the fleece for use.
One of the benefits of using fleece is that it will wick the urine from the surface of the fabric to the absorbent material underneath. This helps keep not only the odor down, but the cage nice and dry minimizing the possibility for bumble foot and urinary track infections.
In order to make sure that the fleece that you have chosen will wick the urine through, you must wash it roughly 3 times in order to remove the waxy substance that is found on the fleece after production.
*Tip: Do NOT use any dryer sheets on your fleece, as this will cause the fabric to lose it’s wicking ability.
All in all, fleece is my absolute favorite bedding! I have used wood shavings and paper bedding in the past, but I have found that my piggies even seem to prefer the fleece as well.
If you have any questions about using fleece in your guinea pig cages, please comment down bellow or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ashlee + Piggies