Suitable Types of Bedding
Here, at NEPB we’ve tried all sorts of bedding for our guinea pigs and we get asked questions about the different kinds all the time, so we thought we’d write our views down here.
In the beginning, many moons ago, we used newspaper and hay bedding because it was cheap and easy to get a hold of and easy to dispose of. When we started to get more guinea pigs visiting us, getting enough papers became a problem and also disposing of huge bin bags full of paper and poo was beginning to become a problem too. The local allotments weren’t interested in it and it seemed such a shame to just throw it away.
We tried Fitch for a while, it’s very absorbent and doesn’t smell, but it does come in a huge bale so you need somewhere to store it – unless you can share with a friend. It wasn’t ideal for us though because the piggies would run around and the Fitch would fly out the cage and cover everything, we were forever sweeping it up!Megazorb
Megazorb holds its shape well and is good for burrowing. Full clean outs weren’t necessary every day, we just shovelled damp areas out and replaced with more Megazorb. Again the loose bits just went everywhere – it looked like it’d been snowing indoors. Megazorb is made from 100% natural materials, it’s actually wood pulp fibre so this is a plus because it’s biodegradable. Megazorb can also be a bit touch and go quality wise, we’ve had a few people say they got a bad bale that was dusty.
Fitch and Megazorb both have their advantages and disadvantages, but for us, it came down to the speed of needing to clean cages out and having so many to do. It was a big expense in the beginning just because of the sheer amount we needed, if you just have a few guinea pigs then it shouldn’t be that much for you.
Any wetness goes through the first layer and onto the puppy pad underneath, leaving the guinea pig completely dry. This also helps with the smell too, all smells are locked into the puppy pads underneath. Vet bed is also good to use when your guinea pigs are poorly, as it’s easy to spot any blood on it, and also, it’s soft for them if they are recuperating after an operation.
We occasionally still use paper and hay if that’s what the slaves want for their guinea pigs and that’s okay with us, everyone’s preferences are different, hence why there are so many different types of bedding available to buy.
We think the main take from this is to try them out and use whatever works best for you at the time! Don’t feel that you need to comply with anyone else’s rules about bedding, except never use wood shavings or sawdust as these are very bad for your guinea pigs’ respiratory system and harmful to their feet. Other than the ‘no sawdust rule’, go ahead and enjoy experimenting!