There are several kinds of bedding material commercially available including wood shavings, recycled shredded or pelleted paper by-products, grass hay, chopped straw, wood chips, sawdust, and corn cobs. Every type of bedding has advantages and disadvantages. The kind of cage bedding material you choose depends on convenience, cleanliness, cost, and your cavy’s coat type and length.
1) PAPER PRODUCTS
Pelleted and shredded paper products make excellent bedding material for all cavy breeds, especially for longhaired cavies. Although they can become tangled in the hair, they are easier to comb out than wood-shavings. Some cavies have extremely sensitive feet and do better on shredded paper than pelleted paper products because they are softer for their delicate feet
You can make excellent bedding combination by layering shredded paper or pelleted paper on the cage floor and covering them with a light layer of grass hay or straw. This provides comfort for your pet and gives it something to nibble on while keeping it dry and off the absorbent layer below. Be sure to purchase only chopped grass hay or straw, because hay or straw that contain small, sharp, sticklike particles can injure your pet’s eyes
2) WOOD SHAVINGS
Wood shavings smell pleasant and absorb urine and odors, but there are many reasons not to use them. Many cavies will chew on the shavings and eat them and this can lead to serious health problems, such as gastrointestinal obstruction.
Some wood shavings have sharp particles and are abrasive and cause pododermatitis or foot sores. Particles found in wood shavings may get into your pet’s eyes and injure them. Fine dust from wood shavings irritates the lungs and leads to allergies-not just for your pets but for you as well. Wood shavings are not suitable for long-haired breeds because they become tangled and matted in the hair and are difficult to remove with a brush or comb.
Many types of wood shavings, such as pine and cedar, contain substances that can cause liver problems, allergies, and skin problems. Use wood shavings is discouraged, but from a financial point of view, they are usually more affordable than the recommended paper products.
If you decide to use wood shavings, use only ASPEN SHAVINGS. These are the safest for cavies.
I use a good layer of fresh hay to cover the wood shavings. Guinea pigs do enjoy 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.
Always check the hay before giving it to your guinea pigs!
Most guinea pig owners use disposable bedding, like wood shavings or recycled paper products, in their guinea pig’s cages. But if you choose the bigger cages for guinea pigs, using pelleted paper or wood shavings can get expensive.
Fleece is a cost-effective alternative to traditional bedding. The initial cost of fabric and towels might be higher than a bag of shavings, but it’s not a continual expense the way disposable bedding is. Fleece works as bedding because it allows the urine to wick through to an absorbent layer underneath, leaving a dry surface for the guinea pigs to walk on. And, on cleaning day, you just have to bundle it all up and throw it in the wash!
If you are using fleece on the guinea pig’s cage bedding, you can read the instruction by click the link below!
How to use Fleece: http://animals.mom.me/how-to-use-fleece-bedding-in-a-guinea-pig-cage-12125510.html
(No matter what type of bedding you select, purchase only products that are packaged and indicated for use as bedding material for caged pets. Shavings, straw, and hay that are sold for use in horse stalls or that are stored in open outdoor bins may be contaminated with an underisable material such as urine and germs from wild rodents. They can be a health risk for your cavy and may be a source of rodent disease organisms)
Note: Always make sure that the bedding material you use is as dust free as possible. Bedding that contains a lot of dust, mold and fine particles can be very irritating to the lungs and cause wheezing, sneeze, and other respiratory problems