Guinea pig fleece bedding – is it the best option?
There are many options when it comes to bedding for their habitats. The question is what is the best one that loads of people are currently using. It’s only the best for our little guinea pig friends.
Let’s talk fleece
The best bedding is by far fleece, it comes in various colours and patterns. It’s becoming popular these days and is very soft for guinea pigs feet, using the wrong type of bedding can cause terrible sores. It can suit different set ups like the well known in the guinea pig world c and c cages and even hutches. The thing to know is that in a hutch you have smaller sections of fleece to fit certain areas. I have piles of hay on mine and after a while it will start getting that hay smell and also starts getting a bit dried in areas on top after a time of using baby wipes to clean, but that is just my set up and it is a while with certain areas that will happen. I air mine up and down with my arms. For example one section is where in the hutch my girls use the most of weeing in as it is the dark housing area. So that bit lasted a year when it gets a bit worn due to the hay and I purchased a new layer. Unfortunately that is the only way I can get around with having hay on top but it is still the bedding that comes out on top.
The best thing about it, is its reusable and can last for as long as a number of years. Also, hygienic where the urine soaks through and does not stay on the top, this is a process called wicking. It was the best choice I made converting from vetbed, the piggies love lying down as it is so comfortable for them. Also, keeps them warm and as long as you keep up with the cleaning/washing will protect them from bacteria.
What is it made of?
Well obviously you have the outer 100 per cent polyester fleece cover, then the absorbable material in between. This may be wadding where the urine will soak through or a material where it absorbs.
Where to buy?
The best place in my opinion to buy guinea pig fleece bedding is the website Etsy, this is where I have always purchased mine from. You can have them especially made to measure and choose from a number of colours and designs. There are a lot of people who are actually selling on this website. Some sellers will differ with the materials that they use in between the fleece. The quality I received when I purchased was second to none. The price of the bedding will initially be more of an expense than other options, but will save you money in time compared to buying loads of bags of paper bedding for example. A tip for customising is to have a different solid colour or pattern on one side compared to the other. It will remind you which side you need to face down. Obviously buy enough fleece so when one is being washed you have got other pieces to go back in again.
Setting it up for the habitat
So you really need some absorbable layers underneath whatever type of fleece you get. Two layers under is required to make sure that the urine has got something to go down onto after coming from the fleece layer. As an idea I use for the first layer incontinence bed pads cut to size and then after that small towels folded to fit in as well. Usually when you get the fleece, one side will be where the urine soaks into and the other side will be the bottom that needs to be placed facing downwards. You will notice that the bottom will ruffle up when you move it, so this will tell you this will face down.
How to clean and washing instructions
I wash my fleece twice a week for the most used areas and once a week for the less. When I am not washing I clean them down with baby wipes and j cloths. Before, they are placed into a washing machine I brush the fleece off using a rubber hair removal brush usually used on dogs. This gets rid of little hay pieces and guinea pig hairs. Then it gets folded into the machine and the setting I use is a 40 degree cycle which lasts for 51 minutes. Even at 30 it will kill bacteria but 40 just makes sure of this. After to dry, I put it on a fast spin and then it comes out of the machine and finishes drying on a clothes horse. When I wash the less dirty pieces I just place into the washing machine draw percil non bio, a 32ml cap of this and than a small cap of distilled white wine vinegar which just gives an extra clean and also will clean the washing machine pipes. The dirtier pieces have the persil, vinegar and on top to slightly get rid of stains a cup of vanish stain removal powder.
It is vitally important that the non bio washing machine liquid is used, not powder or biological as this will make them sneeze and might make them itch. This is because of the ingredients that are inside which is not good for guinea pigs. Fleece can get washed time and time again, but sometimes when you first use it, depending on how it was made you may need to wash before use as it may not be absorbing any liquid.
SO just a recap
Pros of using fleece
- More hygienic
- Comfortable for guinea pigs to walk on
- Long lasting/reusable
- Will save money over time
- Less mess in the habitat
- A solid surface for using in a hutch. Paper bedding would get kicked out onto the floor.
- You can have it made to any measurements to fit your floor space
Cons of using fleece
- Initial expense
- Needs maintenance
- Poops need clearing off at least twice a day
- More work for the washing machine
So there are more bedding options than fleece that you can use, it just depends on your circumstances. But fleece has many benefits. Remember whatever you decide to choose, make sure it is not dusty and absorbs the urine up well enough to last the time that they are in their habitats. Also do not use pine shavings as they are sharp and dusty. Most importantly they need good comfort and good cleanliness, which includes cleaning out their homes regularly enough.