Pet guinea pigs spend most of their time in their cages. Which is why they need a comfortable place to rest in. There are several beddings that are good for guinea pigs. Paper based bedding is one of the popular types of substrates used as bedding for guinea pigs. There are several brands of paper-based beddings that are good for guinea pigs that you can choose from.
Is paper bedding good for guinea pigs?
Paper bedding is good and safe for guinea pigs because of several reasons.
The first reason is that paper bedding is highly absorbent. Paper bedding absorbs moisture and urine from the guinea pig cage leaving it dry and clean. This prevents the build-up of molds, fungus and bacteria that can cause health problems to your guinea pigs.
Paper bedding has good odor control. This bedding absorbs unwanted odor from your guinea pig cage leaving the habitat with a natural smell.
The other reason that makes paper bedding good for guinea pigs is that it is soft. Guinea pigs have sensitive feet that can easily be injured by rough bedding. Many brands of paper bedding are very soft and fluffy. They are therefore gentle on the guinea pigs’ sensitive feet.
Additionally, paper bedding is biodegradable. Paper bedding is made from renewable or recycled sources that are gentle on the environment. This makes paper bedding a go-to bedding for individuals who are eco conscious.
Some guinea pigs tend to chew on their bedding. Paper bedding if chewed on causes minimal health issues. As a result, paper bedding is safe and thus good for guinea pigs.
Not all brands of paper bedding are the same. Therefore, when choosing a paper bedding for your guinea pig, you need to be on the lookout for a few things.
Qualities of a good paper bedding for guinea pigs
1. Dust free
Paper bedding and wood bedding tend to be more dusty than other types of bedding used for guinea pigs.
When selecting a paper bedding for your guinea pig, choose one that has minimal dust in it.
Dusty bedding is potentially hazardous to guinea pigs as it can lead to serious respiratory problems. Additionally, dusty bedding will be a nightmare for you to spread and clean from the habitat.
Choose a paper bedding that is labelled 99% dust free when selecting a paper bedding for your guinea pig.
2. No additives- colouring, dyes and fragrance
A good paper bedding for guinea pigs should contain no additives.
Different brands of paper beddings come in various colors. Some brands come as multi-colored paper beddings.
Some artificial colorings are potentially toxic to animals including guinea pigs. We therefore recommend you avoid any paper bedding that comes in multiple colors.
Other brands include perfumes to act as odor control. Artificial perfumes can potentially irritate your guinea pigs and make them ill.
Opt for brands that are made using natural materials as these are safe for guinea pigs.
Additionally, if you opt for white paper bedding, make sure that it is labelled “unbleached”. Natural paper beddings tend to be brown in color.
Some of the chemicals used to bleach the paper can irritate your guinea pig and make them ill. Therefore, be sure that your white paper bedding is unbleached.
3. Soft and fluffy
Most brands of paper bedding are soft and fluffy. This make them good for guinea pigs. However, there are some brands of paper bedding that are rough and flaky.
When choosing a paper bedding for your guinea pig, ensure that it is soft. Soft bedding is suitable as it is gentle on guinea pigs’ sensitive feet and creates a comfortable resting place.
FAQs about paper bedding for guinea pigs
Is paper bedding safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, paper bedding is safe for guinea pigs.
Many brands of paper bedding do not contain chemical additives such as dyes, perfumes or colorings that are potentially toxic to guinea pigs. As such, paper beddings are safe to use on animals including guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs like to chew and nibble on stuff present within their habitat. Sometimes they may chew on their bedding. Paper bedding when chewed on does not cause any harm to the guinea pigs. However, paper does not add any nutritional value to guinea pigs.
Paper when chewed and swallowed in large quantities can potentially cause blockage in the intestines. You should therefore ensure that you provide plenty of grass hay for the guinea pigs to chew on when bored.
Read our separate article to find out what foods guinea pigs can eat.
Some guinea pig owners use newspapers as bedding for their guinea pigs. Furthermore some commercial brands of paper use recycled newspapers to make their bedding. The ink used on newspapers is not toxic to guinea pigs even if they chew on it. Therefore newspapers are safe for guinea pigs as well.
Furthermore, most brands of paper bedding are made from renewable or recycled sources. They are biodegradable which makes them safe for the environment as well.
How often should I change guinea pig paper bedding?
Guinea pigs are sensitive pets that can easily get sick if not living in optimal conditions. Dirty or wet bedding can cause life threatening issues to your guinea pig. As a result you need to have a regular cleaning regime depending on the bedding that you are using.
Guinea pigs tend to pee and poop in different areas. However, they may have a favorite spot where they prefer to poop or pee. Spot clean the bedding daily to remove the poop heaps and areas where the bedding is damp.
Ideally you should change the paper bedding once every week to remove damp bedding which may become unhygienic if left longer. However, how regular you change the bedding depends on the size of the cage and the number of guinea pigs present in the cage.