What type of bedding is best?

Points to consider when deciding on which bedding is best:
  • Is it easily obtainable?

Bedding is a necessity, it goes without saying that the bedding of choice must be readily available and affordable. Most farm shops (see your Yellow Pages) can source beddings for you and sometimes will deliver too.

  • Is it absorbent?

If not are you prepared to clean out more often? Often the most absorbent beddings are not the best in other respects.

  • Does it suit your lifestyle?

Where time is of the essence a high maintenance bedding is not the ideal!

  • Is it diposed of easily?

With councils becoming environmentally friendly disposal of bedding is a big issue.

  • Is it warm and comfortable?

The whole point of bedding! Warmth and comfort are two factors that cannot be overlooked when making your choice.

  • Is it safe?

Guinea pigs carry their bodies and noses close to the ground- not much escapes their sensitive noses. The wrong bedding can be the cause of respiratory tract problems, allergies, and leave the skin more prone to infection. Where allergies are seen the wrong diagnosis has often been made and the bedding problem not addressed. Harsh bedding can cause sore feet that may then give way to cracked/split pads. No bedding is safe if it is dusty, and with the majority of beddings being natural products a ‘bad bag’ is always likely to turn up.

  • Does it allow guinea pigs the “ability to express natural behaviour”?

Beddings need to fit the bill in all respects, whilst some may not be harmful to physical health, i.e. fleece, what is it doing to their mental health? Guinea pigs are grazing animals who naturally forage, therefore a bedding with hay on top to cater for this is needed to avoid boredom and then further issues. Because guinea pigs are so small this is a factor often overlooked- a guinea pig with “issues” won’t go and pull your net curtains down like a dog would do to gain your attention!

It should be noted that the RSPCA made the “natural behaviour” clause one of their 5 Freedoms in their recommendations to DEFRA.