Can I Use Newspaper As Bedding For My Guinea Pig?

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Many people would like to know if it is okay to reuse their daily newspaper as guinea pig bedding. On the surface, the advantages of this plan seem obvious – take something you already bought and used, and the reuse it again. Its only going ot get thrown out, right?

Here’s the real deal – newspaper is just not very good guinea pig bedding and if you are looking for a cheap reusable option, you would be better off using fleece.

This is why newspaper is not the best type of bedding:

Newspaper stays wet a very long time. This will increase cage odor significantly and force your guinea pig to sit in wetness most of the day. This also means that when you pick up your guinea pig, some of his or her urine is likely to transfer to you and anywhere your guinea pig walks. This is important to note as many people are actually allergic to guinea pig urine.

Newspaper will shred into tiny little sticky pieces once it becomes wet. You will find these little shredded it bits everywhere – on your piggie, on you, and in your home. These tiny pieces will also crumble as you try to clean them up.

Since newspaper does not wick moisture away but rather traps it, you will find the bottom of your guinea pig cage becomes coated with dried layers of urine build up. This means that you will need to clean your guinea pig’s cage more often and spend more time doing unpleasant tasks like scraping layers of dried urine off the bottom of the cage (unless you aren’t bothered by horrible cage odor.)

So what is a better alternative? Fleece!

For many years only breeders and people in the know knew about the many advantages of using fleece (the fabric) as an inexpensive, reusable cage liner. Today, this information is becoming available to a wide range of people.

What you need to get started-
First measure your guinea pig cage so you have an idea of how much fabric you need to buy. Assume you will need a little extra fabric around all borders. Take that number and multiply by two as you will want to make two cage liners (so you can always have one in the cage and one in the wash.)

Head over to your nearest Wal-Mart or craft/fabric store to buy your fabric. Do not spend extra money buying a premade liner at a pet store or online unless you absolutely must as this project does not require sewing or other special skills. Average prices are usually under $10 per yard. Make sure you buy enough fabric to match your measurements.

Before you can use the fleece as a liner, you will need to prepare it. Fleece is naturally water repelant – which is not what you want. Washing fleece multiple times will increase its moisture wicking capabilities. Most people have good luck running fleece through four wash cycles.

Place the fleece in your guinea pig’s cage on top of a base layer made of either towels or a single layer of newspaper.

And you’re done!

Amanda is a life long guinea pig expert. For more great information on guinea pig bedding be sure to visit our site guinea pig bedding and sign up for our free newsletter!

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