Everything from the price to the level of safety to how comfortable and efficient it is is taken into consideration. Let’s start with a look at what makes for good guinea pig bedding, and then we’ll see if aspen falls into the appropriate category after that.
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What makes good guinea pig bedding?
When it comes to guinea pig bedding, making the right choice can be a difficult decision to make. Nothing in this world is without flaws, and this is true of bedding as well as anything else.
Every bedding has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but there are a few factors that are universal, and any bedding you choose should have these characteristics:
- Comfort is the most critical factor to consider. The bedding should be soft on their feet and comfortable enough to allow them to get a good night’s rest.
- Absorbency There is yet another factor to consider, because guinea pigs will pee and poop all over their cage and on the floor. You don’t want their feet to remain wet in their pee for long periods of time because this can lead to health problems such as bumblefoot.
- The safety The health and well-being of our guinea pigs is our top priority. We must make certain that the material we use is not harmful to pets. Avoid using unsanitary bedding materials such as pine or cedar shavings, which can lead to a variety of health problems in guinea pigs.
- Temperature control is also something to think about, especially if the weather in your area is unpredictable. Choose bedding that can accommodate a variety of requirements.
- Being Economical is also important because, for many people, they have a limited amount of money to spend, and they cannot spend the entire amount on bedding. The importance of good quality food cannot be overstated.
Following these general guidelines will help you choose the best bedding for your guinea pigs, although some guinea pigs may have different needs than others, so keep that in mind when making your selection.
You might need to use aspen or fleece bedding instead of paper bedding if your guinea pig is allergic to paper bedding. Remember to take this into consideration when making your selection.
Is aspen bedding safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, aspen bedding is generally considered to be safe for use as bedding. It is composed of non-aromatic hardwood shavings that are considered safe for small animals.
Because the bedding does not have a strong scent like pine or cedar, it poses only a minimal risk to our guinea pigs’ health.
Make certain, however, that you purchase from a reputable brand, as some low-cost brands are known to sell low-quality aspen shavings that contain a lot of dust.
Dusty bedding can be detrimental to your guinea pig’s health, as it can cause a variety of health problems such as Upper Respiratory infection, Allergy, and other ailments.
Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding is my personal favorite because it is both high-quality and reasonably priced, which is a rare combination. Even though I replace it on a daily basis on my 2×3 C&C cage, one large pack lasts for a few months. I had previously used it as a liner before switching to Guinea dad fleece liners.
Can guinea pigs be allergic to aspen bedding?
Yes, it is possible that your guinea pig is allergic to the aspen bedding that you are using. While not every guinea pig suffers from an allergy, there have been a few instances in which some guinea pigs developed symptoms after their bedding was changed from cotton to aspen.
First and foremost, I would recommend keeping an eye out for signs of allergies in your guinea pigs.
- Itchy eyes
- Coughing & Sneezing
- Itchy skin
- A runny nose
- Wheezing noise
- Labored breathing
If you find any of these symptoms in your guinea pigs, then you must consult a vet to confirm the allergy is due to bedding itself and not due to other health conditions.
If your vet confirms the allergy, then I would recommend you go with good quality paper bedding like Small pet select paper bedding.
These beddings are extremely good when it comes to quality and are reasonably cheap as well. If you like to go with fleece, you can go with that as well.
You can check more bedding options at our buyer’s guide. Please go through our buyer’s guide on types of bedding for guinea pigs.
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How good is aspen bedding for guinea pigs?
Using aspen bedding in your guinea pigs’ enclosure is the best option if you want to use a wood shaving type of bedding in their enclosure.
Because pine and cedar are not suitable for your guinea pigs, aspen is an excellent substitute for these trees.
It has some advantages and disadvantages, just like everything else, which we must weigh carefully before purchasing this bedding for your guinea pigs. Let’s start with the advantages and disadvantages:
- Safe for guinea pigs
- Absorbs the pee quite well and keeps the cage odorless
- Doesn’t contain any artificial coloring or chemicals
- Scent-free material
- In-expensive to buy in shortrun
- Available at all sizes as per your requirements
- Not super absorbent as compared to paper bedding and fleece
- Some guinea pigs love to toss the bedding around & out of the cage
- Can be costly in the longrun if you have a large C&C cage
- If you buy cheap quality or tractor supply pack then it may contain some dust which can be bad for your guinea pigs
After weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the bedding, we can conclude that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
If your guinea pig, on the other hand, is allergic to aspen, it could be a completely different story. Aspen bedding is a great alternative to straw and can be tried regardless of whether it is included in your guinea pig supply list or not.
Changing it during your next shopping trip is always an option if it doesn’t quite fit the bill.
Can guinea pigs eat aspen bedding?
If your guinea pigs are in the mood to chew on bedding shavings, they can certainly do so even though it is not the healthiest thing for them to eat.
Aspen is completely non-toxic to guinea pigs, so they can safely chew on it. It is simply a case of your guinea pigs being naturally curious about the environment in which they are being raised. It’s possible that they’ll eventually grow tired of it and quit eating it.
My guinea pig keeps eating his aspen bedding: What should I Do?
I can understand why a guinea pig owner might be concerned if their pets begin to behave in an unusual manner such as that described above.
Believe me when I say that your guinea pigs are perfectly normal for chewing on aspen. They do it occasionally out of curiosity, and other times because there aren’t enough chew toys in their cage.
Guinea pigs require chew toys to keep their molars in good shape because they have an ever-growing molar that needs to be kept in shape. As a result, they are curious about chewing on things such as bedding and cage bars, which they do occasionally.
Additionally, I would recommend that you purchase some chew toys and apple sticks for your guinea pigs to chew on in order to prevent them from chewing through the bedding or the cage.
How often to change aspen bedding
Guinea pigs are notorious for making a huge mess in their cage, as you may already be aware of this fact.
Every few minutes, they will need to go to the bathroom, which will cause your bedding to become soiled very quickly. I used to change the bedding in a guinea pig cage every 7-10 days when I had a pair of guinea pigs in a standard-sized enclosure.
In addition, I spot clean the cage on a daily basis to ensure that there is no waste buildup around the enclosure.
If you are considering aspen bedding, I would recommend purchasing the larger pack size because it is more cost-effective and will last for a longer period of time.
Conclusion: Guinea pigs and Aspen bedding
Natural bedding materials such as aspen make excellent guinea pig bedding because of their softness and absorbency.
It not only accurately replicates the natural environment, but it also performs its function flawlessly. It is odor-free, safe, and comfortable for your guinea pigs, which is exactly what you require in this situation.
However, because you will need to purchase the pack on a regular basis, it will increase your monthly expenses. If you don’t care for fleece bedding or prefer a more natural bedding material for your guinea pigs, I would recommend giving it a shot.
Make sure to spot clean your guinea pigs’ cages every day and change the litter as needed to avoid waste accumulation that can harm your guinea pigs.
Was it ever brought to your attention that poor quality bedding can cause your guinea pigs’ cage to smell horrendous? We have an article that goes into great detail about Why do guinea pigs’ cages smell bad, and how we can fix the problem.