Of course you want your guinea pigs to be comfortable! It won’t burn a hole in your pocket and it doesn’t require too much creativity to come up some really comfortable resting places for your pets.
Even if they’re not going for some standard shut-eye, guinea pigs—just like any other creatures—appreciate a good place to get away from it all sometimes.
Someone’s a tired Piggeh!
While your standard guinea pig cage should allow a little over a half square meter (7 square feet) for one pet, and an additional third of a square meter (2-4 square feet) for each additional pet, the beds or hidey havens you create can be much smaller. You’re looking to create a place that sits inside his home so that he can go off by himself whenever he feels the need.
Homemade polar fleece. Many people like to use some kind of fleece for this purpose. It does not have to be the traditional fleece with deep pile.
Polar fleece, which is soft and warm and simply nubby all over, makes a great guinea pig bed. It is also lightweight, which will allow for air to pass adequately.
You can line a plastic or C&C crate with fleece; just be certain it doesn’t bunch up too much. You’ll also want to keep a stiff-bristled brush to sweep away guinea pig droppings every day, and you should wash the fleece weekly. It can save you the cost of constantly supplying shavings for a bed, but remember to keep it clean because otherwise it will breed bacteria.
You’ll want to put some absorbent toweling under the fleece to absorb the urine.
If you don’t want to drape your own container with fleece, you can buy a soft , warm item known as a pigloo.
It doesn’t have to be large; just 25 cm high, about 25 cm width with the same or similar length. Generally there is a little lip for your guinea pig to clamber over, and then he can snuggle up into his comfortable pigloo.
The fleece pigloos are rather expensive, and you can buy potty pads to go in them, but a plastic pigloo unit for under 10 bucks makes a perfectly acceptable option. Again, put a piece of polar fleece inside, and keep a few extra sections on hand to switch out when the one becomes soiled. Owners report that these lightweight versions are often tugged about by their pets, and your guinea pig can even climb on top of it if he wants to feel like he’s king of the world.
Cardboard Boxes and Tunnels.
Despite the versions cited above that generally take at least a couple bucks out of your pocket, don’t eschew the grand old cardboard box. Any sturdy cardboard box will do—again, 20 or 25 cm high and about 25 cm between its walls. Put it upside down and cut a 12 cm entranceway into the side for your guinea pig’s pleasure.
Many people like to use these because they provide some extra chewing material for the guinea pig. When they’re soiled, you can just toss them out and set up a new one.
Elongated cardboard tubes make life a little more interesting for your pets. They can really hide inside, and you can tilt the tube up like a ramp from the first floor of the cage to a higher shelf so that the guinea pig can run up and down.
What to Avoid.
No matter whether you use polar fleece or pigloos to make a great guinea pig bed, or even overturn a plastic stool tent-like in his cage, there are certain materials that you should avoid using in your guinea pig’s bedding.
Never use cedar or sawdust, because they can impair his respiratory system. Corncob pieces and straw likewise make bad choices.
No matter what bedding you choose for your guinea pig, have some fun decorating it.
It will be a place where he goes when he wants some quiet time, to be sure, but at his more social moments you will enjoy watching him enjoy it.
Find out more about Guinea Pig Bedding here.