Have you noticed some Guinea pigs owners cover the floor of their pet cage with pine bedding? Is it good for the guinea pigs, and should you also imitate it? In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know.
Pine bedding is good for Guinea pigs as it provides the small pets with warmth and comfort. Good pine bedding is usually soft, and it absorbs the pet’s urine, keeping the surface dry and not smelly.
If you are looking to purchase pine bedding you can get a good deal on amazon.
What is Pine Bedding?
Pine bedding is the shavings obtained from pine woods. In some cases, they’re specifically made and packaged for pets bedding, and in other cases, they are waste obtained during pinewood processing.
They don’t have a specific shape as they are curls that fall off the surface of pine woods while being processed with machines like millers and planners. They are soft and have an extraordinary absorbing feature.
Pine bedding is economical, and since they are made of 100% pine tree, they have a wonderful aromatic smell, replacing the urine and fecal odor. They also have ammonia-reducing features and antibacterial properties.
Is Pine poisonous to guinea pigs?
If pine is rightly processed, it is safe for Guinea pigs and poses no threat to the pet’s life. Well processed pine don’t contain poisonous compounds; therefore, you can safely use them in your pet’s home.
However, pine that didn’t pass through the kiln drying process is not safe for your pet and may pose health issues. It is, therefore, important that you opt for the kiln-dried pine shavings if you want a safe bedding for your pet.
Many large Guinea pig welfare farms and organizations in the US, such as LA Guinea Pig Rescue, keep their Guinea pigs in homes with well-processed pine bedding. If the substance is poisonous and creates health issues, such highly respected piggie organizations would have abstained from using it as they wouldn’t want to harm their little pets.
Pros And Cons Of Pine Bedding
Like every other substance, pine bedding has some advantages and disadvantages.
- Good absorbent
- Aromatic smell
- Easy cleaning
- Makes the cage look like a natural habitat
Pine bedding is a very good absorbent; thus, it absorbs your pet’s urine excellently. It is porous, allowing urine to easily drain to the bottom, leaving the surface dry and comfortable for your pet.
You don’t want to keep your pets’ feet moist in their urine, as this may expose them to certain health issues such as bumblefoot.
Your piggies poop also get mixed up with the shaving; hence, they won’t have to keep walking on them. With such urine and poop-free surface, your pet will maintain a clean coat and feet as long as you regularly clean the cage.
Guinea pigs are not dirty pets, but their cage may begin to smell because of their urine and poop. However, the simple aromatic smell of kiln-dried pine shaving can neutralize the smell, making their home smell good.
Even with the incredible uses of pine bedding, it doesn’t cost so much. You can get a packaged pine bedding for as low as $11. You can also get it for free at sawmill or wood processing factories that mills pine trees.
Pine bedding has antibacterial properties that keep bacteria away from your pet cage. It owes this to the presence of certain antibacterial chemical compounds in it. Hence, you can protect your pets from bacteria-causing infections by using pine bedding in their cage.
If your pet cage has pine bedding, cleaning it will be easier and faster than if it doesn’t have the bedding. Without the bedding, urine and poop will stick to the cage’s floor and wall; thus, you’ll have to do some extra cleaning. This may be stressful and time-consuming.
On the other hand, with pine bedding, all you have to do is dispose of the pine bedding already mixed with the urine and poop, followed by general cleaning. This is easier.
Makes the cage look more like a natural habitat
Guinea pigs are rodents, often found around dry leaves. Using pine bedding for their cage’s floor makes them feel more like they are in a natural habitat.
- Rough or sharp bedding is injurious
- You need to keep buying more
Rough or sharp bedding is injurious
If the pine bedding is not well processed, it may contain some rough or sharp bedding that can injure your pet.
Some of the bedding might get pushed out of the cage, messing up the environment. This may not bother you if the cage is outdoor, but it becomes a burden if you keep your pet indoor. A messy environment means you have to clean often which may be tiring.
You need to keep buying more
Pine bedding is disposable; hence, you have to keep replacing old bedding with new ones. As such, you have to keep buying more.
Is pine or aspen better for guinea pigs?
Aspen is better for Guinea pigs because it doesn’t contain aromatic oils, and it’s dust-free. Poorly processed pines contain aromatic oils that may cause respiratory disease for your pet, but that is not the case with aspen.
The dust-free feature of aspen is especially because it is hardwood. Therefore, its bedding is safe for your small pet.
It is also a better choice because it can be recycled and used for a more extended period.
What are pine shavings good for?
Pine shaving that’s heat-treated or kiln-dried is ideal for making the bedding of animals that like to tunnel or nest, including rabbits, mice, hamsters, Guinea pigs, and mice. It helps the pets to stay dry and safe.
It is also a good choice for chicken coops due to its high absorbing rate and fine aromatic scent. However, the aromatic scent of untreated pine shavings might be toxic to the chicken, but for the well-treated shaving, the toxic compounds would have been removed; thus, it is safe.
Chickens tend to have a smelly environment caused by their poops. The fine aromatic scent of pine shaving will replace such a disgusting odor, and your chicken coops will smell nice until the next clean-up.
If you have a vegetable garden in your home, you can also use pine shavings as a mulch for paths. Interestingly, you won’t have to replace this often as it can remain undecomposed for up to three years. Besides being captivating or pleasing to the eye, pine shavings will also keep bugs, slugs, and other insects away from your vegetable farm. It owes this to its insecticidal property.
Being a good absorbent, pine shavings allows you to move comfortably in your vegetable farm after heavy rains without soiling your leg with moist sands. It also makes your vegetable farm smell nice due to its aromatic scent.
Are pine shavings safe for guinea pigs?
Pine shavings are safe for pigs. Pigs’ homes are usually smelly and messed with poops and urine. Pine shavings help to get rid of this. It makes the hog look clean and less smelly without posing any threat to the pig’s life.
It is better during summer than the straws because it provides a better bed for the animal. However, you must examine the shavings well to ensure it doesn’t contain dust. Dusty pine shavings can cause nasal irritation that makes breathing difficult for pigs.
More so, you shouldn’t keep pine shavings close to your gestating sow. It contains chemical compounds that have Anticoagulant properties. If a sow farrow in such bedding, it can cause complicated naval bleeding, and that may eventually lead to death.
Like other animals in class Mammalia, newly born piglets have an unbiblical cord attached to their naval. The cord is usually long, touching the floor. Thus, if the umbilical cord got dragged over pine shavings, it may bleed to death.
Do guinea pigs need bedding?
Guinea pigs need beddings in their cage for comfort and healthiness. When you keep this little pet to sleep on a hard surface without bedding, it’s like making a human sleep on the floor. Bedding helps to make the pet feel warm and more comfortable.
Good beddings have high absorbing power. Thus, they keep the pet’s home dry and cozy. Guinea pigs have a high body temperature which they love to maintain that way. Keeping them in a home with no bedding means they may begin to lose their body temperature, making them feel uncomfortable.
Besides the cozy and fluffy environment that bedding provides, it also collects the pet’s urine making the surface dry. This keeps away the diseases your pets would have been exposed to should they stay in a damp environment.
Taking out wet bedding from the guinea pig’s home is also easier than scrubbing the cage. Hence, not only is bedding good for the guinea pig, but it is also good for the pet owner.