In the race of winning the “cutest pet animal title.” guinea pigs would surely remain in the top 3 positions, probably with cats and rabbits. You don’t have to deal with much of a hassle when it comes to pet guinea pigs as they are very social in nature; therefore, you can keep a lot of them in a single cage.
Well, talking about guinea pig housing, you got to be a bit careful here. But it’s not like it will require White House level of attention; the most important thing is keeping a clean and healthy environment inside. And that’s where fleece can be the quick fix!
Here’s what is essential to acknowledge is making it ready in the proper manner. So, without further ado, let’s hit main concern how to prepare fleece for a guinea pig cage?
How Does It Work?
Well, the word fleece may sound unfamiliar to some of you so, let us make it clear. Fleece is a piece of fabric that you can use combining with any absorbent material instead of using traditional wood-based bedding or paper. The next question that comes into the table is how does it work?
What’s wrong with the conventional method of using paper or wood-based bedding is your guinea pig urine will get absorbed by the material and that can stay damp for quite some time.
But a fleece prepared following the proper method will let the urine pass through. Solid objects, for instance, poop, hay, and food will remain on the surface. The fleece will remain as a barrier in between and wicking the liquid materials downhill therefore, the brink of the layer can stay dry.
The Method of Preparing the Fleece
In recent times we have noticed pretty much a bad impression over fleece. After going through some research, we found that there is a common misconception about it among pet guinea pig owners: it fails to absorb liquids and get rid of bad smells.
However, this is entirely bogus! If you can prepare it according to the proper method, then you will face no such thing. And in this section, we are going to learn those step by step. So, let’s get started:
Step 1: Let’s Wash the fleece first
Before placing the fleece in the cage, you will have to wash and dry it properly, at least 3-times. By doing so, you will be able to get rid of the water barrier that the fabric has. This procedure is called wicking, and it helps you to make the fleece more absorbent.
Step 2: Avoid Using any perfumed detergent or fabric softeners
Using fabric softener or scented detergents is one of the terrible ways of ruining the fleece. How so? Well, the residue from those chemicals tends to get caught up with the fabric, and as a result, the pores of the fabric become clogged up.
When that happens, it won’t be able to absorb any liquid. And guinea pigs aren’t really that big fan of scented detergents as it tends to irritate their skin.
Step 3: Time to dry the fleece liners
The drying process is quite easy-peasy. You can keep them outside to get dry by natural air or, you can also keep them in indoor dryers. If you are in a hurry, then a tumble dryer is the way to go. You must remember:
- Avoid using dryer sheets as they tend to build residue upon the fleece resulting in the fleece becoming less absorbent.
- Make sure your tumble dryer is set to the low heat setting. This will help you to avoid ending up over-drying it.
- Don’t let it get completely dry. When it is about to reach the final stage of becoming dry, get it out of the dryer and hang it outside or over a cloth dryer.
Preparing the fleece before using it is an essential step. If you fail to prepare it properly, it may ruin the next whole thing. Remember, “a winning effort begins with preparation.”
The Proper Method of Using the Fleece Bedding
Fleece bedding is indeed an effective way of making a comfortable and healthy environment for your guinea pigs inside the cage. But first and foremost, you got to ensure it’s been placed following the proper method. And in this section, we are going to learn how to do that. Let’s begin:
First of all, you will need that absorbent layer. I have noticed many times that some people just use a layer of fleece but don’t bother putting anything else underneath it. But this won’t help your loving guinea pigs stay clean or dry! You got to place something underneath the layers; otherwise, the liquid will just remain there. After that, it’s time to prepare the fleece properly.
You will find some fleece with chemical layers that will effectively keep the liquid from running through. The fleece needs to run through a process called “wicking” we hope you are already familiar with that. You can do this by using a washing machine or hot water.
Now, wash the fleece and when you are done, get it out and, you may test it, dripping some water on it. If you notice the water pass through the fleece within few seconds, then it’s ready to go.
You must remember that; fleece is not for everyone and, you need to keep the cages always clean. Otherwise, the hay and poops of your guinea pigs can make the environment inside the cage very dirty, unhealthy, and unlivable at some point.
Why is Fleece Bedding a Good Idea?
You have reached this far I’m sure you already have got some idea about why fleece is essential. Still, we would like to present to you some of the key points here in this section.
- Fleece is compact and can be reused over and over again. So, this is the most efficient solution you have.
- It’s a lot easier to clean than other bedding methods so, you don’t have to deal with much hassle when cleaning. And this will keep you motivated to clean the cage on a regular basis.
- Your guinea pigs will enjoy the fleece underneath their feet as it’s very soft and comfortable. Besides that, it will also keep their feet safe from a disease like bumblefoot.
- The process is environmentally friendly as in this process you won’t have to use a lot of wood.
- This is the most hygienic solution you have got! If you can keep it clean then, your guinea pigs won’t have to deal with bad odors.
- Your guinea pigs will be saved from any allergies when using fleece. Fleece doesn’t catch any dust so, there won’t be any respiratory issues.
Overall, using fleece for your guinea pigs’ bedding is an excellent way to keep them safe and happy.
- Will using fleece keep my guinea pig’s cage clean?
Using fleece will help you to keep the guinea pig cage clean for sure. Fleece will absorb their pees so, no worries with bad odor. Also, fleece will keep other dirty stuff inside the cage over it so, you can get rid of those easily.
- Is wicking really needed?
We would highly recommend you to wick the fleece before using it. Wicking will help it to become more absorbent; therefore, it will be able to pass water quickly.
- Is it okay to use hot water for the wicking process?
No, we wouldn’t recommend you using hot water to wick the fleece. Using cold water is the best option when wicking the fleece.
Guinea pigs are amazing to have as a pet. However, you cannot treat them like other pet animals like dogs and cats. When petting guinea pigs, you have to be a little bit extra careful, particularly when it comes to their housing and food. To ensure a safe and healthy environment inside the cage, fleece is your guardian angel.
Using fleece will save you from a lot of hassle also it’s very efficient. We hope after reading this article; now you know how to prepare fleece for a guinea pig cage.
Before we sign off just want to remind you that “animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions and pass no criticism“ So, let’s not hesitate when it comes to treating them with kindness and love. Let’s try a bit more to make the world a better place for them. Thank you for your reading.