What is it about fleece liners that make all the guinea pigs go crazy? Fleece liners are one of the healthiest types of guinea pig bedding available. Guinea pig liners are not only the healthiest, but also the most convenient bedding to use. The first step is choosing the proper liner for your piggies. So, let me break down the facts for you in my new complete guide on fleece liners for guinea pigs below!
WHAT ARE FLEECE LINERS FOR GUINEA PIGS?
Compared to traditional beddings (wood shavings and paper bedding), the fleece liners provide a warm and healthier environment for the guinea pigs. The fleece liners are a lot more convenient to place inside C&C cages than other types of bedding. Fleece liners for guinea pigs consist of fleece fabric designed to allow liquids to pass through. Many people prefer fleece liners because they are warm and comfortable for your piggie.
WHY FLEECE LINERS?
Other guinea pig bedding may consist of different types of paper bedding and wood shavings. These types of bedding can be unhealthy for your guinea pig’s respiratory system and cause bacterial infection. The fleece liners are also made of fabric, so they don’t create a mess or form dust unlike other forms of bedding. The fleece liners also create a more spacious, comfortable, and cleaner environment for guinea pigs. However, not all fleece bedding will carry out the most important responsibility of keeping your guinea pig healthy. That’s where GuineaDad Liners come in.
THREE TYPES OF FLEECE LINERS
1. GuineaDad Liners
GuineaDad fleece liners visually stand out because of the signature pocket. The pocket is thoughtfully designed to encourage the guinea pigs' instinct to hide. This minimizes stress for the guinea pigs to stay comfortable and healthy.
But that's not all. GuineaDad's high quality fleece is the softest and has the fastest liquid pass-through rate. The closely knitted pattern amplifies the liquid transfer rate to the highly absorbent layer, while waterproof layer contains the liquid in place, keeping the guinea pigs' feet dry.
The absorbent layer, which is made with proprietary bamboo blend, minimizes the chance of guinea pig from acquiring bacterial infection (most common cause of guinea pig's death) through controlling bacteria growth and odor.
The GuineaDad fleece cage liner is created by a team of guinea pig lovers and experts that have the best interest in guinea pigs' health and happiness.
2. Waterproof Liners
Many waterproof liners are made with low quality material that may have multiple layers including waterproof bottom. They are typically made for beginner owners who are looking for convenience. However, these liners often disregard guinea pig's health.
3. Generic Liners (padded liners)
Generic liners, are sometimes called "padded liners" and are made with a fleece layer, a thin layer of padding, and another fleece layer on the bottom. Although flipping the fleece liner to either side can be efficient for you, it is problematic and unhealthy for guinea pigs. This type of fleece bedding can be flipped after usage, which means urine and defecation is exposed to the bottom of your cage. This type of fleece liner for guinea pigs also lacks absorbency properties where bacteria can often build and create an unhealthy habitat for your guinea pigs. Like many waterproof liners, they lack in consideration for guinea pigs' health and happiness.
WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD FLEECE LINER FOR GUINEA PIGS
There are many qualities to consider when looking for a great fleece liner for your guinea pigs, but they all boil down to one thing: Keeping our guinea pigs as healthy as possible.
The first important element to consider is absorbency of the inner material. Absorbency is important because it prevents your guinea pig from walking on soiled material, therefore keeping your piggy’s foot dry and clean. This layer must be specifically designed for guinea pigs.
It is also important for the liner to have a closely knitted fleece and absorbent layer. Some cage liners will have one or two knitting around the perimeter, but that is not enough. It is extremely important for every inch of the fleece to touch the absorbent layer to effectively keep the top layer dry. Otherwise, you can expose your guinea pig to bumblefoot and more often, bacterial infection.
Another important thing to consider is what it takes to maintain your fleece liner. Many people turn away from fleece bedding because it is made of fabric instead of something disposable and replaceable. However, fleece liners, like GuineaDad’s, are incredibly easy to clean, wash, and reuse which make them worth investing in the long run.
The last important factor to consider when looking for a guinea pig fleece liner is making sure that it is waterproof. Having fleece on both sides does not effectively contain urine. This not only makes the clean up more difficult, but exposes your guinea pig to bacterial growth from unexpected place. GuineaDad Liners effectively contain urine in anti-bacterial bamboo blend layer to ensure the most sanitary environment for guinea pigs.
When considering ANY guinea pig products, we, as a guinea pig parent, must consider guinea pigs' health as the first, second and third priority. It is difficult to make the correct decision with so many false and misleading information over the internet. The best advice that I could offer to all guinea pig parents is to do your research and consult with an exotic vet with many years of guinea pigs expertise.
HOW TO USE FLEECE LINER FOR GUINEA PIGS
When seeking for a fleece liner for your guinea pig, make sure you find a liner that may appropriately fit the size of your cage. Simply lay the fleece liner gently at the bottom of your cage. If the fleece liner is too small for your cage, your guinea pigs may try to burrow underneath or urinate/ defecate at underneath the fleece liner. Guinea pig cage bedding such as GuineaDad Liners have various sizes designed to fit guinea pig cages. Using the appropriate size of fleece liner may decrease this situation from occurring.
Fleece liners are completely different from other types of bedding. As a result, you may want to take note of a few necessary routines that consist of cleaning your fleece liners. These tips will keep your piggie’s bedding in tip top shape!
How to Wash Fleece Liners
1. There are two things you need to note before washing your liners are unscented detergent and distilled white vinegar. Always make sure you use unscented detergent before you wash your fleece liners because guinea pigs have really sensitive respiratory systems.
2. Make sure you use the guide in the back of the product that recommends how much detergent you should apply to your fleece liner. Due to avoiding any kind scent when laundering your fleece liner, the distilled white vinegar is used as a substitute for fabric softener. You may pour ¼ to ½ of the distilled white vinegar in the section where fabric softener is usually poured. This substitute keeps the fabric soft and plushy for your guinea pigs
3. Before starting the washing cycle, make sure your washing machine is set to either: bedding, heavy duty, pre-soak, or extra rinse setting(s). These settings are important because fleece liners may have absorbent qualities, so it is important that enough water is used to penetrate the fabric thoroughly and therefore wash effectively.
4. Set your water temperature to cold before starting the cycle to avoid shrinkage within the fleece liner. However, with GuineaDad Liners you may adjust the settings to warm to cold temperatures.
(Pro Tip: If you use GuineaDad Liners, we also recommend flipping the pocket inside out. We also suggest folding the liner in half (long ways) so that the waterproof backing is on the inside before placing it in the washer. We do this because GuineaDad Liners have a pocket for guinea pigs to use to feel safe, so this is where guinea pigs do most of their business).
5. When starting the drying process, make sure you avoid using any laundry products. For fleece cage liners, it is recommended to not use dryer sheets. GuineaDad fleece liners are extremely absorbent, and fleece bedding that consist of absorbent properties can be affected by dryer sheets that clog the liner and affect the wicking process .
6. When drying your fleece liner, make sure that you don’t overly dry it. Too much heat to any fleece liner can damage it and cause it to shrink. We recommend drying the liners in low heat for one cycle only. If you find the liner is still damp, air dry the liner by hanging it somewhere away from the sun or any excess heat.
How to Spot Clean Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners
1. Broom and Dust Pan: One of the easiest ways to spot clean is to grab a small broom and dust pan, and sweep in all the guinea pig feces. Afterwards, empty out the feces into the trash can.
2. Shaking Into a Trash Can: This method is self-explanatory, but still fast and efficient. Carefully grab your soiled fleece liner, open the trash can, and empty all the feces into the trash.
3. Vacuum: You may use any hand held vacuum to clean up feces, hay, or hair off the liner. This spot cleaning method is one of my favorites, as it is fast and easy to do on your own.
How Often Do You Change Fleece Liners?
When maintaining your fleece liner, it is usually best to spot clean at least once a day, while washing them once a week. With GuineaDad customers we always suggest having more than one liner to switch one out on laundry day!
HOW LONG DO FLEECE LINERS FOR GUINEA PIGS LAST?
Fleece liners for guinea pigs can usually last for about a year or more depending on how well you take care of them. Based on our experience and many GuineaDad customers, our GuineaDad fleece liner can last for well over a year if well maintained. For the actual stress testing of the GuineaDad Liners product we tested the liner up to 30 washes, but stopped the test because we simply did not see any visible degradation. Please be advised that the correct maintenance is the key, more you stay away from heat, the better for the liner. So please do not over dry the liner or expose them to sun and any other heat source during the drying process. Some qualities that go into long lasting fleece liners are keeping your washing machine clean, air drying your fleece liners, and not changing your liners too frequently. Taking great care of your cage bedding will save you money and will become extremely beneficial for your guinea pigs in the long run.
Are fleece liners good for guinea pigs?
Yes, fleece liners are in fact more beneficial than other types of bedding. GuineaDad fleece liners to be specific, are made with a pocket for guinea pigs to feel safe in. They are also hand made with anti-bacterial properties and waterproof backing to produce the best combination of materials that contribute to a healthy and happy guinea pig lifestyle.
Are cage liners safe for guinea pigs?
Cage liners, or fleece liners are indeed safe for guinea pigs. Not only are they hygienically safer than other types of bedding for guinea pigs, but they are also comfortable as well. They are, in fact, so comfortable for guinea pigs to play on, that you can use them outside of their cage for floor time and other activities.
What custom sizes are available for GuineaDad Liners?
We have five different sizes of GuineaDad Liner based on common sizes of C&C Cages:
-Midwest: Designed for a Midwest Guinea Habitat, which is ~24"x47" (61x120cm)
-2x4: Designed for a 2x4 C&C, which is ~27"x56" (69x142cm)
-2x3: Designed for a 2x3 C&C, which is ~27"x41" (69x104cm)
-2x2: Designed for a 2x2 C&C, which is ~27"x27" (69x69cm)
-2x1: Designed for a 2x1 C&C, which is ~27"x14" (69x36cm)
How often should I clean my fleece liner?
You should spot clean your liners at least 1-2 times a day and wash them at least once a week.
How do I keep my guinea pig fleece liner from smelling?
Habitually spot clean your fleece liner, and when it’s time to wash it, add ¼ to ½ cups of white distilled vinegar as a substitute for fabric softener.
It is also recommended to perform deep cleaning once in couple months (i.e. every 3 months)
Read our other guinea pig care guides: