If you own guinea pigs of your own or have spent much time around them, you know these adorable critters poop and pee–a LOT!
Keeping a guinea pig enclosure clean is often a constant struggle, and many pet owners have all kinds of tricks and tips of their own for cleaning up after their piggies.
But have you ever considered using puppy pee pads in your guinea pig’s enclosure?
Puppy pee pads are safe for guinea pigs, but they should be layered underneath another type of bedding, so the guinea pigs don’t chew on or eat them out of boredom. Avoid any pee pads with added scents or solutions, as these are often toxic if ingested.
Read on to learn all about using puppy pads to soak up your guinea pig’s messes as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
Can You Use Puppy Pads For Guinea Pig Bedding?
It is safe to use puppy pee pads for guinea pig bedding, but it’s not the best idea to use the pads as your only source of bedding.
Ideally, the puppy pad should be the bottom layer of your piggy’s bedding, with at least a couple of inches of another loose bedding on top.
There are a few reasons why pee pads don’t make an excellent standalone bedding option for guinea pigs.
For starters, the pads aren’t very fluffy or comfortable when compared to shredded beddings like paper, aspen, or a layer of fleece.
Check out our guide on how much bedding guinea pigs need.
Puppy pee pads also don’t provide much enrichment for guinea pigs by themselves, as they are flat, not very soft, and thin.
Your guinea pig won’t be able to dig around in it like they would with the more ideal bedding types listed above.
Still, puppy pads have a valid use for guinea pig care.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, guinea pigs create a lot of waste very quickly, which builds up quickly, especially if you have multiple piggies.
Placing a pee pad or two underneath a thick layer of aspen or some soft, fine paper shreddings will go a long way in keeping you from having to constantly clean up puddles of pee that have managed to somehow soak through the first layer of bedding.
So, in short, yes, puppy pee pads are a fine choice of clean, comfortable bedding material (or, more specifically, cage liners) for guinea pigs; you just need to use them a certain way for them to be effective and useful.
Have a secondary looser bedding to pile on top of the pads to catch the majority of your piggy’s messes.
What Puppy Pads Are Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Most small, non-scented puppy pee pads are safe for use in guinea pig enclosures.
However, not all pee pads are created equally! It’s important to compare a few products and carefully read their labels before going ahead and throwing a pad or two into your guinea pig cage.
Also, many guinea pigs are sensitive or even highly allergic to particular flowers, scents, and other substances used to keep the pads smelling fresh, so keep this in mind, too.
Some pads are thicker and more absorbent than others, while some will fall apart the moment your piggy’s little claws touch them.
Some will develop leaks very quickly due to not having enough waterproof barrier between the pad and the surface underneath.
And still, others will just temporarily stress your guinea pig out simply because there is something new in their cage; even if they aren’t able to see it, their sensitive noses are to detect subtle changes.
We recommend using pads like these for the best results.
Using something small in surface area closest in size to fit your enclosure means you won’t have to trim them down much, if at all, and the pads are compact yet thick enough to absorb plenty of pee without it soaking down into your guinea pig’s cage.
The thin, waterproof layer under the pads will hold up well, even with your piggy–or multiple guinea pigs–trampling all over it constantly.
Once you’ve found your ideal pee pads for your enclosure, you’ll find they’ll be a highly cost-effective way to keep your guinea pigs clean and healthy without constantly stressing too much over cleaning the cage itself.
A clean environment is crucial to having happy guinea pigs!
How to Use Puppy Pads with Guinea Pigs
Using puppy training pads with a guinea pig enclosure is pretty easy once you know how to set things up!
When you use pee pads underneath another type of bedding, you’ll be amazed at how much cleaner things are, as well as how they manage to stay clean for longer than usual.
As we went over earlier in this article, ideally, have an additional, lighter, and looser bedding to layering on top of the pee pads.
Aspen, a square of fleece, or plain paper bedding like this are great options.
The bedding should be dust-free and highly absorbent, as we want the top layer to hold most of your guinea pig’s poo as well as some of their pee, so it doesn’t all immediately leak down to the bottom.
The pads will be the first bedding layer on top of the actual cage floor itself.
If possible, find pads that fit your guinea pig’s enclosure closely so you won’t need to trim them much, if at all, as cutting into the pads sometimes makes things messy and difficult to work with.
You don’t necessarily need to secure the pads down with anything special.
But if you find they’re sliding around a lot under the absorbent layer of bedding, either add more bedding or use double-sided tape to tape down the back of the pad’s waterproof layer to the cage floor.
Once the layer of pads is in place, layer on at least 2″ inches or so of your chosen loose bit of bedding.
Depending on how many guinea pigs you have, the size of their cage, and how dirty they tend to be in general, you’ll need to clean and replace both layers of disposable bedding at least once every 2 to 8 days or so.
When the top bedding looks dirty or starts getting stinky, change it out, carefully remove the pads underneath, and thoroughly clean the cage’s floor and other surfaces.
Even if the floor doesn’t look dirty, clean it anyway, as bacteria always can escape the bedding and pads.
If too much bacteria builds up in your piggy’s cage, all kinds of mold and fungi will begin growing, which is often a pain to get rid of and sometimes leads to health issues like respiratory infections.
It also makes the guinea pig cage smell too.
Check out our article for more ideas on how to help.