Hi, my name’s Irena and I’m here to talk to you about keeping your guinea pig cage from smelling!
Isn’t it great to have little indoor pets that you can bond with and spend hours enjoying their company? Guinea pigs are great companions and can keep you entertained for hours!
However, if you keep a pet in a cage it is inevitable that it will eventually start smelling if you don’t clean it.
What you need to do is keep the environment your pigs are in as clean as possible and then there will be no foul odors and your furry friends will be all the happier for it.
Guinea pigs can generally keep themselves clean, if not their bedding. However, long haired pigs can present extra challenges and you may have to trim their fur.
What Bedding is Best for Guinea Pigs?
Before you can even start to think about how to clean the cage, you will have to consider bedding. With good bedding you won’t have to clean so often and your pigs will be happier.
The best types of bedding are paper, aspen, and fleece.
Paper bedding is soft, absorbent, and generally good at odor control. However, some types don’t absorb urine that well so be careful what you buy.
Paper can also contain too much dust which isn’t good for the lungs of your pigs. It can cause them breathing difficulties.
There is also the added danger of your pigs eating the paper as it is very tempting for them when it is shredded. This can lead to serious health problems.
Therefore, your pigs need to be monitored for a while to make sure that this will not be a problem.
Fleece is good as it is very absorbent and soft, just perfect for a good night’s sleep. The under layer it has adds to the absorbency.
It works out to be a reasonable price as it is washable. Why not put puppy pads under the fleece to help absorb even more urine.
Aspen is non-aromatic and is dust free which is healthy for your guinea pigs.
Other options include strand paper pellets which are odor absorbent and hemp bedding which is non-toxic.
Avoid straw as it has no absorbent qualities and will smell. Cat litter is not good as it’s not intended to be lived in and can smell quite horrible when your pet pees.
If you would like a full supply list for your guinea pig check out this article!
What to Do to Keep the Cage of Your Guinea Pigs Clean
Okay, so now we’ve sorted out the best bedding for your guinea pigs. However, that doesn’t mean an end to it.
They are still going to pee and poop which is going to make their cages smell.
The first thing to do is to thoroughly clean out the cage at least once a week.
Get rid of all the bedding as it will probably smell horrible and then wash the bottom and sides of the cage with soap and water. Dry it all off and put in new bedding.
Another tip before you put in the new bedding is to clean the cage with a special solution. Mix one part vinegar with nine parts water and then clean. This is a great way to get rid of odors.
However, just cleaning the cage once a week isn’t quite enough. It’s a good idea to spot clean on a daily basis.
Take your pigs out for a little run and then inspect the bedding. If any of it looks soiled, remove it.
This is made easier because guinea pigs will usually choose a certain area of the cage to go to the toilet so you won’t need to search the whole cage.
Yes, you can almost train guinea pigs to use a litter tray as you can cats. Put the tray in a corner, preferably near their hay as it seems to suit them.
Guinea pigs like to have a kitchen and toilet area close to each other, probably not our choice but if they’re happy what the heck.
If you suddenly find that your guinea pigs are using a different area to go to the toilet, then it’s time to move the tray. This should hopefully do the trick.
It’s a good idea to clean out the litter tray every couple of days to encourage them to keep using it. Most animals hate using dirty litter trays.
I can vouch for this as I have cats who demand that their trays are changed at least twice a day.
What you shouldn’t do is use clumping cat litter in the litter tray. It does what it says, clump, and can end up smelly and unpleasant.
You don’t really want your little furry friends lying on a pile of clumped up pee after all. Paper or fleece is best.
Another way to get rid of odors is to use a cage cleaning spray from time to time. This is probably best done when you do the once-a-week clean.
You will be removing all used bedding so when you have done this, spray the cage with the cleaner and let it soak for about five to ten minutes.
Wipe it away with a towel and remove any debris that is left. Let the cage dry and then put in new bedding.
There are odor-controlled beddings around which will make the cages smell better. However, to keep this fresh, you will need to scoop out the wet bedding on a daily basis.
Other Ways to Have a Clean Smelling Cage
It’s not only the cage that could smell, it could be your guinea pigs. They are generally good at keeping themselves clean, but some long-haired guinea pigs need a little extra help.
Their hair needs trimming to stop it from getting matted and having all sorts of debris caught up in it. This is particularly important when they are going to the toilet.
A bath doesn’t go amiss either, but your pigs do need to be kept cozy after it, so lots of warm towels are needed. You don’t want them to get hypothermia after all.
If you do use a shampoo, use one especially for guinea pigs or small mammals. Human shampoos can be too harsh and can cause them all sorts of irritation.
Make sure that you check the ears of your guinea pigs often. If they smell bad or look red a visit to the vet is required. Ear infections can add to an unpleasant odor.
Another great thing to keep smell down is hay, mint, dandelion greens, parsley, and cilantro. All of these keep cages smelling fresh.
On the other hand, there are foods which you shouldn’t give your pigs as it can upset their stomachs and give them gas. This also adds to unpleasant odors.
Avoid iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and in particular sprouts. We all know what these do to humans as well.
However, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery are all good for your guinea pigs.
If you are struggling what to line your guinea pigs cage with check out this article
Guinea Pig Bedding
Let’s now have a quick look at some types of guinea pig bedding out there that will keep your pigs clean and odor free.
Guinea Dad Fleece Liner 2.0
The bamboo fiber absorbs all leakage and you won’t have to change this more than once a week. There is a waterproof bottom which means that all pee stays put.
There are no paper bits which can get everywhere nor are there layers and layers of fleece. Instead your pigs will burrow down into the pockets and stay happy.
The liners are all anti-bacterial so are healthy and they are dust-free. This all helps to stop any horrible guinea pig diseases like urinary infections and bumble foot.
Sun Seed Company Fresh World Small Animals Bedding Phenol Free Paper Bedding
It’s made with baking soda which gives it great odor free control.
It’s also phenol free which means that it’s environmentally friendly. Just change once a week for a clean smelling cage.
MYIDEA Warm Guinea Pigs Bed
Perhaps they have an eating area and a litter tray. Then why not give them a proper bed.
This bed is a miniature version of a cuddly cat or dog basket which you can put in one corner of the cage.
It comes in lots of different shapes like a giraffe, a pig, or a bee. It is soft for the comfort of your pigs and has a non-slip bottom so it stays exactly where you put it.
Worried about it getting dirty? Well, don’t be. You can just slip it out and give it a wash. I’m sure your little pigs won’t mind lying in hay for just a day.
Well, it’s not too difficult to keep the cage of your guinea pigs smelling pristine. Give it a spot clean on a daily basis and then a big clean once a week.
Guinea pigs are generally very clean animals so you shouldn’t have a problem at all. What to do with the guinea pigs while you are doing this you ask.
Well, give them a bit of floor time. They love to run around and a cage is a bit small for them to be confined to all the time.