View Full Version : Pine Bedding

Cavy Crazy 2001
07-04-01, 10:02 am
I currently use pine bedding and I have heard from some people that it is bad for cavies. Razz has always been healthy while I've used this pine and I think it is ok. Any opinions out there?

Thanks, Paige

PS..I might switch to some bedding that the American Pet Diner makes. Anyone used it?

07-05-01, 12:27 pm
Nothing like going for one of great debate topics right off the bat! :)

Since it is debatable, I don't use it.

After shoulder surgery a while back, I wanted to switch to something lighter than Cell-Sorb (it's pretty heavy). So I did make the switch to pine. My house smelled like a saw mill (even with the kiln-dried variety). Not only that, if you pick up a handful of pine wet with urine and stick your nose right in and inhale deeply, you'll wish you hadn't. I think the combo of urine and pine is worse than either separately.

Scientific support for pine phenols being bad is there, but it's not exactly overwhelming. My decision is based more on quality of life. Sure pine sol smells good on your nicely cleaned floors, but a permanent pine pillow? hmmmmm

However, I am fully intending to put up info and sources of pine on the bedding section of the site. So, if you have recommendations and preferably those with online sources or major chain stores, I would love know about them.

Cavy Crazy 2001
07-05-01, 12:50 pm
Razz's pine doesn't seem to smell at all unless you get close to it. Razz is always close to it unless she is out playing with me but it hasn't seemed to affect her and I think it is safe, but I can never be sure and that is why I will probably switch.

I'm looking for a bedding the is not over fifteen dollars and is soft and absorbent. I've used Carefresh for a long time but I do not think it was worth the money because it didn't last very long.

This pine sticks to Razz's fur. Do you think that is uncomfortable for her? I wouldn't think it is unless it is on her face because it only hangs on her long fur and doesn't touch her skin, but I would like your opinion. :-)

Thanks, Paige

07-05-01, 01:22 pm
I agree CareFresh doesn't last very long. I'm going to start trying out more alternatives after I get more info from folks that I can put up about where to find products that people like.

I don't think the pine is "un"comfortable, but it's probably not quite as nice to walk on as CareFresh. But it's probably more comfortable than some of the pelleted bedding.

Hey, you could do a cavy maze type experiment. See which one they pick given alternatives right in front of them! :)

Cavy Crazy 2001
07-05-01, 02:15 pm

07-05-01, 04:43 pm

Cavy Crazy 2001
07-06-01, 01:36 pm
:) Razz would probably go for the for the carpet if I put the bedding outside of her cage. LOL

01-07-02, 07:22 pm
Ditto! My boys favorite place to pee is the carpet...(My least fav. for them to go on!!!) Try a mix of the two shavings together...store unused shavings in a tuparware box, to keep clean and fresh... It will keep down on the smell, and be soft. Hope this helps...DELI

P.S. Razz is such a cute name!

01-11-02, 10:03 am
Initially when we got our guinea pigs the previous owners had been using CareFresh (they even brought a partial bag!) so I continued using CareFresh for my boys. Needless to say, it is rather expensive. I then read on some of the boards about wood pellets and that they were very inexpensive. So I bought a couple of bags -- they were only $4.99 for 40 pounds. While they are cheap I found them to be very heavy to deal with. Also, once they are wet by urine then the pellet breaks down and they become sawdust. This is somewhat hard to clean out of the cages even with paper lining the bottom of the cage. Though I do find it is easier if I roll up what I can (the weight of the wet sawdust tears the paper) then scoop out the rest with a dust pan.

Currently I am still using up my last bag of wood pellets and because they don't seem comfortable to walk on or especially for my piggies to lay on, I am putting CareFresh inside of their hide-a-ways so that it is more comfortable for them.

Still, in search of the ideal bedding (comfortable, cheap, easy to clean, etc...) I recently went to a farm supply store and bought 2 bales of kiln dried pine The bales are quite large and were $4.49 each. I haven't opened them yet (still using up the wood pellets) so can't offer any comments about the smell or the texture. I will post here once I open the bales and use it for my piggies and share what I think about using it as bedding.

Hmmm, perhaps while I have the CareFresh, the wood pellets, and the kiln dried pine maybe I should try the experiment which CavySpirit suggested. Oh, yes and I need to be sure to include carpet as one of the choices. :)

01-11-02, 06:19 pm
Since I've unemployed for a while now, money has been very tight. I've been forced into a non-total Carefresh solution.

Now, I am using kiln-dried pine on the bottom with a layer of Carefresh over it. I will never allow my piggers to be on pure pine, kiln-dried or not. And I am also very generous with the hay.

Wood pellets are out. Too heavy, too much sawdust. Definitely not any cheaper than kiln-dried pine when you factor in volume. In fact a bag of pine will go many times farther than a bag of wood pellets. Yes, I'd say the pellets last longer, but at the expense of exposing your pigs to too much sawdust--not good.

When money is little less of an issue, I'll probably go back to all Carefresh.

Oh the great bedding dilemma. Somebody solve this already!! :)

01-11-02, 08:09 pm
Well, my babies like aspen shavings. I tried Carefresh alone Carefresh mixed with aspen, and plain aspen. The black dust in the Carefresh bothered Ashleigh pretty bad.

I have had NO problems with plain aspen shavings. I even tried to use some of Cellsorb in their toilet covered by a layer of aspen and/or Carefresh - bad - very bad. The Cellsorb was SO absorbent that Georgette and Thumper's delicate privates became dried out and they ended up with vaginitis (guinea pig version of a yeast infection - eeewww!!!). I make sure to clean their toilets out at least twice a day and replace with clean bedding. I even tried several types of pellets and each time the same problem would occur.

So - now I only use aspen and all 5 girls and 1 boy are VERY happy, healthy, and no re-occurrence of the vaginitis - Yeah!!!

01-11-02, 08:51 pm
I would use aspen if I could get it here. It's only available in little bags. I need huge quantities.

01-16-02, 06:29 am
So has anyone here tried towels? I'm considering cheap-towel-shopping. I would love to use Aspen, however my father is allergic and won't come and visit if we use it. Pine has been causing my little piggies to cough and wheeze (no, they aren't sick, I've been to the vet numerous times).

I have a friend who uses towels, and thinks they are great. I just need to go towel shopping. I didn't get to last weekend. I've considered the wood-pellets. I tried a pellet bedding one time...bought not on purpose...and I didn't really like the heavyness of it all.

Hmmm...imagine if you used towels Teresa, how much laundry you would have! :D


01-16-02, 09:37 am
Yeah, I've tried towels with one pair that a woman used to have free range with lots of towels. That was just one pair! Of course, it wasn't in a cage and a bit awkward for me to deal with, but you can keep the towels! :)

Way too much work. It's definitely an every other day affair. The woman is a flight attendent and had a ton of towels from all the hotels (which is stealing, I know). But you need a lot of extra towels.

We use lots of towels here anyway. Holding pigs, especially when visitors are holding pigs, the dating game - when we are trying to pair up pigs, baths, sometimes towel corners in cages, sometimes towel beds in boxes. Towels still take up a ton of laundry here, not to mention the cozies - which we have a ton of!

Oh yeah, so one of our cavy slave sayings would be, "you know you are a cavy slave when you are drying yourself off with a pig towel and you don't care." :)

01-16-02, 04:46 pm
Hi everyone. :)

I recently started using towels (since we built the new cage) and it is working out great! I have a 2x5 grid cage. I use one huge bath towel (pretty cheap at places like Wal-Mart) to cover the whole floor except a 1x2 grid space at one end. Actually the towel is bigger than that so I fold it on the sides and on one end to fit. In the end where the towel doesn't cover, I have bedding. (Usually Carefresh, but right now it's aspen because I'm still waiting for the pet store to get in their next shipment of CF!) This is where I put the hay rack. I've managed to get Piglet to go mostly in the bedding area. The occasional poops on the towel, but I just flick them back into the bedding area with the cleaning scoop. I only have to change the towel about once a week, sometimes two. We only need two towels (one to use while the other one is in the wash).

Since we're saving so much on bedding, we can afford to use Carefresh whereas we couldn't before. Aspen really doesn't work with this idea because it gets stuck all over the towel and is impossible to get off! What a mess. Also, like your father, I am terribly allergic to aspen! With Carefresh it's much neater. Although my mom complains about the smell of it, (you know, that sort of cardboard-y smell) at least no one is allergic to it. If your pigs *must* go to the bathroom in their houses (like Piglet! :lol: ) you can make little coroplast trays to go in them with a small amount of litter. Still takes a lot less than filling the whole cage! Right now I've got Piglet's house sitting in the litter area, but I'm going to make the boxes to put in the houses so I can put them out in the middle of the cage. The only unfortunate part of this is no Pigloos. (There's no way to make a round litter tray, and without it the towel would be absolutely soaked in there all the time.) Anyway, I definitely recommend trying the towel thing. :) It's not the "perfect" solution (don't think we'll ever find that :evil: ) but it works better than anything else I've tried.

01-16-02, 06:40 pm
Hey, I like those ideas!! Very good. If you could get me some good clear photos, I'll add the whole concept to the bedding page.

01-18-02, 06:08 am
I have a friend who uses just towels (as mentioned above), and had been toying with the idea for awhile. I saw you post that (your "system") somewhere else, and I that actually is what made me think more seriously of going the towel route. I am planning on going shopping this weekend. :) They do go in their houses, but there is one main corner that they go in...actually two but they happen to be on the same side (lucky for me!). Really, I think it was a good idea! :)


01-21-02, 06:37 pm

Just with the towel idea...I have 3 gippigs, and they aren't toilet trained...having a bit of difficulty with that at the moment! So if i were to use towels as bedding, I would probably have to clean the towels much more than once a week probably right?

Lilz! :)

01-22-02, 07:01 am
Yes. According to my research, towels really do seem to be an every other day thing. However, it can be more cost effective. Instead of buying litter all the time, you make an initial investment of the towels. Let's say you do a load of towels a week. That is suppose to be cheaper than buying litter. It is certainly cheaper than Carefresh or any of the better beddings. Just my thoughts on the matter. :)


04-10-02, 04:59 pm
I use pine bedding and i always have 4 my gerbils its easy to clean, cheap and smells great!!!! but u do have to be careful w/ it some small animals are alergic to it and it can kill them. I know I used to breed gerbils and all but 2 out of 6 of the last litter died from it. u just have to figer out whether the piggie or other animal is allergic or not.

04-10-02, 05:10 pm
I really don't think it's a matter of allergies. It's more a matter of the phenols in the pine. If you can smell the pine, you absolutely should be adding a layer of something over the pine to reduce the phenols in the air. I now use pine but I most definitely put a layer of CareFresh over it. You could also user a layer of hay, but I don't think that is as effective or as good for the pigs and would have to replaced very frequently.

I firmly believe pine should not be the only bedding you use--and that includes kiln-dried. And my bottom line reason is not so much the questionable research, it's the quality of life. Oh sure, pine smells good to you. But have you thought about what it would be like to have your face stuck in it all day long? Sleep on a bed made out of pine, have a pillow made out of pine? Not so good.

I have two pigs on towels right now for health reasons. The towels must be changed every day. At least the ones under their hidey houses.

04-10-02, 05:39 pm
my mom said it was allergies 4 babies anyway but my gerbils luv the pine and have lived to br around 5 years old w/ the pine and thats old 4 a gerbil which should only live to about 3 or 4 years they chew their own cardboard in it though that makes it softer and easier to build w/ 4 them anywayz they build a compleat dome around them selfs.