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Newspaper and Aspen???


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Jun 4, 2005
Hello all! Recently adopted a male Guinea Pig from an area shelter (6/1). Built my first C&C cage on Friday (minor errors, but looks good), and have filled it with recommended things from this site. My son named the Guinea Pig Rocky.

Lined the bottom of the cage with newspaper and put a 1500 cu in cube of Aspen pine in the cage. It does not cover the whole thing.

Have read about various kinds of bedding and bedding combinations, with good and bad things listed, but was wondering if newspaper only would work.

Know the babies need hay to eat (which I put in a rubbermaid spice rack in one corner), and have seen that some people have the Aspen in a pan/container of some sort in the cage, but don't know if they MUST have Aspen.

Basically, want to know if newspaper only would work, or newspaper/container of Aspen would be better.

Newspaper alone is not absorbant. How big is your cage? If you can find a feed/tack store near you, you'd want to buy some kiln dried pine. You'll get a large bag that will last. I have a 2x5 and a 2x6 cage and it lasts just about a month. I spot clean and replenish daily. It will cost about $3-5 bag.
Have been looking around for horse bedding, kiln dried pine, but have not found any around here. My C&C cage is 2 x 4. Made it big enough for 2, as I am looking for a friend for Rocky. What is the name of your store? We have Tractor Supply stores down here, but they only have the small bags like the ones I found at Walmart for $2.50. Have not figured out which spot he likes to go to yet, but I haven't had him long.

Would newspaper/aspen tray be a better combination?
I use woody pet below my kiln dried pine. I get the woody pet at Tractor Supply. It works well for me. I use the kiln dried pine because the smell of the Aspen bothers me. The pine is also cheaper. I can get three very large bags for $9.99. I make sure the pine airs out before my pigs go back into their cage after changing. They haven't had any troubles with it. If they ever seem to I will switch to towels and fleece.

I also would like to mention something about your comment when you said you know the babies need to eat hay. I just wanted to clairify and say that your guinea pig will always need hay.
Newspaper alone is not okay bedding. Try fleece and towels (might smell badly) or CareFresh (expensive). I personally recommend kiln-dried pine. Look on Yahoo Yellow Pages and search "feed store".
Oh, I call all my pets babies. My canine friends are 5-6 years old and I still call them puppies/babies. Will try to find a feed store. Have called several that have small bags, like those at Walmart. Would love to buy in bulk (larger bags). Found several places on the internet, but none close by.

Thanks for all the help.
I use aspen over alot of newspapers. I have a 2x4 that I have been changing every 2 weeks. Also have 2 piggies. I have let the 2 weeks pass this time and going for 3 weeks since they pee mainly in 2 spots. Why waste all that aspen when its still good.
We have the tractors supply company (TSC) stores here in PA as well and just last week I got a huge bag of kiln dried pine for under $5. They also carry the huge bags of aspen for about $9. I cleaned my girls cage tonight (also a 2 x 4) and judging by what I used tonight, I will have enough for about 5 or 6 cleanings. We also have a locally owned farm store that sells kiln dried pine for about $9 for a huge bag. I would keep looking around for farm supply stores. One of them is bound to have it. Good luck.
Is there a difference between pine and pine shavings? Wells Brothers has a 5 sq foot of kiln dried pine for horses for $5.00.
There are two types of Pine, Kiln-dried pine (safe, my personal favorite) and regular pine, which is not safe to use. If it is kiln-dried it will say so. Kaytee is not kiln-dried I don't believe.
If it says kiln dried pine then it is fine. And as slap said, it will say on the bag if it is kiln dried. If it doesn't say and you are in doubt, keep looking. Regular pine caused respiratory problems.
You'll also be able to tell if it's kiln-dried or not from the minute you open the bag. Regular pine smells REALLY strong and woody (kind of like a Christmas tree, I think) whereas kiln-dried pine feels dry and doesn't smell very much at all.
Ok, now I am really confused. The lady at the GP Rescue told me not to use pine, not even kiln dried pine, and directed me to the following article linked off of her website.
(broken link removed)

She says the only acceptable thing to use is Aspen and Carefresh. Don't want to be a cheap GP Mom (and the Kiln dried pine I found is affordable), don't want to hurt them (not a savings if you are spending money on vet bills), but What is the right thing to do?
There is nothing on that website about KD pine. KD pine is perfectly safe to use.

Here we are dedicated to the well being of our guinea pigs. We don't let things like that go unseen.
Thank you Slap Mazwell. Just want to be sure I am doing the right thing. Would hate to be a stupid pet owner.
there's big bags of bedding at walmart. of kd pine i think, its just stored up on the top shelves of the pet section. at least here it is.
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