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UNSAFE BEDDING OPTIONS Whichever bedding material you choose you must ensure that is it safe for your cavy. Shavings which are treated with oils or chemicals can be inhaled by your cavy causing respiratory illness and distress. The most common oils that are harmful to you guinea pig are plicatic acid found in cedar related bedding's and abietic acid most commonly associated with pine. They have also been know to cause liver disease in rabbits and mice. Any wood related bedding must not be treated with any chemicals. Bedding should: Absorb urine effectively Be soft and pliable Bedding should not: Be treated with aromatic oils/ chemicals Be dusty Be un absorbent Have the ability to be inhaled or eaten You must also ensure that any environment in which your cavy is housed is well ventilated and provides ample space for exploration and expression. Aquariums, tubs, or any housing which is closed will enable ammonia build up from urine. This can cause respiratory illnesses, bacteria and mould. It is extremely unhealthy for any animal to be housed in such conditions. The following is a comprehensive guide to a list of bedding's that are unsuitable for guinea pigs. Cedar Bedding Cedar shavings/products are treated with chemicals the most common being plicatic acid. These aromatic oils can cause respiratory illness and in some cases liver disease. Pine  Similar problems to cedar bedding. Pine is most commonly treated with abietic acid. These aromatic oils can cause respiratory illness and in some cases liver disease. Pine bedding must not smell, or have an extremely weak smell. This indicates the minimum amount of these oils present, deeming it suitable for guinea pigs. Kiln dried pine shavings contain less amounts of these chemicals than conventional shavings. Sawdust Can cause severe respiratory illness and distress. The dust particles can be easily inhaled through both the nose and mouth blocking the air way, and staying in the lungs for extended periods of time. It can also contribute to allergies in both humans and animals. Straw  Straw bedding is very un absorbent harbouring the risk of ammonia build up which can cause respiratory illnesses. It is also very sharp, this can lead to eye injuries, many eye infections and the loss of an eye resulted from guinea pigs being bedded down on straw. It also has a tendency to mould if left for extended periods of time and does not deter bacteria growth. Newspaper Should always be used in conjunction with another bedding material and not alone. Whilst safer than the above bedding's it does not absorb urine well and this can run the risk of ammonia, and bacteria build up. Cavies housed on wet/damp bedding are also prone to UTI (Urinary Tract Infections). It also does not control odours. It can be used as a temporary bedding solution for a few hours but is not recommended as an extended or a permanent bedding solution. It must be used in conjunction with another bedding material such as shavings or polar fleece. Breeders Choice Recycled Paper Kitty Litter Whilst deemed a suitable bedding for under hay racks or as an environmentally, natural way to absorb excess water under water bottles - the hard pellets can cause issues especially in relation to bumble foot. The hard pellets underfoot over time may cause issues with your guinea pigs soft foot pads. Please ensure you do not use this bedding as an all over cage solution. Fleece is a much better alternative. See Fleece for more details. 
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