How to Clean a Guinea Pig's Cage (the Fast and Easy Way)
The Guinea Pigs' Home
Maintaining Sanitary Conditions
Once you set up a guinea pig cage (or build one yourself), you will need to clean it every day to prevent bacteria buildup from their feces or urine, which can ultimately lead to infection. Here, I would like to show you how easily and quickly you can get it done.
To make it simple for everyone to understand my instructions, I will divide the cage into three parts:
- The upper level, or what I also call the guinea pigs' chilling room
- The lower level, which acts as their playground
- The dining room/bathroom
There are actually two ways to clean the cage:
- Every day, I clean it just by changing the wood-chip bedding.
- Twice a week, I change the wood-chip bedding as well as the towel I provide for their playground.
This Is How My Guinea Pigs' Cage Looks After a Day Without Cleaning
Potty Training Provides a Huge Benefit
See? It is really not bad if the guinea pigs are potty trained.
All the little black dots in the picture are their poop, and the urine was pretty full as well on this day when I had changed their litter box. I had missed a day of cleaning because of work and errands, and when I got home I was too tired to do any more work.
From the picture above, you can see that they kept their little carpet area clean and did most of their business inside the tray.
How to Clean the Cage
1. Relocate the guinea pigs. Before starting the cleaning procedure, I take both of my guinea pigs from the cage and put them in a bucket. It can be any bucket or their traveling cage, as long as they can be comfortable while waiting for you to finish cleaning up their home. However, I don't always have to move them, because they run up to the top level when I decide to clean, which makes my life even easier. I think they realize I'm about to clean and prefer the top level rather than the bucket or travel cage.
2. Remove and wipe down cage items. Next, I take their toys, food bowl, water bottle, and pigloo out of the cage, then wipe them down with my 50/50 water-and-vinegar solution. Then, to take out the vinegar smell, I spray a very little amount of rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Some of the toys I don't always use.
3. Clean the towel. The next thing I do is take my lint roller and roll it on the towel. Twice a week, when I change the towel, I will skip this step and instead take the towel out of the cage, dust it off outside, and put it in the laundry machine.
Their towel is usually clean, but over time, it will start to have an odor no matter how clean it is because their little paws track in urine. But to make sure any hair on the towel does not cause any problems, it is best to dust it off or vacuum it before it goes into the washing machine.
4. Dump out the bedding. The fourth thing I do is take out the coroplast and litter box I provided my piggies for their bathroom/dining room and dump all the wood-chip bedding in a big trash bin. Dumping it into a big trash bin rather than a small one lessens the likelihood of spilling any of the chips, but if there are spills, I just take the broom and dustpan and clean them.
5. Clean the coroplast. After dumping everything out from the coroplast, I spray with my solution again and then wipe it off. And just like how I clean the toys and everything else, I spray a little rubbing alcohol, then let it dry. It’s pretty much the same process, except I need to be thorough with the coroplast because this is where my piggies stay and eat most of the time.
6. Cover the coroplast and add fresh bedding. For the next step, I cover the coroplast with old newspaper for more absorption, top it off with wood-chip bedding, and return it to the cage.
7. Refill the food and water. After that, I refill the food bowl with the guinea pigs' pellets and change the water in their bottles in order to keep it fresh at all times.
8. Return everything to the cage. Lastly, I put their toys, food bowl, and water bottle back to their cage. And that’s about it; I return my piggies to their cage, and all is well.
And We're Done!
All of this will take about ten minutes. The process is fairly quick and painless, providing that they are potty trained to use a litter box.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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© 2012 Dave Rogers