cedar bedding

Can You Use Cedar Bedding for Guinea Pigs? 3 Risks To Know

Curious about using cedar bedding for your guinea pigs? Think twice!

Cedar seems to be a harmless, readily available, and wallet-friendly option -- but as a long-time guinea parent -- I've seen the dangers of these oils on my guinea's health (So, DON'T BE FOOLED!)...

In this article, I'll share 3 critical reasons why cedar bedding is a no-go for your guinea pigs, guiding you through some cozy, safe options that work - every time.

Ready to discover the best for your pet? Let's dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Cedar Bedding is a Health Hazard: Cedar contains harmful aromatic oils that pose serious health risks to guinea pigs, affecting their liver and respiratory systems.
  • Safer Alternatives Available: There are better and safer bedding options like LUFTPETS fleece, paper bedding, aspen shavings, and pine pellet bedding that provide comfort without the health risks associated with cedar.
  • Eco-Friendly and Pet-Safe Choices: Eco-friendly bedding options not only ensure the well-being of your guinea pigs but also contribute to environmental sustainability.

    Pro Tip: Get your super snazzy LUFTPETS fleece bedding option ASAP! 

    Can You Use Cedar Bedding for Guinea Pigs?

    No, do not use cedar bedding for guinea pigs. Apart from its unpleasant smell, cedar contains oils that can cause respiratory problems in guinea pigs. This is especially true if they are housed in an area with poor ventilation. 

    Let's break it down...

    #1 Cedar's Aromatic Oil

    The taboo around aromatic oils in cedar is real - and for good reason.

    In fact, these aromatic oils in cedar are known as phenols. While effective at repelling insects, these oils are harmful to the liver of small animals.

    Various studies show how plicatic acid, a component of these oils, causes damage over time by altering the biological functions of the liver [1].

    And this means that cedar components are heavily toxic to the pulmonary epithelium -- so leave that cedar alone!

    #2 Phenols and Their Risks

    Those same phenols that give cedar its inviting scent? They're actually troublemakers for the respiratory system.

    Clearly, the very acids that make cedar smell good are harsh on the delicate tissues of the lungs and trachea.

    It turns out the folks working around cedar and pine in sawmills face a higher asthma risk compared to others in dusty jobs. Yes, that's a real eye-opener about cedar's risks.

    And for your tiny guinea pig pals? Their situation is even more unstable...

    Their little noses and lungs are super sensitive. So, imagine what regular breathing in of those cedar irritants does to them. (Yup, it sets them up for all sorts of respiratory issues - even pneumonia!)

    It's a clear sign we need to think twice about what we use in their space.

    #3 Respiratory Risks

    Studies warn that people working in cedar-rich environments, like sawmills, face a higher likelihood of developing respiratory issues compared to other dusty workplaces [2].

    This means our pets are in danger, too!

    And with their respiratory systems far more delicate than humans, your furry friends should - at all costs - stay away.

    Worse yet, continual exposure can lead to a range of respiratory problems (even as severe as pneumonia.)

    So, what does this mean for you as a pet owner? Well, despite its availability and aroma, cedar is a risk we shouldn't take with our guinea pigs' health.

    This advice, backed by scientific evidence and expert opinions, points us towards safer bedding alternatives to ensure a healthier environment for our beloved pets.

    Let's make informed choices to keep them happy and healthy.

    Now, let's explore the 5 bedding alternatives to cedar...

    5 Comfortable and Safe Bedding Alternatives for Guinea Pigs

    Now that you know cedar is a no-go for your guinea pigs, there's still plenty of hope!

    Here are some fantastic bedding options that promise comfort, safety, and eco-friendliness for your little companions...

    1. LUFTPETS Fleece Bedding: The Ultimate Choice

    At the top of the list is LUFTPETS fleece bedding. This plush, absorbent bedding is not just about comfort; it's about creating a cozy, stylish, and practical space for your guinea pigs.

    Ideal for those looking for an easy-to-clean, long-lasting type of bedding, LUFTPETS fleece provides outstanding comfort. 

    It's the perfect blend of functionality and luxury, guaranteeing your guinea pigs stay happy and cozy in their little haven.

    When you pick any of these bedding options, you're ensuring your guinea pigs have a safe, comfortable, and healthy living environment.

    Each type offers its own unique benefits, catering to different needs and preferences, but all are united in their commitment to your pet's well-being.

     But how is fleece made? Check out this demo from FitDesignStudio:

    2. Paper Bedding: A Dust-Free Haven

    Paper bedding is a fantastic choice for guinea pigs. It's virtually dust-free, making it super gentle on their tiny respiratory systems. And here's the best part: no harmful aromatic oils!

    This bedding is made from high-quality, unbleached paper, not questionable sludge from reclaimed paper or toxic residue-laden recycled paper.

    Plus, its white color makes spot cleaning a breeze, helping you keep your guinea pig's home fresh and tidy.

    3. Aspen Shaving Bedding: Eco-Friendly Comfort

    Aspen shavings are an eco-conscious bedding choice.

    Made from kiln-dried wood shavings, aspen is free from the dangerous fibers often found in reclaimed paper products.

    It’s also biodegradable, making it a win for the environment. Plus, aspen is recyclable and compostable, aligning perfectly with a sustainable pet care routine.

    Its natural properties ensure a safe, toxin-free environment for your guinea pigs.

    4. Kiln-dried Pine Bedding: The Safe Pine Alternative

    Pine bedding often raises eyebrows due to its phenol content.

    However, kiln-dried pine is a game-changer. This process safely eliminates the harmful phenols, making pine pellets an excellent choice for guinea pig bedding.

    Better yet, kiln-dried pine bedding is soft and absorbent, perfect for guinea pigs - It’s also hypoallergenic and dust-free – great for those who suffer from allergies.

    And best of all, it provides a healthy alternative to cedar bedding, which can pose several alarming risks.

    5. Pine Pellet Bedding

    Pine pellet bedding is not just safe but also highly absorbent and dense, ensuring a dry and comfortable habitat for your pets.

    It's free from the toxins associated with wood stove pellets, making it a superior option over cedar.

    It's also great because there's a lower risk of Irritation. Cedar bedding can irritate your guinea pig's skin and eyes, making them uncomfortable and scratchy and affecting their breathing.

    In fact, pine pellets are much gentler on the skin, so they won't cause any irritation or discomfort.

    Got any questions? Let's flick through some of them...


    1. Can cedar bedding cause health issues in guinea pigs?

    Yes, cedar bedding can cause serious health issues in guinea pigs, including respiratory problems. Its aromatic oils and phenols are harmful to their delicate respiratory systems.

    2. How often should guinea pig bedding be changed?

    Bedding in a guinea pig cage should be changed weekly or more frequently if it becomes soiled. Regular spot cleaning is also recommended to maintain hygiene and control odors.

    3. Are fleece liners a good choice for guinea pig cages?

    Absolutely! Fleece liners are an excellent choice for guinea pig cages. They are soft comfortable, and provide an absorbent layer that keeps the cage dry.

    Plus, they are reusable and can be easily cleaned in a washing machine.


    So, can you use cedar bedding for guinea pigs? Rather not!

    But here's the good news: plenty of other bedding types are far safer and more comfortable for your furry friends.

    Topping the list is LUFTPETS fleece bedding, the ultimate in guinea pig comfort. It’s like giving your pet a fluffy cloud in their cage, making it the perfect bedding choice for pet owners who prioritize their guinea pigs' well-being.

    But the options don't end there. You've also explored the diverse world of bedding materials, from absorbent bedding like paper and aspen shavings to kiln-dried pine pellets.

    So, embrace these options for guinea pigs, and watch as your furry friend enjoys their snug, safe, and clean new home.

    Lastly, don’t forget to share your experience and see how much your guinea pigs adore their new bedding setup!


    1. Fukushima W, Honda A, Murayama R, Matsuda Y, Tsuji K, Hayashi T, et al. Effects of cedar pollen extract on the immune system in vitro. Allergologia et Immunopathologia [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2023 Nov 30];43:222–4. Available from: https://www.elsevier.es/en-revista-allergologia-et-immunopathologia-105-articulo-effects-cedar-pollen-extract-on-S0301054614000573

    2. Ayars GH, Altman LC, Frazier CE, Chi EY. The toxicity of constituents of cedar and pine woods to pulmonary epithelium. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology [Internet]. 1989 [cited 2021 Mar 29];83:610–8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2926083/#:~:text=Abstract


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