The GuineaDad instructions are that the product was created to be washed in cold water and air dry or low heat. Prior to my purchases, I had researched fleece on the internet and generally found the consensus to wash in cold or lukewarm (to avoid pilling) and air dry (to prevent shrinkage and damage to the fabric). Except for the pads my sister sewed, I purchased the fleece accessories (tunnels, cozies, and cuddle cups) from Etsy and most of the seller instructions also state to wash in cold/luke warm and air dry or low heat. I air dry all my fleece items 3-4 days, as I live in San Francisco, a cool weather area. That is why I bought so many liners, in case I get lazy and don't want to do laundry for awhile. I recently started using small potty pads in another high traffic corner.
rjespicer, you might want to try potty pads for high traffic areas of the piggy habitat. It should help keep their space cleaner longer and being smaller, is much easier to wash and dry.
We had been spot cleaning 3-4 times a day and switching out the Guinedads for clean ones every 2-3 days and it was still an issue. We usually do a pre-soak wash with detergent and then a Rinse and Spin with no detergent. If they get too smelly or washing doesn't get rid of all the smell then we soak the for a couple of hours with some white vinegar but doing that every 2-3 days can be time consuming especially at the moment when we are having to medicate and hand feed a sick piggy. May see if adding the vinegar to the rinse cycle is a workable option.
We are in SF too but dont really have the facility to air dry so have been using the cool dryer cycle. I will see if there is some way we can do this but we only have a small deck which doesn't get much sun but does get a lot of wind funneled through it, there just isn't much space to set up a drying line though.
Our other concern about drying outside is that where we are there are a lot of rats and raccoons in our area and we dont want to end up getting any contamination from them onto the bedding. It also gets pretty foggy and damp in the evening.
Will see about getting some more potty pads for other areas.
I cant state categorically that that there is a correlation but all 3 of our girls started having issues when they began sleeping and spending more time in the Guineadad pockets. We reviewed all teh changes that had been made at different times and that was what coincided with them having breathing issues.
Now we have stopped them using the pockets the one that was having serious breathing issues suddenly perked up and is almost back to her old self although she is still on meds and needs hand feeding 3 times a day.
Bay Area Bird Hospital on Taraval Street is also the vet we use. The VCA hospital on South Van Ness is also very good for guinea pig care; hopefully your piggies will not have to visit the vet again soon.
Yes I have done and am doing a lot of research, I have to. My wife got the Guinea Pigs without consulting me first and has a very laid back approach to their care.
If I had my way we would not have any pets as I know how much work they are (and Guinea Pigs need even more care than most) and I know that I get way to attached to them and it hurts to lose them. We have already spent thousands on vet bills not to mention what we have spent on cages, bedding, food, hay etc.and she only got them in March/April. She just didn't seem to appreciate what she was taking on, or more correctly what she was expecting me to take on. She is prone to impulse purchases.
I am trying to see if I can come up with a more efficient way of cleaning the liners as most of my day outside of work is currently taken up with piggy care, they dont seem to be getting a smelly now we dont use the pockets so I may be able to start adding the vinegar to the wash cycle rather than having to soak them.
The daughter helps with feeding and cleaning during the day during the week which is a big relief. The wife keeps saying she will help but rarely does and if she does she is apt to do things "Her Way" rather than the way that is best for the piggies. It can be very frustrating.
The more info I can glean from others to help save time and keep the girls happy and healthy the better.
- And got the T-shirt
Two sacks of pellets, about $15 total, lasted me almost 10 months without having to be changed. I was going for a year, but recently had to move the cage, and it was far too heavy to move with the pellets in it.
I use a thin piece of fleece over the pellets, held down by bricks, but you can find other methods of holding it in place if you have burrowing pigs. The fleece can be taken out and shaken and put back in if not too dirty, or you can replace it with clean fleece. The pellets need to be stirred every six weeks or so.
Before washing, I shake the fleece out, then put it in laundry bags. You could brush it first, but I'm too lazy. I let it pile up in the garage until I'm ready to wash, then do all the fleece laundry in the same day. I have to wipe down the inside of the washer afterward, and also the dryer, but I haven't had any problems with filters clogging. And since I've got enough fleece to only have to wash about every six weeks, it isn't much of a chore.
What fleece do you use and where do you get it from?
I assume you mean just regular fleece blankets not the ones with UHaul liners sewed in to them?
Are all fleece blankets OK or do they need to be a particular type?
Roughly how frequently do you have to change the fleeces?
How many fleeces do you have to keep you going that long and what size are they (and your cage)?
I am busy trying to find a supplier near us (Nor Cal) but not having much luck
- And got the T-shirt
The cheap fleece blankets that you can get from places like Target and Walmart work just fine, and I've also had good luck with fleece from places like JoAnne's.
There's a fleece thread over at GPC started by Windespirit, and in it she says which fleece is the one that's no good. All the rest are OK.
I have never been able to find the cheap fleece blankets that everyone else seems to find at Target and Walmart (we only have a few Walmarts in the entire SF Bay Area). I've looked online at both sites also but no luck. Your best bet likely will be Joann's. They currently have fleece on sale, especially if you don't mind solid colors. There should be a larger sale after Thanksgiving. You will also want to read up on preparing the fleece so that it wicks properly. There are threads on this forum and I've also watched several videos on You Tube.
If the fleece and pellets system works for you and you don't need the GuineaDad liners, since we are in the same city, perhaps we can work something out. I know you've spent a lot of money for medical care and buying supplies. Would hate for the liners to not be used and your spending more to buy fleece.
I am looking in to the Pellets but cant seem to find a local supplier of the ones bpatters uses, the nearest place is 40 miles away and doesn't deliver. We would also have issues disposing of them once used due to a peculiarity of not having anywhere to store garbage bins for the property where the piggys are so having to share with a local business half a block up (long story). We are on the second floor to.
I may look at using fleece over the Guineadads as that may help with the cleaning but will have to see if that would really help at all or just make more work. The potty pads we have under the fleece forest seem to help as well but It looks like I am going to need more.
Thanks for the offer on the Guinedads, they seem to be working for now, without the pockets (we just folded them back on themselves), and they dont seem to get as messed up and smelly but if we decide to change them for something else I will let you know. We have 4 of the 2x3 C&C liners, plus a Midwest sized one that we got when we upgraded from the tiny Kaytee cage they sold to the wife and then realized that wasn't big enough either. We also have a 2x1 and 2x2 without pockets that we use as lap pads or for their favorite snooze spots when they are out for floor time so we dont get pee on the floor. I will keep you posted.
I just need to find a simple, efficient, hygienic solution that works with the odd challenges we have with our apartment and that the wife and daughter can assist with so I can take a break sometime.
After mulling over your piggies' health issues, I might also flip the pocket over on my liners. I do really like the liners and in the future, if I need to replenish I think I will go with the pocket-less version.