How to Choose the Best Bedding for Your Small Pet

Mouse in a houseFinding the right bedding for your small pet is an important task. With so many available, how do you pick?

It depends on your individual pet – hamster, gerbil, mouse, rat, guinea pig, or rabbit – and what is important to you. Here are some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing bedding for your pet:

• Where does the bedding come from?
• How is the bedding made?
• Is the bedding safe for your pet?
• Is the bedding effective?
• Does your pet like the bedding?

We believe that the healthiest bedding for your small pet is the most natural bedding. So you should always consider where it comes from. It’s important to be aware that sludge-based beddings – often labeled “reclaimed pulp,” “reclaimed cellulose,” or “cellulose fiber” – are made of materials that contain harmful dioxins that aren’t safe for your pet. What else should you keep in mind when shopping for small pet bedding? Your pet’s comfort! Here are some different types of bedding you may want to consider for your little one:

1. Kiln-dried Pine: This is a great, all-purpose wood shavings bedding. It has a clean, fresh scent; great absorption; and has been the bedding choice for millions of pet owners, farms, and veterinary research facilities for decades. Also, this pet bedding is usually 100% all-natural and very affordable.

2. Red Cedar: This wood shaving has many unique, desirable characteristics. These include a strong, woodsy aroma; excellent odor control; and insect repellent properties. We recommend red cedar wood shavings bedding for larger animals in large enclosures, like dog kennels or rabbits in an outdoor hutch.

3. Aspen: This scent-free wood shaving contains no aromatic oils, and at the same time is highly absorbent. Aspen is the wood bedding of choice when there is concern that your pet may have respiratory sensitivities.

4. Paper: Paper can provide an absorbent habitat for small animals and offer color options that blend in with – or “liven up”– home décor. There are three primary categories of paper bedding for pets: sludge-free, reclaimed sludge based, and recycled paper pellets. To make sure you’re buying sludge-free pet bedding, avoid products labeled “reclaimed paper pulp” or “recycled newspaper” pellets; and avoid pet bedding that is a dull or dark gray color, as that is usually an indicator that the bedding contains sludge or inks and dyes, and therefore, dioxins.

Learn more about the best bedding options for your small pet >>
Have a question about selecting the right bedding for your pet? Just ask!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig SmileWhether you’re already a Guinea pig’s parent or thinking of becoming one, caring for your new pet is an important task. Here are some fast facts and care tips you might not know about your four legged family member:

1. Why your pet is called a pig is a mystery

We do know that some of the noises your Guinea pig makes sound like a pig, in fact, they’ll often squeak with delight when their favorite person enters the room. These little ones also love to eat, and are shaped somewhat like a pig with their big heads (in relation to the rest of their bodies) and their small tails.

2. Guinea pigs are social animals
Your little one’s home should be near household activities so your cavy can watch what’s going on and be a part of your daily life. Guinea pigs love to live with a small group of friends. We recommend that you house you Guinea pigs in pairs so they don’t become depressed. Housing males and females together, however, is NOT recommended because these small pets multiply quickly.

3. Guinea pigs are vegans
Guinea pigs eat only fruit and veggies. No meat or dairy for this small pet. They love eating hay, carrot tops, and broccoli, but you have to be careful as some types of produce are toxic to guinea pigs. Stay away from the beetroot, rhubarb leaves, and potato and its peelings, all of which could make your piggy sick. Instead, leafy greens (like romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley) and pretty much all types of fruit should make up your cavy’s diet.

4. Guinea pigs love to hide
Guinea Pigs are playful pets and one of the games they enjoy most is hiding. Be sure to give your little one plenty of places to hide in. Empty paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, plastic pipes and plastic flowerpots make great hideouts for your small pet (and your cavy will also use them as caves when its time for sleeping and resting).

5. Guinea pigs are very sensitive to temperature changes
Your cavy can easily become overheated or chilly if the temperature isn’t just right. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal but a good rule of thumb is that if you’re comfortable, your Guinea pig will be, also.

Taking your small pet somewhere? Experts recommend covering your pet carrier with a warm blanket to keep your little one comfortable if you need go outside in the cold, and pre-cooling the car before going on a trip when the weather gets hot.

Learn more about Guinea pigs and how to keep yours happy and healthy >>
Have a question about your pet Guinea pig? Just ask!

4 Reasons Pine is Your Small Pet’s Favorite Bedding

Pine Bedding Guinea PigAs pet parents, you do everything it takes to keep your small pets happy, healthy, and safe – and that includes selecting quality pet bedding for your little one. What makes guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, and other small pets so content and comfortable in our pine bedding? Here are four reasons pine is (or should be) your pet’s favorite bedding:

1.)  It’s All-Natural. All-Good.

We like to say, “All-Natural is All-Good.” Our kiln-dried pine pet bedding is the most natural bedding you can buy – there’s no processing that involves inks, dyes, bleach, or other chemicals – just clean, screened wood fiber, which makes our pine pet bedding safer than some of the competitors’ products. Also, there are no additives – with pine, odor control comes naturally.  Even better? It’s completely biodegradable.

2.) The Scent is Oh-So-Fresh!

Pine pet bedding has been proven to give you twice the odor control of other beddings. Say goodbye to stinky odors and reduce costly cleanings. Pine helps your special pet stay fresh and clean. Plus, kiln drying the shavings makes pine pet bedding safe and absorbent for our small friends.

3.) American Wood Fibers Bedding is 100% Sludge-Free.

What exactly is sludge? Well, it’s defined as a muddy or slushy mass, deposit, or sediment. It often is the production process of choice for many paper bedding products. These sludge-based beddings – often labeled “reclaimed pulp,” “reclaimed cellulose,” or “cellulose fiber” – are the result of discharge from pulp mill clarifier solids. Doesn’t sound like something you want your small pet to snuggle in, does it? Rest assured, AWF pet bedding is always sludge-free.  Learn more about sludge-based bedding here >>

4.) Our Products Are Made with Love.

We do everything it takes to ensure we’re producing the highest quality pet bedding (and other products) possible. The safety, quality, and consistency of our pet bedding products, including our pine wood shavings bedding, are of the utmost importance to us. We know you count on American Wood Fibers to keep your small pet’s home as safe and comfortable as can be, and we take that trust very seriously.

And, each day we commit to you and your pets that we’ll continue to help maintain a sustainable future for our nation’s forests. We haven’t wavered from this pledge since the doors of our family business opened in 1966.
What do you think about American Wood Fibers small pet pine bedding? We welcome your questions and opinions; please tell us in the comments!