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!

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