A small animal such as a hamster or guinea pig can be a rewarding and easy-to-care-for pet. Be sure you are providing your pet with the proper supplies and necessities to live a happy, healthy life! It may seem like bedding is a no-brainer, but there are a few specifics that every small pet owner should know.
As with everything else, there is a happy medium. If you put too much bedding in your pet’s cage, a lot may find its way out and onto your floor as your pet kicks and digs. Too little, and the cage will get dirtier and smellier a lot faster. A good 2 inches of bedding is usually enough to give your pet the amount it needs to be able to dig and create a burrow if it wants to, as well as properly absorb droppings.
This is very important to your small animal. Certain bedding choices may be harmful to your pet. Cedar chips contain aromatic oils and can cause respiratory illnesses. Corncob bedding is also not suitable. The tiny pieces can be ingested and may cause an obstruction in your pet’s digestive tract.
Choices for Certain Animals
The most popular types of bedding to use for small animals are pine, aspen, and Carefresh. Pine bedding does have very slight aromatic oils which may cause respiratory problems for particularly sensitive animals. Aspen bedding does not have any aromatic oils, so it should be fine for all small pets.
Carefresh bedding is the best type of bedding for both you and your animal. It contains no aromatic oils because it is made from reclaimed pulp paper. It is also hypo-allergenic and very low on dust so it isn’t as messy as wood shaving bedding, and it certainly shouldn’t cause allergies (in you or your pet) to act up. Out of all bedding types, Carefresh is also the most absorbent.
Rabbit cages often have a tray underneath their cage floor that catches their droppings. You can use other types of litter for that tray. Pelleted litters like Feline Pine or Yesterday’s News are perfect for that area of your rabbit’s cage. Do not use regular clay cat litter! If your rabbit somehow happened to ingest it, clay litter may block their digestive tract.
So Many Choices!
Hairless rats are particularly sensitive to bedding choices. We recommend you choose Carefresh, which should not cause any problems or reactions.
Bedding should be a simple choice. Don’t be discouraged by the many different types and brands. If you choose a wood shaving, remember, there isn’t going to be that much of a difference between brands. You can try a few different types before you decide on one- your pet won’t mind. Pay special attention to the health of your pet if you switch beddings. If you happen to notice any sneezing, etc, try a different kind of bedding.