Hamsters are adorable, easy pets. They have few care requirements and don’t take up much space. Regardless of what type of cage you decide to put your small pet in, be it wire, aquarium, or a bin cage; your hamster will need substrate in the cage it can use for burrowing and the bathroom. There are various types of bedding you can use with your small pet and some options are better than the others. In this article we will go over some popular different types of bedding that will keep your hamster happy and healthy.
Paper Based Bedding
The first type of bedding to consider is paper-based bedding. Unlike with a dog, you can’t just use old newspaper. This bedding is what your hamster is going to spend the majority of their lives in. When it comes to paper beddings, you can use traditional bedding, bedding made from recycled paper, or even hemp bedding. I am partial to hemp bedding as hemp is more absorbent than traditional paper and it’s a regenerative crop too. Another bonus to paper bedding is it’s readily accessible and comes in a variety of colors. Though colored bedding is fine, make sure to stay away from scented bedding. The fabricated scents are likely to bother your small pet.
Another popular choice for hamster bedding is wood-based bedding. When it comes to the varieties of wood you can use for your small pet, truthfully only Aspen is safe. Aspen is non-toxic and great at absorbing excrement and odors. It will keep your small pet’s cage dry and provide them with a more natural alternative. Additionally, it’s biodegradable, when your hamster’s done with it you can use it to compost or naturally dispose of it.
Bedding to Stay Away From
The type of bedding you need to stay away from is actually a different type of wood bedding. Specifically, cedar and pine bedding are toxic for your pet. Moreover, pine and cedar have a strong smell that will be sickening for any type of small pet, from gerbils to rabbits. Pine and Cedar will cause life ending respiratory issues for your small pet if used over a prolonged period of time. When it comes to wood bedding, a good rule of thumb is to avoid everything other than aspen.
What I Use
I usually use Carefresh bedding for my two hamster cages. It’s readily accessible, affordable, and lasts 7-10 days before I need to change it out. I stick with the natural bedding as I prefer to avoid the dyed or bleached colors. But, what I really love using is the All Walks Hemp Small Animal Bedding, it’s the best of the best when it comes to cage substrate. It’s a bit harder to find since it’s a premium product, but I use it whenever I can get my hands on it. We actually sell it on our website, I highly recommend it.
In short, paper, hemp, and wood all make great choices for small pet bedding. As long as you give your pet an ample amount to burrow with, at least two-three inches deep, and you clean their cage regularly, they will live a long joyous life. If you opt for wood bedding, just make sure to use aspen and avoid using pine or cedar.