hedgehog bedding guide
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Hedgehog Bedding Guide

There are many types of bedding out there for hedgehogs. Some are designed for small animals and are not made for hedgehogs. Other hedgehog beddings have a much easier cleanup. Bedding can be safe and unsafe for your little hedgehog. There are certain beddings that are perfect and others that should be avoided at all costs! This is why our hedgehog bedding guide is the key to providing a safe environment.

Common Issues With Bedding

  • Mites/ bacteria
  • Pet or human allergy
  • Splinter risk
  • Digestion risk (hedgehogs like to taste)
  • Toxibility
  • Mold risk
  • Color (can hide important health signs)
  • Smell
  • Absorbancy 
  • Sticks to hog (causing concerns)
  • Required cleaning frequency

Important Bedding Factors

Safety: 

Is the product safe and recommended?

Accessibility: 

Is this product easy to get where you live?

Toxicity: 

Is it toxic, could it turn toxic, were toxic chemicals added?

Appearance: 

Does it look dirty, look clean, or is it dark and hides the poop color? The color of poop shows your pet’s health.

Cleaning frequency: 

How often do you have to clean it? Some are twice a day, others can last longer. 

Costs: 

Is it in your budget?

Materials: 

What is it made of? Wood materials are not the most recommended.

Scent: 

Does it have a scent? Scents are bad for hedgie’s sensitive nose.

Excessive Dust: 

Does it have dust? Dust is bad for the eyes and lungs.

Fluffy Ability: 

Is it fluffy and soft? It could stick to them, causing problems and discomfort. It should be soft on the feet.

Added chemicals: 

Does it contain added chemicals? Are they harmful or protective?

Allergies: 

Are you allergic to it or is your hog? Test the product before using it.

Taste-testing: 

Will it be okay if your pet eats it? Hedgehogs often taste test their bedding.

Burrow ability: 

Can they borrow? Will it get ruined if they try? They like to borrow and keep warm.

Particle size: 

Is it too small or too big? Can it be inhaled or cut feet? If it is sharp or too small it can be damaging to health.

Cleanliness: 

Is it clean and can it be easily kept clean? Dirt could contain parasites and certain materials are hard to keep clean.

Heat cured/treated: 

Is it heat-treated or cured? It needs to be in order to be healthy for your pet.

Potentially Unsafe/Not Recommended

Certain beddings are unsafe. This can be due to chemicals, excessive dust, or simply an unsafe material. They can cause discomfort, physical ailments, and in some cases death. Check out our cons article for a longer explanation and more information.

Cedar Shavings

  • NEVER use cedar shavings! It could create respiratory illnesses, liver problems, and some types of cancer (from what is inside the shavings).

Pine Shavings

  • They are least recommended by veterinarians. The effects are the same as cedar.

 Sawdust

  • Sawdust will cause respiratory illnesses and other problems from the tiny particles and dust.

Hay/Grass/Straw

  • They get cold, moldy, and could splinter.

Garden Soil/Leaves

  • Mites, bacteria, and parasites can be in it.

Gravel

  • Wears down on sensitive feet pads causing pain and injury.

Puppy Pads

  • They will eat the puppy pads, tear them, and borrow in them. Then the hedgehog will develop intestine issues.

Paper Beddings

  • Paper can expand in the stomach and can be dusty. This causes health issues.

Corncob Bedding

  • Corncob can stick to genitals causing health issues, has mold risks, and turns too cold.

Astroturf

  • Astroturf is rough on feet, cold, and has bad absorption.

Safe and Recommended

A good rule of thumb is to make sure the product is Dustfree, Aroma free, natural, and heat treated. There are a few options that highlight this. If you would like a pros and cons of each choice plus bonus suggestions check out our expanded recommended article.

Fleece

  • Fleece is absorbent and customizable. 

Aspen Pellets

  • Safer than other types of wood products.

Pelleted straw

  • Safest to ingest.

Certain fabrics/Vellux blankets

  • Similar to fleece. When washing, don’t use fragrant cleaners.

How often should you clean the bedding?

Cleaning the cage and the bedding are two different things. For cleaning bedding, it depends on what type of bedding you use. Some beddings can get away with a week or maybe more while others can only last a day. It is important to look up your type of bedding. Although, you will figure it out eventually just based on the smell. A good rule of thumb is to clean the bedding twice a week and spot clean daily. To spot clean use pooper scoopers to remove poop and wipe up any messes.

Overall, if you keep your cage regularly cleaned many issues could be avoided. But not all brands or products are equal in bedding. So pay close attention to what you are buying and what’s in your product. If your hedgie reacts badly toward one product, try another.

Tell us in the comments what your favorite bedding is! 

hedgehog bedding guide

1 Comment

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