With so many different pet bedding products available to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy for your hamster or guinea pig. Should you use wood or recycled paper, shavings or litter, plain or colored, etc? Which one absorbs best? Which one smells best? Which one controls odors best? Which one is safest for your pet? Which one is the most economical? After doing some research and trying a couple different beddings, I have a few tips that may help you decide which one to buy for your little pet.
Aromatic Oils are Unsafe for Hamsters and Guinea Pigs
Both cedar and pine bedding smell very good, but they are not safe to use for hamsters or guinea pigs. They contain aromatic oils that irritate the eyes, nose, lungs, and throat of both animals. Hamsters are extremely sensitive to these aromatic oils and continual contact with them can cause cracked, dry skin, hair loss, infections and even death. Aspen is a wood bedding that does not have aromatic oils and is therefore safe to use for hamsters and guinea pigs.
Paper Litter or Bedding
Going green and using recycled products is very popular and can be a good thing. But I have to be honest and say that I really do not like the recycled paper bedding products that are available. I bought one bag of it and hated the stuff. We had been using aspen bedding, but I decided to try the recycled paper bedding to see how it worked. It was terrible. For one, it is much more expensive than aspen bedding. It also does not absorb well nor does it control pet odors. Since the recycled paper bedding doesn’t control odors, we ended up needing to clean the cages much more frequently than we did with the aspen bedding. This made us go through the recycled paper bedding extremely fast, making it even more expensive to use. Also, no matter how often the guinea pig cage was cleaned, you could always smell nasty guinea pig bathroom odors. I will never buy a recycled paper bedding product again.
I Think Aspen Bedding is the Best
I think aspen bedding is the best bedding for hamsters and guinea pigs. As I stated earlier, aspen bedding does not contain aromatic oils, so it is safe to use for both hamsters and guinea pigs. Aspen bedding absorbs well and does a great job controlling pet odors, even for guinea pigs. Since aspen bedding absorbs well and controls pet odors, we do not have to clean the cages constantly. A complete cleaning once a week works well for the guinea pigs and spot cleaning once a week with a complete cleaning every couple of weeks works great for the hamster. Our hamster does have a really big cage though, so you may have to thoroughly clean your cage more often depending on the size. Aspen bedding is also fairly inexpensive, costing much less than the recycled paper bedding and lasting much longer. An added bonus is that the bigger the bag you buy, the cheaper it is per cubic inch.
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