What is the best bedding for hedgehogs

Pet hedgehogs are prickly little mammals that spend most of their time inside their cage. As such, you need to provide them with a comfortable living space. Which is why you need to find the best bedding for your pet hedgehog.

Generally, the best bedding for hedgehogs is one that is safe, easy to clean and maintain and one that has good odor control. Additionally, a good hedgehog bedding should be able to keep the hedgehog warm even during cold seasons.

Read next; what kind of cage is best for a hedgehog?

Factors to consider when choosing a bedding for your hedgehog

When selecting a good bedding for your hedgehog there are a number of things that you need to consider

1.      Absorbency

A good bedding should have a high absorbency. It should be able to absorb moisture from the hedgehog cage in order to control humidity within the cage that could lead to molding.

Additionally, the bedding should be able to absorb urine and hold it and control ammonia from building up in the hedgehog cage.

Choose bedding that absorbs urine and moisture and one that keeps the top layer of the bedding dry so your hedgehog is comfortable.

2.      Easy to clean and maintain

You should choose bedding material that is easy to clean and maintain. This is because when you provide your hedgehog with clean bedding they are able to live comfortably

Paper bedding and wood bedding are easy to clean and maintain as you only need to spot clean dump areas and areas with waste. You only need to change the whole bedding on regular basis.

When selecting fabric-based bedding consider if the bedding is easy to hand clean or clean using a machine. Choose one that you can clean easily.

3.      Comfortable

A good hedgehog bedding is one which provides comfort to your hedgehog.

Hedgehogs have sensitive feet which can easily be injured by sharp objects within their cage.

You can ensure your hedgehog’s comfort by providing them with bedding that is soft and gentle on their feet.

4.      Safe

Lastly, good hedgehog bedding should be safe.

Ensure that you chose bedding that is made from materials that are safe for hedgehogs.

If using wood-based beddings ensure that you select bedding that does not contain aromatic oils as this are toxic to hedgehogs.

If using fabric-based bedding ensure that the edges are sewn to prevent them from unravelling and wrapping around your hedgehogs’ feet.

Lastly, select bedding that is not dusty or mouldy as these could lead to health problems.

What type of bedding is best for hedgehogs?

There are several bedding options that you can choose from and several bedding options that you should avoid. We have prepared this article to provide you with a guide to help you choose the best bedding for your pet hedgehog.

You can also tell us in the comments section what type of bedding you use with your pet hedgehog.

There are 3 main bedding options that make good bedding for hedgehogs including;

  1. Paper-based bedding
  2. Wood-based bedding
  3. Fabric-based bedding

Comparison table of bedding options for hedgehogs

Paper beddingWood beddingFabric bedding
ProsHighly absorbent
Good odor control
Cheap
Soft and comfortable
Easy to clean and maintain
Good absorbency
Fair odor control
Cheap
Comfortable
Easy to clean and maintain
Highly absorbent
Cheap in the long run
Cheap if you repurpose old clothing
Soft and comfortable
ConsDusty
Expensive in the long run
Sticks to the hedgehogs body when wet
Dusty
Some contain aromatic oils that are toxic to hedgehogs
Poor odor control
Expensive to buy at first
Edges easily unravel and wrap around hedgehogs feet
Time consuming to clean

Paper-based bedding for hedgehogs

Paper-based bedding is one of the cheapest bedding options for hedgehogs and other small pets.

There are a number of things that make paper-based bedding suitable for hedgehogs.

First, paper-based bedding is highly absorbent. As such it absorbs urine and water from your hedgehog cage. However, the wet paper bedding may stick on your pet hedgehog.

The other reason why paper-based bedding is favorable is because it has good odor control. However the level of odor control by this type of bedding also varies with the type of paper bedding that you will choose.

Additionally, paper based bedding is usually very soft. As a result, pet hedgehogs can easily comfortably curl up on the bedding to keep warm and to rest.

Furthermore there are several paper based beddings in the market that you can choose from based on your preference including;

  • Recycled newspapers
  • Newsprint
  • Cell sorb
  • Pelleted newspapers

The only disadvantage with paper-based bedding is that they tend to be dusty. You should therefore be careful when selecting a paper-based bedding for your hedgehog as dusty bedding can lead to respiratory problems.

Lastly, although paper bedding is very cheap, it is expensive in the long run as you have to change it frequently.

Wood-based bedding for hedgehogs

Wood-based bedding is another great choice of bedding material that you can choose for your pet hedgehog.

There are many wood-based beddings that you can use in the market.

Wood-based bedding make a good choice for hedgehogs due to a number of reasons.

The first reason is because wood-based beddings are highly absorbent. The absorb moisture and urine from the hedgehog cage.

The other reason is because wood-based bedding are easy to clean. To clean the cage simply spot clean dump areas and areas with hedgehog waste.

Additionally, wood-based bedding is great for hedgehogs because it allows them to burrow. Hedgehogs love to burrow and can easily burrow on this type of bedding unlike with other beddings.

Furthermore, wood-based bedding gives your hedgehog a natural look that both you and your hedgehog will love.

However, wood-based bedding has its disadvantages.

First, wood-based bedding can be dusty which increases the risk of respiratory problems.

Secondly, not all wood-based beddings are safe for hedgehogs. Avoid wood-based beddings made from woods that contain aromatic oils such as pine and cedar as this are potentially toxic to hedgehogs.

 Aspen wood shavings is the safest wood-based bedding that you can use with your pet hedgehog. There are several brands that you can choose from either in pet stores or from your local veterinarian or online platforms such as Amazon.

Fabric-based bedding for hedgehogs

The other good bedding option for hedgehogs is fabric-based bedding. This type of bedding makes a good bedding choice for hedgehogs due to a number of reasons.

The first reason is because fabric-based beddings are soft which makes them not only comfortable but also gentle on hedgehogs’ sensitive feet.

Additionally, fabric-based beddings are highly absorbent. They absorb moisture, urine and odors from the hedgehog cage leaving it clean.

Fabric-based beddings are cheap to use unlike other beddings. This is because they are reusable. All you need to do is clean them on a regular basis and reuse them. Other beddings needs to be changed frequently. However, fabric-based beddings are expensive to buy at first but cheap on the long run.

The other disadvantage with fabric-based bedding is that some fabrics when used, their edges may unravel. These may lead to loose strings which may potentially wrap around hedgehog feet and be hazardous.

The other disadvantage with fabric based bedding is that you need to wash the bedding completely when cleaning. You cannot spot clean the dirty or dump areas like you would in other beddings. Additionally, to reuse the bedding you need to wash and dry it which is time consuming.

Types of fabric-based bedding you can use

There are several fabric-based beddings that you can choose from including

  1. Fleece bedding – this is the best type of fabric bedding for hedgehog as its edges do not unravel hence does not need to be sewn to be used.
  2. Cotton bedding such as cotton towels, t-shirts, bed sheets – this however need to be sewn on the edges
  3. Denim bedding – their edges need to be sewn to prevent them from unravelling and harming your hedgehog

You can buy fabric based bedding specifically designed for small pets from pet stores or repurpose old fabric from your house. If you choose to repurpose old clothing remember to sew the edges so the bedding is safe for hedgehogs.

What bedding should you avoid with hedgehogs?

There are a number of bedding options that you should avoid using with your pet hedgehog including

  1. Pine and cedar shavings – these contain aromatic oils that are potentially toxic to your hedgehog
  2. Sawdust – sawdust usually has a lot of dust which can lead to respiratory problems
  3. Garden soil and leaves – they can be a source of mites and other parasites to your hedgehog. Additionally they may contain pesticides which could be toxic to your hedgehog
  4. Gravel – gravel is rough and may contain sharp objects that can injure your hedgehog’s sensitive feet. Additionally it can lead to digestive problems if accidentally consumed.
  5. Hay and straw – they also contain a lot of dust that can lead to respiratory problems. They can also be a source of mites and other parasites to your hedgehogs.

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