When you buy or adopt a pet hamster, you’ll also need to purchase a cage and accessories, such as hamster bedding. Hamster bedding helps protect the animal’s feet from the bottom of the cage, absorbs odor and wetness, and gives the hamster material to nest with.
There are several types of bedding available, including paper bedding, bedding made from wood shavings or wood chips, and bedding made from straw. All of these options are available at your local pet store or online.
For years, cedar bedding was the traditional choice for hamsters. However, in recent years it has become a less popular bedding choice among pet owners. Research is beginning to show that some chemicals used to treat and process the wood shavings can affect the hamster’s health. Hamsters tend to chew on their bedding material, and they may inadvertently ingest these chemicals.
This doesn’t mean that pet owners have to rule out wood shavings entirely, however. Some soft wood shavings are available that don’t give off harmful chemicals and are therefore safe to use as hamster bedding. If you choose to use wooden shavings as bedding for your hamster, opt for pine or wood pulp bedding that is marketed specifically for hamster owners.
Hamster bedding made from recycled newspaper or other paper is increasing in popularity. This ink-free paper is available either as shreds or pellets, and makes an excellent alternative to traditional cedar chips or shavings. This type of bedding is highly absorbent and dust free, making it a great choice for hamster cages.
Straw, wheat, and other plant fibers are also popular choices of material for hamster bedding. Some bedding made with these materials is compostable, while other forms of this bedding are safe to flush down the toilet. If you’re an apartment dweller or live in an urban area, this type of hamster bedding may be a good option for you, as you won’t have to worry about where to dispose of your used bedding – instead, you can simply flush it down the toilet.
When you make the choice to adopt an animal, you take on the responsibility of caring for all areas of its health. When you decide to care for a hamster, you’ll need to carefully research the types of food, toys, accessories, and bedding that are safest for your new pet.
Talk to your local pet store owner or read a reputable online site to determine the type of hamster bedding that will work best for your individual living situation and breed of hamster. You’ll want to choose bedding that suits your budget, keeps your hamster healthy, produces little dust, and is easy to dispose of when you clean your hamster’s cage.
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