Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Small Animal Bedding

Question from Christina in Newark:
Is shredded paper and newspaper okay to use as bedding for small animals?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Shredded paper and newspaper are okay to use for lining small animal cages. The current ink used for newspapers is non-toxic, but may stain light colored pet fur. Recycled paper products are also available at pet stores. These pellets and flakes are very absorbent and dust free. They make cage cleaning easy and do not irritate the respiratory tracts of small animals.

Cedar shavings are suspected to cause breathing problems for some small mammals. Commercial pine shavings are available and recommended instead of cedar shavings. Wire bottom cages should also be avoided. Small animals can develop foot sores from the abrasive wire and can get limbs caught in the holes and suffer fractured legs. It is very important to keep the cage very clean and dry in order to ensure your pet's optimal health.

Posted December 28, 2007

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