Taking the best care of your hedgehog involves offering them the best bedding that you can to ensure that they remain as comfortable as possible.
If you’re looking for the best way to make your hedgehog comfortable in terms of bedding, then you’ve come to the right place! This article covers what you need to consider when making your choice of bedding.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing bedding for your hedgehog’s cage, but it mainly comes down to the absorption capabilities, the safety of materials, and comfort.
Hedgehog bedding: What you need to consider
Like any creature, hedgehogs pee and poop anywhere and at any time, with no regard for their bedding.
As a result, you will need to select bedding with high absorbency that will hold the urine and reduce the odors from the waste that your hedgehog produces.
You should aim for material that keeps the top layer of bedding dry, so your hedgehog can remain as comfortable as possible in between bedding changes.
Safety of materials
Even as a wild animal, you need to carefully consider the material of your hedgehog’s bed. These materials are generally split into two categories: safe and unsafe materials that can be used as bedding.
You should try to avoid corn cobs, dusty shavings, or cedar shavings, as they can be irritating.
The scent of cedar shavings, in particular, is toxic to animals and may cause allergic reactions, damage to the liver, and other respiratory complications. Additionally, hay is often considered to be unsafe as it may have infestations of mites and lice.
Generally speaking, shredded paper or newspaper is a great choice for your hedgehog. Additionally, recycled pellet/absorbable material, fabric material, or wood shavings (such as aspen or pine) make the best and safest bedding material for your hedgehog.
Aspen shavings are fine wood shavings from the aspen tree. They have high absorbency and a sweet aroma and are relatively inexpensive.
As a result, they are one of the most common choices when it comes to choosing wood shavings. However, a downside to aspen shavings is that they are dusty and tend to stick to everything, making the clean up process more of a challenge.
Pine shavings are another popular type of wood shavings and are used for a variety of caged pets. That being said, pine shavings aren’t as absorbent as aspen wood shavings and some tree shavings can actually cause your pet to develop health issues.
Before you make your choice, do your research and always make sure that you check to ensure the bedding will be safe to use for your hedgehog.
Alongside the safety of the bedding material, your hedgehog’s comfort should also be one of your top priorities when choosing bedding.
Are they sleeping well? Can they burrow in the night to offer them the right warmth, is the environment and bedding in general comfortable to lay on? Select a bedding type that is soft and comforting.
Cleaning and maintenance
Another factor that you will need to consider is how convenient your hedgehog’s bedding is to clean and maintain. The cleaner your hedgehog’s bedding, the more comfortable that they’ll be.
Bearing this in mind, you will need to think about how convenient the bedding is to clean and dispose of when it has been soiled after your hedgehog has used it. The less convenient your hedgehog’s bedding is to clean, the more likely you will put off the task of cleaning their cage – which isn’t good for their health!
Make sure that you select a fabric that will be easy to clean by hand or to put through the washing machine and doesn’t need harsh chemicals to get rid of dirt. Other types of bedding such as wood shavings should be easy to dispose of, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly so it doesn’t affect the environment.
Fabric v shavings for hedgehog bedding
Which type of bedding you opt for is a personal choice, and largely comes down to how convenient it is for your lifestyle. There are benefits to both fabric and shavings when it comes to making your hedgehog’s bed comfortable.
- Fabric is more environmentally friendly, as it doesn’t involve disposing of the bedding like you would with wood chips.
- Fabric bedding is cost-effective as you only have to pay for bedding once, as you can wash and reuse the bedding.
- Easy for your hedgehog to burrow themselves in to stay warm and cosy.
- Aspen bedding is a good choice as it is very absorbent.
- Easier to control foul odors from your hedgehog’s waste.
- Wood shavings are also an economical choice as they’re relatively inexpensive.
How often should you clean a hedgehog’s bedding?
Hedgehogs produce a lot of waste, and you will need to clean the cage frequently. All feces, urine, and uneaten food should be removed daily to prevent a build-up and to remove any nasty odors.
This is why you should always pick the type of bedding that is the most convenient for you to clean on a regular basis.
In addition, your hedgehog’s cage should be cleaned out entirely at least weekly, using soap and water. You need to thoroughly clean it regularly to ensure that your hedgehog’s cage stays as fresh as possible.
It is worth mentioning that you should clean your hedgehog’s bedding whenever they become dirty, too, as hedgehogs are susceptible to skin irritations from urine and feces. You should bathe them as needed, usually about once a month or so.
There are a variety of factors that you should consider before purchasing your hedgehog’s bedding to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible.
Make sure that you do your research on the different types of bedding and choose one for your hedgehog that compliments your lifestyle.