Hedgehogs make exciting companions, but their simple care standards are close to those of a guinea pig or rodent. When it comes to setting up a shelter for your hedgehog, you’ll notice that there are several different bedding choices that you can benefit from, some of which are more suited to hedgehogs than others.
Selecting the perfect hedgehog bedding is probably more difficult than selecting your hedgehog (especially for new owners).
There are several factors to consider just to ensure your pet’s safety, and you must also consider their nature. What begins as a simple “let’s head to the store and pick out some bedding” dialogue will quickly descend into a wave of confusion.
That isn’t how it should be.
That is why we have compiled a list of the best hedgehog bedding available, complete with their benefits and drawbacks. It will simplify the process for you and provide you with a variety of viable choices to choose from.
Why Do Hedgehogs Need Bedding?
Hedgehogs require bedding as part of their standard care kit. Hedgehogs seem to be tough from the outside. However, not providing bedding will do severe harm to their fragile underbelly. Furthermore, their tiny feet are vulnerable to injury.
Let’s go straight to the list of the most important things that needs to be considered.
Is It Non-Toxic?
The bedding you use should be non-toxic and free of anything that may be toxic. At any point, if you suspect the material to be harmful to your pet, dispose of it immediately. (Better safe than sorry, folks!)
Cedarwood shavings as bedding is a huge NO for hedgehogs, and many owners and breeders have confirmed this to be poisonous to hedgehogs.
The bedding you pick should also not contain something that could react with the hedgehog’s feces or urine, resulting in a change in odor or a more serious transformation into a substance that is poisonous to the hedgehog.
It’s always better to double-check with a trusted pet store or even a veterinarian to ensure that the bedding you’re planning to use isn’t hazardous to your hedgehog.
Can It Be Cleaned Easily?
It is critical to choose bedding that is simple and easy to clean. An ideal material for bedding is fleece. This is because fleece makes it easy to pick up dried feces and any other dirt inside the hedgehog’s cage.
If the bedding allows feces to seep in and get lodged easily, it would be even more difficult to retrieve it and make the everyday task of cage cleaning very exhausting.
A key factor to remember is how easy the bedding can be cleaned if it has to be washed on a daily basis. Bedding material would need to be washed at elevated temperatures (to kill any bedbugs or dust mites) and with a gentler detergent, as a strong detergent can leave scuff marks that could be harmful to hedgehogs.
Is It Affordable?
If your bedding isn’t durable, it can add up quickly, and that money would be better spent on your hedgehog or, better yet, your family.
If we used one-time-use bedding and had to clean it at least twice a week, the costs could add up over the course of a year as opposed to washable bedding.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Hedgehog bedding must not get caught in their quills or, worse, curl around their limbs, creating a lack of blood supply. Sometimes this lack of blood could result in a costly ride to the veterinarian and an amputation, which is neither pleasant for the hedgehog or the owners.
This is why it is important to inspect for any loose ends on your prickly friend’s bedding on a daily routine.
Since they spend so much time rolling around in their cages at night, the bedding must be comfortable enough for them to move on without having their nails stuck. Hard-surfaced bedding, as well as bedding with bulging or pointed corners, is not recommended.
Protection Against Mites
If the bedding is durable, it must be easy to wash and clean at high temperatures (A good temperature would be 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Any pests or mites will be killed by the high-temperature wash, which will also shield your hedgehog.
When we buy fresh bedding, it is best to wash it once at a high temperature before using it. This is because it may contain bed bugs and other pests from where it was washed in the supermarket or factory where it came from.
Hence, this hot rinse will help get rid of everything in the bedding and provide a clean and comfortable bedding for your hedgehog.
Protection Against Mould
When there are humans alive and breathing in any environment, water vapor in the air will start building up. To prevent mould from growing, the bedding you choose must be able to retain excess moisture.
Black mould is especially harmful to humans and animals, so take care and keep the space where your hedgehog is kept well aerated to avoid mould.
In most cases, shutting a window for a few hours would suffice, but this might not be possible in the winter. A dehumidifier is extremely useful in this situation. You can use it on a daily basis to help eliminate moisture in the air and prevent mould from growing in the room, cage, or bedding.
Protection Against A Slippery Base
The spinning wheel, the eating and drinking dishes, and other things in the cage must be able to sit on the bedding. You don’t want your hedgehog to collide with his running wheel, causing it to slip and fall over on top of him.
Is It Dust Free?
Dust can be a hazard for hedgehogs and trigger breathing issues, so make sure all bedding solutions take the feature of dust-busting into account.
Sawdust bedding, for example, is especially troublesome in terms of generating its own dust and collecting household dust, rendering it a bad bedding option that should be avoided.
Fleece fabric bedding keeps dust levels down, and when combined with daily cleaning and washing, the dust levels in the hedgehog’s cage at an optimal state.
How Absorbent Is The Bedding?
No one wants to see frozen puddles of water or urine form in their pet hedgehog’s pen, so bedding absorbency is critical. This is particularly crucial during the winter months, as you need to keep an eye on your pet to make sure he doesn’t get too cold.
Is It Eco-Friendly?
Reusable bedding is more cost-effective, and it is much more eco-friendly than non-reusable bedding. These are more often just thrown out, and as it deteriorates terribly and becomes an ecological issue.
Is It Burrow-Friendly?
Burrowing under the bedding should be easy. When hedgehogs are afraid or feel threatened, they usually burrow. To encourage your pet’s primitive instincts, the bedding should be smooth enough for them to jump into and burrow away.
Will It Keep My Hedgehog Warm?
Good quality bedding will act as a barrier to keep the cold out of the cage’s base, particularly if it is plastic or metal. Fleece bedding, in particular, does an excellent job of holding the cold at bay.
Can The Pet Eat Bedding Material?
The answer is no; hedgehogs tend to eat certain types of bedding, like that of paper pellets, but bedding is not for eating. So keep an eye out for signs of indigestion or nausea since this could indicate that the hedgehog is consuming the pellets.
Fleece Bedding: Why Is It Better Than Most?
Fleece is favored over other types of bedding because it will draw out any urine, leaving the top nice and dry. Secondary bedding under the first one will absorb the urine. Fleece bedding must be used with other absorbent bedding, such as newspapers or towels.
It comes in a range of colors and designs, and it gives every cage a stylish look. And in order to get the most out of your fleece, make sure you implement all of the instructions.
There are benefits and drawbacks of using fleece for hedgehog bedding, much as there are to every other form of hedgehog bedding. The regular cleaning needed to clean feces, and other debris is one instance.
Some people don’t mind devoting hours each day to sweeping and vacuuming in order to maintain a tidy, pet-friendly living space. Others enjoy the convenience of being able to empty a cage of plastic bedding easily.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fleece bedding to help you make the best choice.
- It’s perfectly safe to use. Fleece would not irritate the pupils, ears, or respiratory system of your pet.
- Delicate on your hedgehog’s feet.
- It’s reusable. The fleece can be cleaned and reused several times. Certain absorbent fabrics used beneath, such as towels or furniture pads, also reusable.
- It is possible to decorate it. You can customize your pet’s cage to your taste with the many colors and beautiful prints available.
- Cost efficient. It is less expensive than purchasing disposable bedding.
- The surface remains clean. When correctly handled, fleece draws out moisture away from the top and down to the absorbent material underneath, keeping your hedgehog’s bottom dry!
- Easily adjustable.
- Prior to use, it must be handled appropriately (Some people might not be aware of how to care for it).
- It must be used in conjunction with an absorbent fiber. In order for the surface to stay dry, a liquid-absorbing coating must be added beneath.
- Cleaning is needed on a regular basis.
- Any waste like feces or uneaten food accumulates easily.
- The initial investment in bedding packages.
What Bedding Is The Best For Hedgehogs?
The bedding you store in your hedgehog shelter will be around your pet for nearly the whole day. They’ll be walking over it, breathing close to it, and maybe gnawing on it.
If it is not made of reliable and good ingredients, it can cause severe health problems for your pet. Furthermore, inferior materials can make washing more tedious and ineffective. Here is our list of 5 top bedding materials available for you to use for your pet!
This bedding is very permeable and is free of any pigments or additives that could damage your hedgehog’s wellbeing. This bedding will absorb 3 times its weight in liquid. That will make your pet stay dry and comfortable until the next time you clean it out.
It has also been treated to ensure that all synthetic carbons present in cedar oil and pine have been extracted.
When it comes to hedgehog bedding, this is a must, but there’s a problem. You may think that if you don’t smell anything, you don’t need to clean the cage or adjust the bedding as much, but this isn’t the case. It is important to clean the cage out every day on a routine.
- Exceptional odor management
- Extremely clean and free of potentially dangerous products
- Absorbent properties are excellent.
- Due to the bedding having no odor, owners might think the cage is clean (which is not true).
Rather than wood shavings, the Kaytee Clean and Cozy bedding is crafted from recycled strands of fabric. When it comes to fluid, this has the bonus of being much more absorbent. And that’s not all!
If you want to prioritize keeping your hedgehog’s cage clean and dry, you’ve struck gold. Any kind of liquid, whether it is urine or water spills from their dispenser, cleaning this would be as easy as pie!
It’s also great for burrowing. This is a perfect option if your pet is especially adventurous when it comes to their bedding. When they burrow and pass around through the fibers, they will be secure and relaxed.
Despite the high degree of liquid absorbency, it also does a great job for odors. When you use this bedding, you can boldly anticipate a very dust-free area for your hedgehog.
- Burrow friendly.
- 99.9% dust-free.
- Outstanding liquid absorbing feature.
- A little dusty.
You will get a highly dust-free cage setting and high absorbent properties when you get this bedding for your prickly little friend. It can also carry three times its own weight in liquid, which is extremely convenient.
This bedding is also very soft, which your pet hedgehog will enjoy. This product is not uncomfortable or difficult to adjust to, as is always the case with bedding. It also has excellent odor controlling properties.
Wood materials are used to make the mix, which is then converted into the fluffy bedding you get in the pack. It’s easy to scrub, and if you do it once a week, you shouldn’t have any issues.
- Exceptional for odor management.
- Dust-free to the extent of 99.9%.
- Gentle and pleasant.
- It isn’t available in vast amounts.
- The lavender smell is mild.
This bedding is made of natural wood fibers that are confirmed to be safe for hedgehogs. This biodegradable bedding solution will give you a sense of security about your pet’s wellbeing and protection.
It also does a great job of removing liquid and keeping the odor in your cage under control.
If you want a more natural but comfortable alternative, this is the way to go.
- Organic and sustainable.
- Fantastic job with the odor.
- Pricing is reasonable.
- Messy to handle.
- Slightly overpriced.
There are no chemicals in these aspen bedding shavings. It doesn’t include any toxic oils that could damage your hedgehog’s lungs and respiratory system, and it does a fantastic job of filling your cage’s surface.
For this price, you get quite a lot of bedding, so if you want to buy in bulk, the size choices would certainly cater to you.
When it comes to the bedding itself, one thing to keep an eye out for is the larger percentage of dust relative to the other ones on our list. It isn’t a major issue, but if you are serious about making your pet’s cage as dust-free as possible, you can choose one of the other choices on our list.
- Excellent odor regulation
- Between cleans, it lasts a long time.
- It is compostable.
- Pine shavings are more costly.
- When compared to pine or cotton bedding, it isn’t nearly as absorbent.
- Since it’s a disposable item, you’ll have to keep purchasing it.
There will always continue to be a plethora of bedding choices available, but you’ll find the right one for you and your pet hedgehog by experimenting with a few.
Make a list of the things that are most valuable to you. Is the most important factor for you the cost, absorbency, odor, or availability? Keeping these in mind, try a few similar products and see which works best.
Also, keep in mind to see what your hedgehog likes. After all, your pet will be the one who spends more time on it than you do!