Types of Fabric Bedding

Apr 24, 2014 by

ProFleece ProFleece is possibly the best fabric type bedding available for pets! It has been used by veterinarians for decades and is becoming very popular in the pet industry. It is made of 100% polyester which is: Non–irritating Non-allergic Does not support bacterial growth Stain resistant Dries fast after washing or accidents The pile aides heat retention while still allowing air to circulate. With proper washing/drying care this bedding can last years which helps to save both money and the environment. It can be easily cut to fit any space with no fraying or damage to the product. The extra strong backing is allows the hedgehog to dig into the pile without damaging the bedding. ProFleece Premium Vet Bedding 1200 grams density per meter squared 25 mm pile Non-slip backing allows for drainage when accidents occur Washable up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and tumble dry on cool/warm heat ProFleece Ultimate Vet Bedding The Ultimate series offers both the non-slip ribbed backing and the green back. The green back is knitted from a double strength chew resistant yarn. 1600 grams density per meter squared 31 mm pile Tumble Dry cool/warm heat Available in Non-slip backing washable up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit  Available in Green Back washable up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit    Vellux Some hedgehog hobbyists prefer to use Vellux blankets (found in the bedding section of Wal-Mart or similar store) in the bottom of hedgehog cages as an...

Wood Products Bedding

Jun 7, 2013 by

The Pine Debate Popularity Pine shavings and related products are by far the most common bedding material used in the pet industry. Pine shavings are easily accessible, are processed and packaged by numerous pet supply companies, and are sold at almost every store that carries pet products. They are inexpensive to purchase compared to almost all other forms of bedding. Pine shavings do a relatively good job of absorbing urine. Most brands are comfortable for small and large animals alike. The comparative ease of use, safety, and cost factors make it the top choice for many animal breeders and owners alike. Toxicity Some veterinarian professionals and pet owners discourage the use pine shavings and their derivatives. In her article, “Wood Bedding and the Danger of Phenols,” Antigone Means states, “The problem [with pine and cedar] is a chemical called phenol that naturally occurs in these woods. It’s what makes them smell so nice and acts as an effective bug repellant, but is dangerous to small animals.” www.hedgehogvalley.com/phenols.html. Pine shavings do not contain the harmful plicatic acid (primary form of irritation in cedar) that cedar shavings have, but contain high levels of abietic acid, (an organic compound found in many trees) which when not heat cured; can cause similar problems after exposure. Necropsies on animals having respiratory distress from their bedding may also show liver distress and fluid in the lungs. Pathogens are generally not...

Paper Product Bedding

Jun 7, 2013 by

Pelleted Newspaper Products  Pelleted newspaper products are generally made from recycled newspaper. Purina’s Yesterday’s News is a popular pelleted kitty or ferret litter.   Second Nature Dog Litter is similar to Yesterday’s News, except that it is cheaper. It is reported to work well at controlling smell but we do not have personal experience with this product. One must take care to ensure that the hedgehog does not ingest this product. It will expand and swell, and could seriously harm or kill your pet. Pros They have little odor and are generally the size and shape of rabbit pellets. Cons The dark gray color of this product may make the cage look dirty or disguise abnormal hedgehog feces. The gray can also “rub off” onto the hedgehog making them look very grungy. It is not too bad on a standard, but it is very noticeable on an albino. It can also make their white fur turn into a grayish color.  (Belval). Fluffy Paper Products Pros Some products like Care Fresh are made out of 100% wood pulp and are light and fluffy. It is very absorbent and doesn’t disintegrate when wet. We have had some reports that it is virtually dust free, as well as conflicting reports that it is very dusty. We have found it to be just slightly dusty and the amount of dust depends on handling and burrowing of the animal. Several colors and varieties are available. Many veterinarians...

Bedding & Litter Eating Or Ingestion...

Jun 7, 2013 by

Reasons for Eating Bedding Inquisitive – Hedgehogs are inquisitive by nature and often attempt to learn about their environment through their senses of taste and smell.  Baby or young hedgehogs are very prone to eating new brands or types of bedding. Self-Anoint and/or Camouflage – Many hedgehogs will ingest new bedding in order to create a forth to self anoint. Hunger – It is believed that hedgehogs that have had drastically reduced diets or an inadequate diet may eat bedding to attempt to satisfy hunger. Nutritional Deficiency – Some believe animals eat things in their environment to try to combat something they are lacking in their diet. What to Do The most important thing to do is to monitor how much bedding your hedgehog is eating and to try to discourage your hedgehog from eating more bedding. Hedgehogs that eat a single piece of new bedding and spit it out or self anoint with it are most likely eating it out of curiosity and will discontinue eating the bedding once they realize it isn’t food. Offer additional treats or additional staple diet to encourage the hedgehog to eat food rather than bedding. Immediately remove bedding if you notice your hedgehog eating multiple pieces of bedding. Dangers Ingested bedding can cause serious abdominal impactions that can lead to death. Always keep an eye on your hedgehog’s appetite and stool after your hedgehog eats bedding. Your hedgehog’s stool should...

Miscellaneous Bedding Options

Jun 6, 2013 by

 Corncob Bedding Corncob is relatively inexpensive, but care must be taken to keep the cage clean and dry. Corncob bedding has a tendency to retain liquids and it molds very quickly. Many molds are respiratory toxins. Frequent cleaning can decrease the potential of this problem. The corncob can stick onto the genitalia of male hedgehogs. It can get caught in the penile sheath and be dragged (drawn) up inside, and cause great irritation, raw sores, urinary tract infections, and an inability to urinate, which if not addressed promptly, can be fatal. Some believe that corncob bedding is not as comfortable for the hedgehogs as other bedding options. Pelleted Straw or Wheat Grasses Oxbow Hay’s Eco-Straw is made out of 100% wheat straw. Critter Country is made from Western Red Winter Wheat Grass and several other fibers. Critter Country is safe if ingested, as it contains no chemicals or additives that could be harmful. These products are highly absorbent, relatively dust free, and are heat treated to eliminate mites and other pests. Both are biodegradable and can be composted or flushed down the toilet. Veterinarians highly recommend these products over wood pellets based on the qualities mentioned above. Mountain Meadows Pet Products, Inc. http://www.mtnmeadowspet.com/ was gracious enough to allow us to try Critter Country. We were very happy with this product but cages did need to be cleaned more frequently than with pelleted pine. Since...

Fabric Cage Liner Bedding Options

Jun 6, 2013 by

 Advantages of Using Fabric Cage Liners Various types of fabric are good options for people with allergies or hedgehogs with bedding sensitivities. Many owners like the fact that fabric bedding is recyclable and stores easily. Fabric is less likely to harbor mites than other products. There are no wood splinters, dust, or small pieces to get on the floor. Light colored lines are great for monitoring hedgehog’s output as fecal matter is a window to your hedgehog’s internal health. A liner made of a combination of fleece and flannel, or other soft materials, can be very comfortable for your hedgehog. Disadvantages of Using Fabric Cage Liners Initial Start-up Cost Quality lines may be hand made or purchased from liner dealers and have a higher start-up cost than traditional bedding. The best liners have multiple layers, which further increases the start up cost. Loose Threads One must be diligent to watch for any loose threads that can wrap around toes or feet. Beth Ann Breitweiser, DVM, at All Wild Things Exotic Animal Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, spoke to us at length about the dangers of loose threads and small fibers from fabric. A small fiber or thread can cause permanent damage to a toe or foot in less than six hours. She has amputated many toes and feet at her practice due to this type of injury. Be careful with woven or knit materials. Toenails...

General Bedding Information

Jun 6, 2013 by

Type Unfortunately, we have yet to find the perfect bedding to use with our hedgehogs. Almost every hedgehog owner and veterinarian has slightly different recommendations and opinions. Keep in mind no bedding manufacturer is going to label their product as inferior or dangerous to your pet. All bedding packages will say that particular bedding is healthy and safe. One needs to evaluate each type of the bedding’s benefits, as well as its risks and problems. Factors to take into consideration include accessibility, toxicity, appearance, frequency of cleaning, and costs.    The type of bedding you choose and use is one of the key factors in helping to determine the overall health and happiness of your pet. Most wood, paper, or other processed bedding can be dusty. Each brand will have different amounts of dust. Handling practices of the bags and use can affect the amount of dust in individual bags. Fluffy beddings tend to stick to your hedgehog and make quite a mess on the floor, and are hazardous to your vacuum! We suggest avoiding fragrant bedding or bedding that has added chemicals. A deep layer of bedding will provide room for you to scoop under your hedgehog and will also provide a burrowing opportunity for your pet. Health Considerations Keep in mind some hedgehogs (and humans) are allergic to different types of bedding. If you notice a rash or skin irritation and you have...

Bedding To AVOID

Jun 4, 2013 by

Cedar Shavings One doesn’t have to search very hard to find numerous warnings and studies showing the dangers of using cedar for animal, reptile or bird bedding.  NEVER use cedar shavings because they contain a toxin called Plicatic Acid and other aromatic (volatile) hydrocarbon or phenol compounds. These phenols are what give the shavings their scent and what repel fleas and moths but they are the same compounds that lead to numerous problems in small mammals. The use of cedar shavings can lead to respiratory illnesses, liver problems and some types of cancer. To our knowledge the only recommended use by veterinarians is for filler in dog beds. Hay A few owners have used hay as a nesting option for their hedgehogs. As long as the hay is from packaged from a pet store it should be fine.   Hay used for large livestock hasn’t been treated for anything that could make your hedgehog sick. As long as the igloo or sleeping area remains clean it is a comfortable, natural bedding.   Hay is generally NOT recommended as the main cage bedding. Others Sawdust Straw Garden soil and leaves Gravel All bedding should be properly cleaned and processed to remove the risk of mites and other...

Litter Pans, Litter, & Litter Pan Training...

May 28, 2013 by

Litter pans are a great accessory to any cage as it is well worth your effort to try and litter train your hedgehog.  A litter-trained hedgehog will save you cage cleaning time, decrease the amount of bedding needed, and increase the freedom you have with your pet.  Litter trained hedgehogs are obviously much more suited to “free-roaming” in their own room or in an area of your home or apartment.   Probability of Use We once heard that it was a “crap shoot” whether or not your hedgehog would use the litter pan. We tend to agree! Some hedgehogs take to the litter pan and use it right away with little or no coaxing. Others refuse to use their litter pan despite any attempts on your part to try to teach them the purpose of the litter pan. One former customer e-mailed us and told us that her hedgehog suddenly started using the litter pan when it was two years old. Better late than never! Some hedgehogs prefer to use their litter pan as a sand or dust bath rather than for elimination. Dust bathing is harmless and is simply a natural thing for a hedgehog to do. Another customer e-mailed us and told us that his hedgehog was careful to eliminate on one side of the litter pan and dust bathe on the other. Your litter training success will depend partly on your...