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What is the Best Bedding for Pet Mice?

The bedding is one of the main things that will make your pet mouse comfortable in its cage. It is what allows your pet to comfortably nest himself in and get some quality sleep. It has to be safe, comfortable and healthy at the same time.

There are various types of bedding to choose from that provide good insulation, make it easier to handle waste and make your pet feel at home. In this article, we are going to talk about the best beddings you can choose from for your precious little rodent.

You are going to learn about the pros and cons of the most common beddings and how often you need to change it.

Choosing a Good Bedding for Pet Mice

First off, your mouse needs the type of bedding that allows him to nest into it. Mice absolutely love to dig and to make themselves comfortable in the bedding. Another thing that makes a particular bedding good is its ability to absorb urine and thus isolate it from the animal.

However, it is important not to choose one of those substrates that let the urine through. The ideal bedding mops up all the liquid, absorbing the smell and making the cage safe for your pet. Mice also prefer the bedding to be thick so that they can play around, digging and creating tunnels in it.

This is all about satisfying their natural needs and behaviors. Moreover, you should avoid buying any of those substrates that might be unhealthy for your pet. These include dusty substrates or the ones that come with an artificial scent.

Wood shavings can even contain phenols if they weren’t previously treated with heat. These factors should all be considered before buying substrate for mice.

Best Bedding for Pet Mice

If you are looking for an option that is really cheap, then we can recommend you to buy some corn cob bedding. Although it is one of the natural materials you can get, it can contain quite a bit of dust. When your mouse sniffs in a lot of dust, he can end up having problems with his breathing.

It is best to mix corn cob with other, higher quality beddings. When it comes to paper bedding, the absolute favorite is the pellet version that is made out of recycled paper. It barely contains any dust and there is no artificial scent in it.

Other paper bedding options such as toilet paper, tissues or towels are also great alternatives. Another good idea is to buy cardboard beddings which are shredded up like the paper varieties. This was a huge idea back then when it was invented for horses and it works for small pets such as rodents as well.

Mice can play with those lightweight pieces and also dig into the substrate pretty easily. When looking for cardboard, make sure to buy the one that comes with thicker pieces. After all, you don’t want them to become soggy after a few days. Them being thick also means that the cardboards can absorb more.

The last one we are going to recommend is to buy wood shaving. However, you need to be careful because there are many types to choose from. Since plenty of them is being produced by wood industries, this material is rather cheap.

The fact is that most of them are very dusty and also contain a lot of phenols. The only wood shaving we can absolutely recommend you to buy is aspen, which is harder and thus contains less phenols.

How Often to Change Bedding for Pet Mice?

You can already suspect that the bedding has to be changed when your mouse starts sneezing or your start to feel the scent of it. When the bedding soaks up a lot of waste, it has a strong smell that irritates the nose of your pet rodent as well.

The difference is only that your mouse will be able to smell it sooner so pay attention at his discomfort. That little guy has a better nose than you and he will signal it if something is wrong there. If you lean close and smell nothing and your mouse is feeling alright, then there is no need to change the bedding.

Can You Use Hay for Bedding?

If you are looking for something completely natural, then consider adding hay to the cage. What makes hay a good idea is the fact that mice are especially attracted to it. They enjoy playing with it and nibbling on it while it has no negative effects on their health whatsoever.

A thick layer of hay will definitely make things more exciting for your little rodent.

Can You Use Sawdust for Bedding?

The same applies to sawdust as to most of the wood shavings you can buy. It is usually full of dust and phenols which would only cause respiratory problems. Sawdust is definitely the cheap option you should avoid at all costs.

Not to mention that those little pieces can be harmful to the skill of your little rodent too.

Are Newspapers Safe for Bedding?

The rule of thumb for beddings is that they shouldn’t contain any artificial scents or other additives. Unfortunately, there is plenty of ink and glue on your typical newspaper. Mice tend to play with the bedding, digging holes in it and taking pieces of it into their mouth.

It can be toxic for them to eat all that glue and ink so this type of bedding should be avoided.

Wrapping Up

Whether you choose an all-natural bedding or a paper one, it is best to go for quality. You only do your mouse a favor if you avoid those wood shavings and sawdust beddings. It can really mess with the respiratory system of your pet if he inhales all that dust non-stop.

A good bedding is comfortable and also safe when it comes to the health of your mouse. Mice not only love to dig but will also play with the pieces, taking them in their mouth. Therefore, scented beddings and newspapers are completely out of the question.

avatar I’m Peter King, writer and editor of this blog. I’m a lifelong animal advocate and volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. On this blog I help people learn about pet mice. As a responsible pet owner, you should learn about your pet’s need before getting it. If you have any question or need help, please leave your comment below.

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