Best rabbit bedding -
things to consider

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Although you might think that finding the perfect bedding for your rabbit is as simple as burrowing in a blanket or two, rabbits and their habits are a bit more complicated than that. 

 

A rumor has also gone around that rabbits who have bedding might have a difficult time litter training—or that rabbits don't need bedding at all! 

However, especially if you're a first-time rabbit owner, it's important that you're aware of all the kind of information that can help you become the best rabbit mom or dad in the world!

In our guide today, we're going to go through the various types of bedding out there and help guide you to choose the best one for your pet. We'll also go through the benefits, qualities, and go on to answer the most frequently asked questions you may have about rabbit bedding. 

cute rabbit looking at camera

So, what should be your first thoughts about rabbit bedding? 

 

To help you get as well-informed as possible, here are some of the things to consider when choosing rabbit bedding:

 

How to choose
the best bedding for Rabbits?

Favorable Features of Rabbit Bedding

Especially since there are so many different products and brand names out there, sorting out the best features to look out for can help you make an educated decision on the right type of rabbit bedding.

As the best rabbit-mommy or daddy, you'll want to not only help your bunny sleep comfortably; you'll also want them to be safe! It's important to know what are the ideal features of rabbit bedding and what's actually not safe at all!

1. Look for something with odor control: Although you might want to double-check with chemicals, having a bed that features odor-control can help maintain the smell, so your rabbit's enclosure (and your own home) isn't that stinky.

2. Just know that your rabbit may attempt to eat its bedding: Your rabbit is wired with the habit of eating their bedding—so if your pet starts chewing on theirs, this isn't a case to be alarmed and call up the vet! What you can do, however, is make sure that what they're chewing on is safe to be ingested. Make sure that the bedding is non-toxic (especially for rabbits).

3. Absorbency is definitely a plus: Not only will your rabbit most likely chew on their bedding—it might also make a habit of, well, doing their business on it. That's why investing in an absorbent bedding material can go a long way. Not only does it help with maintenance and smell, but it will also make it so that your rabbit feels more comfortable to sleep on it!

4. Extra features are always a bonus: You should also look into bedding that reduces the amount of dust around (a dust-free feature is a great one), and is also eco-friendly. Not only will you be changing your rabbit's bedding at least weekly to help keep your home healthy, getting an eco-friendly choice can help keep the Earth happy as well.

Now that you know what to look out for in a bed, you should also be able to point out what are prospective and successful choices for a rabbit bed.

Suitable Rabbit Bedding

To help you pick out the best bedding for your rabbit, you might have to try out several types to see what your rabbit prefers.

Here is a compilation of a few materials that are suitable for rabbit bedding.

Commercial pet bedding for rabbits

This is often the easiest and safest bedding you can choose for your rabbit. There are many types to choose from, but by picking a product from a reputable brand, you will make sure it is a high-quality product that is safe for your pet.

These products are dust and chemical-free, highly absorbent, great at odor control, and comfortable for your pet. You can find the best commercial rabbit bedding reviewed above.

Hay

Many pet owners use hay as bedding for their rabbit. You should always use hay which is mold-free and dust-free, which is why we always recommend commercially packaged hay which has been treated to be safe for your pet.

With commercially packaged hay you can also rest assured you won't be carrying any nasty insects inside you home.

bunnies on hay bedding

Pellets made out of wood

Wood pellets for small pets are an excellent option if you're looking for dust-free rabbit bedding. Just make sure to buy wood pellets designed for small pets because larger pellets might feel uncomfortable to your rabbit's feet.

Wooden pellets are an all-natural choice with excellent odor control.

Newspaper clippings

Newspaper clippings with non-toxic ink can be used as rabbit bedding, but it doesn't have the absorbency and odor control needed to keep your pet's cage dry and odorless.

You should only use newspaper clippings as a temporary solution and switch to something better when you can.

Shredded up paper

You can also use any shredded paper or cardboard as bedding for your rabbit. These are not the best option since they don't have good absorbency or odor control, but if the paper or cardboard does not have harmful chemicals, it can be used as temporary bedding if you run out of better options.

Avoidable Material in Rabbit Bedding

After reading about the various materials you can use as rabbit bedding, it's understandable why you may think that you might be able to use quite a few options for your rabbit's sleeping furniture.

However, it's important (especially for the health of your pet) that you're aware that several materials definitely cannot and should not be used as rabbit bedding.

Especially since your rabbit will most likely chew at their bedding at some point, it's best to avoid these altogether:

Cat litter can be extremely dangerous if ingested by a rabbit. It's also quite dusty and causes respiratory issues.

Straw is also a material that should be avoided. Although hay is great since it's comfortable, straw can be irritating and damaging to a rabbit's fur.

avoid wood shavings for hamster bedding

Sawdust should be avoided at all costs since it can irritate a rabbit's eyes and nose—and a human's if the enclosure is inside the home.

Cardboard is not the same as ripped-up paper. Since paper is dissolvable, it's okay—cardboard, on the other hand, can be hard to digest for a rabbit's stomach.

Pine and Cedar Wood shavings can also be quite dangerous. Although you might have heard that wood shavings are great bed substitutes—Aspen is the safest. However, pine and cedar can lead to several respiratory and liver problems.

FAQ on bedding for rabbits

Especially if you're a first-time rabbit owner, you might be a bit lost when it comes to the details of choosing the right bedding. However, just know you're not alone!

 

There are so many new bunny parents, just like you, who have had questions just like yours.

To help answer these questions, here are our FAQs: 

How often should you change the bedding?

Most importantly, you definitely want your rabbit to be healthy and to help keep them in good shape, a new, clean bed should be a regular maintenance and care routine. You should be changing out the bedding of your rabbit's enclosure at least once a week. 

Do indoor rabbits need bedding?

At the end of the day, rabbits don't actually need a bed to help them sleep comfortably at night. Actually, bedding can confuse your rabbit and make them think that you're giving them the option for a litter box—which means you shouldn't be surprised if they have an accident in their bed. You can simply put something more comfortable like a towel on the ground of the enclosure for comfort if your rabbit is not taking the material mentioned above well. 

What should rabbits sleep on?

Depending on whether your pet rabbit is free-range or in your home or inside an enclosure, the bedding that you give them can be their safe place—whether to fall asleep or just lounge about. As we mentioned earlier, you can use household (rabbit-safe) material as a simple solution for a rabbit bed.

How often should you change the bedding in a rabbit cage?

The entire cage should be thoroughly cleaned on a weekly basis—best done when you're changing the bedding. The schedule for a deep-cleaning can change depending on not only the habits of your rabbit but also how many you have or how big it is (the rabbit and the enclosure). 

What bedding do rabbits need?

The most important aspects of a rabbit's bedding should be that it's there to help keep them feeling safe, comfortable, and healthy. Non-toxic material like Aspen shredding, pellets, and hay are some of the safer options we mentioned above.

Do rabbits smell if kept indoors?

Although it may look cute, you should be aware that if a rabbit is kept inside, it will most likely smell a bit—as all pets tend to do. This can be easily taken care of through proper maintenance, care, and cleaning. 

Can rabbits use toilet paper for bedding?

If you're running low on your normal rabbit's bedding, toilet paper can be used if you're in a pinch. However, it shouldn't be used on a regular basis since it shouldn't be ingested in large quantities—and unfortunately, your rabbit will most likely eat their toilet paper bedding. It's also not the most ideal if you're looking for an eco-friendly choice. 

Can you use a blanket for rabbit bedding?

Laying a blanket down on the floor can be a great solution to snuggle with as the rabbit goes to sleep. Generally, a fleece blanket is a perfect solution since it has no seams (and they are quite comfortable)!

Can I use newspaper as rabbit bedding?

Depending on the ink used in the newspaper, you might want to try and avoid using newspaper for rabbit bedding. The ingestion of toxic ink can be fatal to a rabbit.

Is straw a good bedding for rabbits?

Although this can be argued as a good alternative (especially since it's generally cheaper than hay), it might be a bit hard and rough for a rabbit to fall asleep on.  

Is timothy hay good for bedding?

This type of hay can be a great material to use for rabbit bedding! Choose commercially packaged hay as it is mold-free, dust-free, and it eliminates the risk of bringing insects inside your home.

Is pine bedding safe for rabbits?

As we mentioned earlier, pine shavings, as well as cedar shavings, can be quite dangerous for a rabbit. You might want to check with your vet on what he or she says about the use of pine bedding for your particular rabbit. 

What shavings are best for rabbits?

Aspen shavings are going to be the best choice for your rabbit to use as its bedding. So, if you're in doubt about what type of wood to use, this is going to be your go-to. If you're going to be choosing to use shavings, make sure you buy ones that are offered at a pet store and that have been packaged and checked for mites and other possibly harmful material. 

Why is my bunny eating his bedding?

Don't be alarmed if your rabbit starts to chew on his or her bedding—especially when they run out of hay or something like that to chew on! This is completely normal.  

 

Giving your rabbit something to do or something else to chew on can help you avoid this problem. However, since you already know that your rabbit will most likely chew on their bedding—please make sure that the material you're using is non-toxic for rabbits! 

 

They tend to chew on things not only because they're bored but also to help file their teeth down. You can even try a chew toy here and there to see if they like that better as an alternative. 

We hope that this guide has helped you choose a safe and successful alternative to rabbit bedding that can help keep your rabbit happy and healthy. 

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