Aspen Wood Shavings as Pet Bedding

An Economical Bedding Choice

Two Gerbils in aspen bedding
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Aspen bedding is a good choice for small animals such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. It is very economical and is absorbent and does a decent job of odor control. Sometimes (not always -- it depends a bit on the brand or batch) is can be quite dusty which can cause sneezing and respiratory symptoms in some pets.

Bottom Line

Cedar and pine shavings are no longer recommended as bedding for small pets; fortunately, many alternatives have become available. Aspen shavings are a good alternative for those that prefer wood shavings for bedding. It is one of the most economical beddings which also makes is a good choice for owners who go through a lot of bedding. However, it can be dusty which can lead to sneezing; I can't use aspen as one of my rats starts sneezing a lot when I put aspen bedding in the cage. I find it controls odor well for a few days but you can't leave the cage for an extra day or two without cleaning with aspen. As well, the shavings seem to cling to fabric and get dragged around the house more than other beddings.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Readily available at most pet stores.
  • Quite absorbent
  • Decent odor control
  • Available in a range of sizes including large quantities.

Cons

  • Can sometimes be dusty
  • Tends to get dragged around the house
  • Different brands may vary in texture, size of chips, dustiness so you may want to try a few.