Is Aspen Bedding Ideal For Hamsters? (A Complete Owners Guide)

Hamsters are caged animals, and like most other cage animals they too spend most of their time in their cage. So, having good quality bedding is a must not only for odor free-living environment but also for maintaining the good health of our Hamsters.

Many people find aspen bedding as a choice in the market, but is aspen bedding good for our Hamsters? I did some research and here is what I found out!

Aspen bedding is absolutely safe for our Hamster and, at the same time, it keeps our little ones warm and comfortable. You must buy it from a reputed brand to ensure it is free from dust and mites. However, looking at the darker side, it can be expensive in the long run as you need to replace it every week.

Aspen is actually the only hardwood that is non-aromatic in nature therfore we can use it safely in our Hamster’s enclosure.

Still, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider while choosing a bedding for your Hamsters. Don’t worry we got you covered, stay till the end with us and you will be clear with your thoughts!

Picture Credits: Nelson, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: nelsonandnorma

What Makes A Good Hamster Bedding?

Choosing a prefect bedding for your little one can be a tough task for several Hamster owners.

Each type of  bedding have their own pros and cons, but few factors are a must, and any bedding you go with should have these in place:

  • Comfort: Comfort should be the topmost priority when you choose a bedding for your Hamsters. You should choose a bedding that is comfortable and soft so that your little ones doesn’t hurt their feet.
  • Absorptive: Hamsters pee and poop anywhere in their cage therefore absorbency is one of the most important factor while choosing a bedding. If your Hamster’s feet remain wet in their pee, it can lead to health issues like bumblefoot.
  • Safety: The safety of our Hamsters is of great importance. The material we use as a bedding should be pet-safe. Never use wood shavings of pine or cedar as they are toxic for our Hamsters. It can lead to various health complications in them.
  • Temperature control: If you live in an area where there are frequent temperature fluctuations then you must be very considerate while choosing a bedding for your Hamster. Go with bedding that can balance out the needs.
  • Economical: Many of us have a limited budget to spend on our Hamsters so we cannot spend everything only on bedding. Good quality food and toys are equally important.

These are some general guidelines you should keep in mind while choosing a bedding for your Hamsters, although some Hamsters might have varying needs than others.

For example: If your Hamster is allergic to aspen bedding, you might need to use paper. So, do keep that in consideration while choosing one.

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Is Aspen Bedding Safe For Hamsters?

Aspen bedding is made up of non-aromatic hardwood shavings, which are safe for our Hamsters.

As pine and cedar are toxic for Hamsters, aspen shavings are the best option. Aspen doesn’t have any aroma like pine or cedar.

However, you must buy aspen shavings from a reputed brand only. Some cheap brands often sell cheap quality aspen shavings that have a lot of dust and mites in it.

Dusty bedding are big no-no for your Hamsters. Dusty bedding often causes a lot of health complication in Hamsters.

I personally prefer Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding as it has excellent quality and is economical at the same time. One large pack goes for a few months, in a standard enclosure. I had used it in the past before I moved to Kaytee Clean & Cozy.

Can My Hamster Be Allergic To Aspen Bedding?

There is a slight possibility that your Hamster may have an allergy to aspen. Though it is very rare, some Hamsters might have an allergic reaction to certain things, and so you must keep an eye out for the same.

There are some rare cases where some Hamsters showed allergic signs when their bedding was abruptly switched to aspen.

If you have suspicions about your Hamster being allergic to aspen, I would recommend looking out for symptoms in them:

  • Sunken eyes and swollen tongue
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • A runny nose
  • Coughing & Sneezing
  • Squeaking noise
  • Labored breathing

If you find any of these symptoms to be true in your Hamsters, I would recommend you to immediately take them to a vet.

The vet will help you confirm, whether the allergy is due to the bedding itself or due to some other health complication.

If your vet confirms the allergy, then I would recommend you switch to h good quality paper bedding like Small pet select paper bedding.

These bedding are extremely safe as well as cheap.

How Good Is Aspen Bedding For Hamsters?

If you want wood shavings as bedding in your Hamster’s enclosure, then aspen is no doubt the best choice.

Never use pine or cedar shavings as they are toxic to our Hamsters.

Like everything else, it does have some pros and cons, which we need to consider before buying for our Hamsters.

PROs

  • Absolutely safe for Hamsters
  • Absorbs pee well an keeps the enclosure odorless
  • No artificial coloring or chemicals
  • Scent-free material
  • Inexpensive for short-run
  • Available in all sizes

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CONs

  • Less absorbent as compared to paper and fleece bedding
  • Your Hamster may toss the bedding around and out of the cage
  • Can be costly in the long run
  • If you buy cheap quality or tractor supply pack then it may contain some dust

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We can clearly see that the pros of using aspen bedding surely outrun the cons.

However, if your little is allergic to aspen then it might be a different story altogether. Apart from that one can definitely give aspen bedding a try if it fits into your Hamster’s supply list or not.

You can always change it during your next shopping if it doesn’t fit right in.

Can Hamsters Eat Aspen Bedding?

Although aspen is not the best thing for Hamsters to chew on, it is completely normal for them to do so.

Picture Credits: Nelson, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: nelsonandnorma

Hamsters are curious pets and if you have used aspen bedding for the first time, it is quite sure that they will much on it. They just try to find out what it is. Over time, you may see them stop eating it.

My Hamster Keeps Eating Aspen Bedding: What Should I Do?

It can be a matter of concern for you when you see your Hamsters start to do something unusual like this, especially if you are a new Hamster owner.

You have to calm down because it is completely normal for Hamsters to do so. Sometimes they just do it out of curiosity and other times due to lack of chew toys or other sources of entertainment.

Chew toys are a must for your little ones. Hamster teeth are different from human teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime.

Chew toys help to keep their teeth healthy and well-shaped. Wooden chew toys are ideal. Make sure the piece of wood you are buying from local pet stores is free from any kind of pesticides or chemicals.

You can check out this set of 10, Hamster Chew Toys, your Hamster will surely love it.

How Often To Change Aspen Bedding

Hamsters are messy creatures. They run from one corner of their enclosure to another creating chaos.

As you must know by now, Hamster always craves for food. They have a complicated digestive system that wants them to eat some food continuously because they are grazers.

Therefore, there is a need for them to poop every few minutes, thus staining the bedding. I personally change my Hamster’s bedding every 10 days. This ensures that they are happy as well as safe.

Also, I would advise you to build up a habit to spot clean the cage daily to make sure there is no waste buildup around the cage.

If you have decided to go for aspen bedding then I would recommend you to go with a larger pack. Besides lasting for a long time, it proves to be economical.

While I clean their cage, I keep them in this wonderful playpen I got from Amazon!

Last Words

Aspen makes a prefect choice for your Hamsters if you are looking for a natural bedding material.

Aspen has no coloring or chemicals in it. It is scent-free and comfortable for our Hamsters. It provides them a glimpse of the natural environment.

However, it does adds to the monthly cost as you need to get the pack again and again.

One can definitely give aspen bedding a try if it fits into your Hamster’s supply list or not.

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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