Being a pet owner comes with a lot of love and a lot of responsibility. Keeping our rabbit safe, healthy, and comfortable is our priority and that is why we have rounded up five great options so that you can comfortably choose the best bedding for rabbits in your life.
We will go over the criteria that you should be aware of when choosing bedding for your bun and go over the pros and cons of our top picks. Let’s look at the best bedding for rabbits so you can create a safe and comfortable environment for your favorite furry friend.
Get the 411 on the Best Bedding for Rabbits
When we first got our rabbit it was hard to know where to start. We wanted the best for our baby bun, just like you do for yours. Over time and with a lot of trial and error, we figured things out. To assist you with choosing which is the best bedding for rabbits that you own, this will give you some of the basics about bedding, how to keep things clean and what to look for when you are shopping.
Achieving a Great Setup
For rabbits to feel most secure, you want to create a living area that is similar to their environment in the wilderness. To make your rabbits feel safe and happy, aim to create the feeling of a natural burrow. Plenty of comfortable bedding in their space will give them a place to retreat to in the event that they are feeling stressed or threatened.
To keep you and your pet healthy, you will want to check frequently that the bedding is dry and clean. We will go into this more below. Using bedding that helps to eliminate odors will keep things smelling nicer in between cleanings. Our rabbit is pretty good about separating the litter from the bedding, but bedding that is absorbent will help to keep your furry friends sanitary if they do have an accident in their bedding.
For the best sleep, you should aim to have the temperature set to around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit in order for your rabbits to get the rest they need. Bedding is essential in helping to provide a warm area for them while they are resting. With baby rabbits and senior bunnies, bedding can help to regulate their temperatures when their own bodies might not be able to do so as well.
Some websites may advise that bedding is not necessary for rabbits. However, bedding can help your rabbit to create a zone where they know they are safe and warm. As they learn that bedding is for sleeping on, they will avoid eliminating it. This will keep them healthier in the long run.
Like many rabbits, our girl will take a nap in pretty much any spot in the house when she is tired of playing. Her ‘sleepy corner’ is where she can go to relax and get a longer rest. Whether your bunnies are in a hutch or are more free-range around your house, a spot set up with bedding will make your rabbits happier.
What Makes Good Rabbit Bedding
Depending on their age and their personality, your rabbits will have different needs and preferences for their bedding. When you combine this with your budget and your cleaning schedule, hopefully, you can come up with the perfect combination to find the best bedding for rabbits in your life.
Here are a few things that should be considered when purchasing bedding:
- Aim for soft, comfortable materials
- Choose different bedding from litter
- Check for absorbency, in case of accidents in their bedding
- Look for bedding that will keep bunnies warm, while not allowing them to overheat
Beddings to Avoid
Before you begin the hunt for the perfect bedding, we should go over a few things that you always want to avoid when selecting bedding for your rabbits.
To keep your rabbits the healthiest, avoid the following materials:
- Cat Litter-it can be fatal if swallowed
- Straw-this irritates many bunnies (hay is okay)
- Sawdust-this is not good for a bun’s eyes and nose
- Generic Wood Shavings-if you do not know what the shavings are made of then this could lead to health problems
Keeping Things Clean
Rabbits do not sweat, therefore they typically do not have body odor. Rabbit hutches do have a distinct smell in general and any accidents in the bedding will give off a bad smell as rabbit urine is very strong.
Having odor-absorbent bedding can help to control odors in between cleanings. Depending on your budget and how often you swap out their bedding, you should be able to find a solution that will work for you and your rabbit.
Scents should be avoided when you are choosing bedding. Quality bedding will have some odor absorbency, making scents unnecessary. Scents and other chemical additives are harmful to your bunnies’ delicate respiratory system and can also cause stomach issues if they nibble on their bedding a lot.
Typically you want to swap out bedding about twice a week. It is important to check the bedding daily to take out any soiled bedding and to make sure your rabbit is not chewing or eating their bedding. Depending upon your choice of bedding and your rabbit’s behavior, you may need to increase or decrease your frequency of change.
With a regularly changing schedule and the right bedding, you should be able to find a happy balance that will keep your rabbit happy and healthy while also keeping your house smelling fresher. I think wanting a cleaner smelling home is something we can all agree on!
Eco-friendly bedding options can be put into a compost bin. Dispose of it in the trash if compost is not an option. Bedding and litter should never be flushed down toilets or drains.
Safety Precautions When Choosing Rabbit Bedding
We already covered things to avoid when choosing rabbit bedding and litter. However, there is another main thing to consider.
Rabbits love to chew and they can eat almost anything. Rabbits will chew to play, to explore their environment, and to file their teeth. And your rabbit will most likely chew on their bedding. Choosing bedding that will be healthy for your pet is a big concern.
Always avoid chemicals, toxins, and additives in your bedding, no matter what type of bedding you choose. Also, avoid bedding that may expand in their stomach and could potentially block up their intestines. Intestinal issues are common in rabbits as they like to nibble on everything. Taking precautions with their bedding will eliminate one area of concern in your home.
Some rabbits are more likely to chew on their bedding than others, so keep an eye on their preferences. Offering our rabbit plenty of chewing toys helped to steer her away from chewing her on her bedding. If you have a compulsive chewer on your hand, choose bedding that will be 100 percent safe for them.
Are Softwood Shavings Safe for Bedding?
There are differing points of view about softwood shavings being safe for bedding and litter for your bunnies. Researching the options is best so that you can make an informed decision if you are on the fence about selecting bedding that might have softwood shavings.
This article delves deeper into why you might choose to avoid softwood shavings such as pine or cedar.
On the other hand, this article provides many counterpoints and some other scientific data that you should consider.
Part of choosing the right bedding for your rabbit is knowing his or her personality. Rabbits that avoid chewing their bedding will have fewer issues overall. There are many options for bedding on the market that you can find without softwood shavings if you are concerned about this issue.
Remember that you should always avoid generic wood shavings. No matter what type of bedding you decide to purchase, you want to know what is going into it so that you can be aware of what your bunny is sleeping on or might possibly be ingesting. Generic wood shavings leave you with little information. And the content will not be consistent which means one bag could be fine while the next bag causes problems for your rabbits.
Choosing the Best Bedding for Rabbits Based on Their Age
If you are just starting out with bunnies that are six months old or younger, they need to be kept warm, so aim for bedding that will be warmer for your bun. A soft option is also good as babies will sleep a lot. While we were still working on litter training, we went through a lot of extra bedding with our girl. Choosing an option that was more affordable while still meeting our needs was important.
Adult rabbits have more options in the bedding department and a lot of it comes down to their (and your) preference. Keep in mind the list of general things to consider about bedding and find something that fits the priorities you need at the time.
For senior rabbits that spend a lot of time in bed, comfort should be the priority. As seniors also have a weaker immune system you will want to avoid irritants that could be in bedding, so choosing an option with less dust will be important.
How to Choose the Best Bedding for Rabbits
Most companies sell their bedding by the liter. One thing to look for is if they compress the bedding. Compressed bedding is common as it makes shipping cheaper for the consumer. Also, compressed bedding makes it easier to store larger quantities. Being able to stock up without worrying about where to store the extra bedding is a nice treat. Compressed bedding should always fluff up after you open the bag. If it does not, then you might consider swapping it out.
When deciding on the best bedding for rabbits, you will want to look at your budget and how often you are able to swap out their bedding. After health concerns, absorbency and odor control are important things to consider, especially if you cannot change their bedding as often. More absorbent bedding can allow you to get an extra day or two between cleanings if necessary.
If their bedding is in the main area of your home, odor control and dust will probably be among your top concerns. Less dust is better for your bunnies and means less cleaning for you!
Being able to leave a smaller carbon footprint was important to us when we realized how much bedding we will be going through. Most rabbit bedding purchased from a pet store or online retailers is compostable which helps the environment and makes cleanup easier. Many types of rabbit bedding are made from recycled sources and you are also able to put the dirty bedding into the compost bin, saving the planet in multiple ways! Be sure that your compost bin is not made up of more than 25 percent of rabbit feces. Again, be sure to never put any type of rabbit bedding down a toilet, sink, or storm drain.
For another overview of types of bedding for rabbits, check out this YouTube video.
This bedding is made from all-natural aspen shavings that are processed to eliminate dust and wood debris and it contains no aromatic oils. The shavings are naturally biodegradable which is a nice plus for the environment and makes disposal easier. Also, this bedding has no artificial colors or chemical additives making it very safe for your furry friend.
Keep an eye out for pets that like to nibble on this as it can cause health problems. If you believe it is causing health issues, discontinue use of the product, and consult a veterinarian. While there are differing opinions on other types of wood shavings, aspen is considered to be safe for rabbit bedding.
Some of the pros of the Kaytee Aspen bedding are:
- Very absorbent
- Naturally biodegradable if you are looking for an eco-friendly option
- Good at eliminating odor
- Great value for the size and the quality
- Not very much dust
A couple of cons that we found with this bedding:
- Slightly rougher than other brands
- Small chip size
This small animal bedding is made from 100 percent paper and can absorb up to 800 percent of its weight in moisture. The paper is pure, meaning it has never been printed on. This also makes the product more environmentally friendly and makes safe disposal very easy.
The Oxbow Pure Comfort bedding lives up to its name–the soft pieces were much appreciated by our rabbit. It is also formulated to be 99.9 percent dust free and we could tell the difference with this bedding as opposed to some of the others, especially since our bedding is set up in our living room.
Some of the pros of the Oxbow bedding are:
- The 800 percent absorption rate is superior to other brands
- Easy cleanup and disposal
- Exceptional odor control
- Very little dust
- Extremely soft
There were very few complaints about this product, however, a friend did notice that their bedding became very wet more quickly than with other brands. This could depend on your pet as we had no issues, but it is something to keep an eye on.
This bedding is made with 100% recycled paper. What would normally be headed to a landfill can now be recycled and used to help create a safe space for your bunnies while also helping the environment.
The Fiber Core Eco-Bedding had a few good things going for it:
- Not much dust at all
- 100% post-consumer waste recycled
- It stayed very fluffy in between changes
The only con with this product is where the odor control comes into play. This was not as good with odor control as other brands. However, the fact that it was unscented made up for this as there were no chemical smells that we noticed. If odor control is not a top priority for you, this is a good choice.
If you like the Kaytee brand but are wanting to avoid possible issues that come with wood shavings, this could be the one for you. It is made from a paper-based substrate and is 99.9 percent dust-free.
This product had a few really good points:
- Very soft for pets
- Breaks up and expands well so you will get your money’s worth
- Very absorptive, probably the best on the list
A couple of cons that we noticed:
- Fair, but not great with odor control
- White color makes it look dirty in between cleanings, this is nit-picky but something to consider
As for dust, this did not make the pro or the con list. It did not have a ton of dust, but it was not as good as some of the other brands and types that we tried.
The So Phresh Natural Softwood Small Animal Bedding is made from a blend of spruce, fir, and pine shavings. It does not have any added scents or oils to make it easier for your pet’s health. It is also biodegradable and can be recycled as compost, again making it another eco-friendly option. The bedding is made using reclaimed wood that comes from the housing industry.
Some great things about the So Phresh Natural Softwood Bedding:
- Great with odor absorption
- Has a nice, natural smell
- Great moisture absorption, making it easy to clean up
- Good value for the size
A couple of cons for the So Phresh bedding:
- Slightly dustier than other brands tested
- It was light and fluffy, but if you had a more open setup it could fly around and cause issues
After all of the testing, which one is the best bedding for rabbits?
While we would recommend any of the products on this list, for us, the one that pulled ahead was the Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding. It had the least amount of dust and the best absorption. Our rabbit liked how soft it was and we like knowing that she is happy.
And while other products were also eco-friendly on the list, the fact that it is made from pure, un-printed paper made us feel better about it being a healthy option for our pet.
With your pet’s health being your top concern when choosing new bedding, you should be able to find one from this list that will make your budget and your bunny happy.