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What is the risk of using cedar shavings for guinea pig bedding?
So, I’ve seen a lot of websites warning you not to use cedar shavings for bedding in a guinea pig cage. When I was a kid and we kept guinea pigs, we never saw those warnings so cedar was all we used – it didn’t seem to have any ill effects at the time, but now I’m wondering. I’m not considering using them again but I am curious – can anyone enlighten me as to why they’re harmful to pigs and what the risks are?
Answer by OBXMAR
When we had gerbils, we mixed pine and cedar shavings because the cedar has some oils that seemed to cause irritation to their noses and underparts (that were in direct contact with the bedding). The oils in cedar make it smell good but can be a little too strong.
Answer by Dave B
While cedar is nice and aromatic to us humans, it is a powerful allergen for just that reason. Not all piggies will be allergic, but the incidence is huge for them, and they have their noses into it all the time, and will also gnaw it. In general, you are better off attacking the real issue and using absorbent recycled paper based bedding rather than cedar to mask odor. If you use shavings with some paper over the top, use the aspen shavings instead of cedar and you’ll do OK, and it helps control the cost, too.
Answer by Maggie
I used to have a rabbit and I read that cedar was poisonous to bunnies. I’m not sure why, though. I can’t imagine that they eat it.
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