The thought of your bunny rabbit cuddled up all warm and cozy in a fleece blanket is enough to put a smile on any pet rabbit owner’s face. But is using a fleece or blanket the right thing to do for you bunny? After all the poo, wee and knock food and water all over the place right?
So, the question is often asked if fleece bedding is more hygienic than wood shavings or Sawdust.
Fleece bedding for rabbits should be considered for a number of reasons. If your rabbit lives indoors then you don’t need this form of bedding. However, if your bunny lives outside then warm and cozy bedding will be needed and fleece bedding is quick drying. Easy to clean and change and is soft on their feet which will reduce the risk of sore hock a painful feet condition.
Controlling the moisture, liquid, and smells within your rabbit’s cage is really important. Not only for your rabbit’s health but also for your enjoyment of keeping rabbits.
We highly recommend choosing one that doesn’t contain a lot of dust as it can cause breathing or allergy problems for your rabbit but could also cause issues for their owners if used indoors.
Before we go into detail here are some Fleeces we like
Let us take a look at the possible reasons for and against using fleece bedding for your pet bunny.
Type of bedding to consider
There are many types of bedding widely used in rabbits hutches and even Guinea Pig cages that are suitable and safe to use. However, there are a number of factors to consider when using particular types in certain situations. The list below will guide you through the various rabbit beddings commonly found in your local pet stores.
Straw and Hay
Many people especially beginners get confused with Hay and Straw. So, let us keep this simple. Hay is primarily grown and given to pets and animals as food.
Straw is very low in nutritional value and is a bi-product of other farm products and is generally less expensive than hay.
Hay is harvested while it is still alive and growing therefore more expensive. Straw is the dead stalks of plants after the valuable parts of the plants have been harvested. Hay provides a good nutritional value for animals who are going to be eating it, while straw provides little nutrition.
So, if you have no other option than hay or straw. Then go with straw for bedding and hay as part of a balanced diet.
A final word on straw: Straw is very poor at absorbing urine and is not a good bedding at all for rabbits. It is sometimes the only option for some people but we highly recommend using something just as inexpensive but for better for your rabbit-like Stayfresh or a Fleece.
Fleeces are easy to clean and wash. Simply rinse them before putting in the washing machine. Simple!
It comes in various shapes, sizes and colors and all different price ranges. The number one benefit in my mind is the fact that it protects your bunny’s feet from illnesses like sore hock.
Adding a fleece as bedding for your bunny is quick, simple and in the long run very cost effective. Changing wooden or paper bedding can be costly depending if your rabbit is toilet trained. A fleece can last for months if not years if taken care of weekly.
Aspen bedding is a popular choice for rabbit keepers and is often the number one choice from all the wood bedding options. The reason being it does not contain any aromatic oils or phenols that could potentially harmful your bunny (unlike pine and cedar), while also being dust-free and odorless.
Aspen is also odor-free and is extra absorbent whilst also being safe for rabbits to chew on. It’s easy to remove and clean aspen bedding and can be disposed of via your recycle waste collection or garden compost.
Using shredded or pulp paper as bedding for your rabbit is an affordable and good option to consider. Paper bedding for rabbits is highly absorbent and works for well for indoor and outdoor rabbits as long as it stays dry. Ensure you buy a reputable brand that is dust-free.
The paper bedding is also recycled so it is environmentally friendly and safe for your rabbit to chew, sleep and relax upon. It can absorb three times its weight in liquid, which will keep your rabbit comfy and dry for longer!
What Rabbit Bedding to Avoid
The beddings that should be avoided at all cost are listed below:
- Newspaper ( Can cause digestive issues )
- Pine and cedar shavings ( Can cause disease & Illness )
- Cat litter ( Unsuitable on many levels )
- Paper Pellets ( Used for littler trays )
- Nothing ( Having no Bedding is a no, no )
How to stop rabbits destroying fleeces
Next time your rabbit destroys their brand new fleece don’t get angry with them. You need to understand and remember that rabbits in the wild dig and chew to survive. It’s one of their instincts and they never lose those instincts even after many years of being housed as a pet.
They are not being naughty, they are just doing what comes naturally. Even if it is annoying and costly. Sometime your rabbit will destroy their fleece bedding is out of boredom. So, ensure they have the best living environment for possible and supply them with plenty of chew toys and playful toys.
How to stop them destroying it
If your rabbit is chewing and destroying their fleece is can become a hararz for them. The loose fluff can be digested and fall into their food or water and be swallowed and get lodged in their digestive system. So, making them stop is not only less expensive but also safer for them.
There is no one solution to stop your rabbit from chewing their fleece but a number of things to consider are:
- Their living space is too small: Ensure they have a fun and large enough area to live and play with a snug sleeping area. Make it fun and entertaining for them and they will be less likely to chew their bedding.
- Spayed or Neutered: Rabbits that are not spayed or neutered tent to be more destructive. Their behaviours are more obstructive. Having your rabbit spayed also has many health benefits including longer lifespans.
- Young Rabbits: Baby and younger rabbits have much more energy than larger and older rabbits. This means they often destroy things that they don’t understand. Again, their natural instinct of.. chew and find out comes into play.
- Single rabbits: Keeping a rabbit on its own will cause them to be more aggressive to their environment and hutch, bedding. If they have company or a partner/mate they will be more entertained and calmer. Therefore less destructive.
As you can see from the information above then number one cause of a rabbit destroying their fleece bedding is due to boredom and natural instincts. Boredom you can control and is all in your hands to provide a stimulating environment. Their natural instincts on the other hand cannot be controlled. But maybe tamed a little!
The thought of a rabbit sleeping on a fleece at first may sound like a bad idea. MY first thoughts were that it will get all wet and dirty. However, I now see after using one for my two rabbits how easy and hygenic not too mention cozy they really are.
I rinse mine in warm water before adding to the washing machine on a very short wash then hang it out to air dry.
Job done, clean fresh and cosy!