Pine Wood Shavings Bedding Holds Up to the Competition
Recently, there have been some claims that paper pulp fiber beddings were safer and healthier for small critters than pine. Interestingly, these claims only started gaining ground when the leading manufacturer of this product started an aggressive advertising campaign alleging that their product had none of the “harmful aromatic oils” found in pine wood shavings. While these claims circulate around the internet and elsewhere, they are inaccurate.
The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) cites an independent, peer reviewed study as a source for help in determining the relative merits of various beddings. Published in 2004 by the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the study:
“found that all bedding types that we evaluated, except for CareFRESH Ultra, were acceptable choices for use in static cages."
The key point is that the research concluded that pine shavings did not cause any problems when used as small animal bedding. It further notes that the use of CareFRESH Ultra was prematurely discontinued due to high ammonia levels in the cage enclosures. In light of the findings of this study, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently withdrew the recommendation against pine bedding on their brochure “What You Should Know About Selecting a Pet Rodent.”
The study was completed with rodents housed on various beddings in “micro environments” (enclosures such as aquariums) and compared CareFRESH Ultra (paper pulp fiber), pine shavings, corncobs, beta chips (maple, beech and poplar wood), Cell Sorb (recycled newspaper pellets) and Nestpaks (corncob with added alpha cellulose). The study is particularly relevant in that it used environments that most people use to house their small animal pets, and measured a critical aspect of both small animal health and consumer satisfaction ambient ammonia levels over time.
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