Bedding is a very important factor when it comes to gerbil care.
The bedding is what your gerbils will spend the majority of there day on.
They will burrow in it, make nests in it, sleep in it, and breath it.
The bedding should be low in dust, and not carry a heavy fragrance.
It should also not be to rough on the feet, be pleasing to the eye and should be absorbent.
Like housing, bedding is a very controversial matter.
Everyone seems to have there own opinions and preferences.
On the following pages I will list the pros and cons of each substrate, and share my personal preferences.
Aspen shavings are generally one of the best bedding type for gerbils. They are used by many breeders, and are one of the safest substrates for pups. They are readily available at most pet stores, as well as online retail stores.
I highly recommend them for young pups, and breeding pairs, however, dust levels vary, so be sure to check the bag first. Some gerbils are also allergic to them, so check for red, runny noses.
Kiln Dried Pine Shavings
Kiln dried pine shavings are a safe low dust bedding option. They are easy to find, and I use and recommend them. However, don't get them confused with regular pine shavings, which contain toxic phenols from the wood. Most pine shavings are kiln dried, but be sure to check the label just in case. Pine is a softwood, and it does have a rather strong smell, so be sure to let it air out properly. I find I don't have very many respiratory infections when I use kiln dried pine, and it is very affordable. Many pet and farm stores carry this bedding, although it is generally just labeled 'pine shavings', so like I said, make sure it is kiln dried. Dust levels will vary depending on brand, so be sure to check the bags.