Alternative to Cedar Shavings for Dogs

Keeping your dog warm in the winter requires proper bedding.
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Cedar is a common bedding used for dogs since it repels fleas and ticks. Maybe your furry friend has an allergy to cedar, or she is almost ready to have puppies. In either case, cedar is not an option for bedding. Fortunately, other bedding options exist to help keep your dog warm and dry.

Pine Shavings

Like cedar shavings, pine shavings act as a natural deodorizer, helping keep odors at bay. Pine is widely distributed as bedding for both large and small animals. Companies selling the products often dry the pine shavings and remove any bacteria present before packaging it. Pine shavings naturally soak up moisture and dry out quickly. This helps keep your dog dry.

Pine Straw

Pine straw is plentiful ground cover found around pine trees. It offers a safe, comfy environment for your four-legged friend. Since the straw doesn’t have the moisture wicking power of cedar, leaving it in the bed too long may promote mold growth. It also lacks odor control of cedar or pine shavings and must be changed more often; however, the straw provides insulation and padding on cold nights.


Like pine straw, hay is a readily available and natural, biodegradable bedding for dogs. It comes in several varieties, such as Timothy, Fescue and Bermuda. Hay dries quickly and helps Fido stay warm. Again, like pine straw it doesn’t have natural odor and moisture absorbing power and needs changing every few days before mold forms.

Soft Bedding

When Fido sleeps inside, a good alternative is soft bedding, such as a blanket or dog bed. If your pet stays outside, however, a soft bed may not be the best option if you don’t like doing laundry every day. It requires frequent washing because it isn’t water resistant and doesn’t absorb odors as well as other bedding. Also, a feisty, bored pooch can make a mess chewing up his soft bedding.

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