Dog Pen Bedding??? Cedar, Pine, Sawdust?

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Barked: Wed May 16, '07 7:42am PST 
I have 2 dogs....10 yr old Boxer and 7mo old Mini Schnauzer. They are pretty much house dogs but I leave them in the dog pen which is 10x10 on some days. I need to put something down, due to them wearing the grass down and it's in the shade so grass don't grow much anyway. I want to know what would be the best for them....please help!

Awesome Dog
Barked: Wed May 16, '07 9:05am PST 
Personally, I would never use Cedar. I know it can cause respiratory problems in small animals (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.) and for that reason alone, I stay away from it. I've heard it is supposed to keep fleas away, etc. but I'd still never use it myself.

I probably wouldn't use sawdust either. It'd be so MESSY. Plus I wouldn't want my dog sniffing around in it and possibly inhaling the dust. With a brachycephalic dog like a Boxer, I wouldn't want to impede the respiratory functions at all.

Pine shavings would probably be the best of the ones you listed.
The Wee- Beasties

The Wee 3 are- now the Wee 7!!!
Barked: Wed May 16, '07 4:40pm PST 
I agree that cedar is bad for small animals...pine is better but not much. It's the cedar and pine oils that cause the problems if I remember correctly. Also, with any wood-based product, you have to worry about splinters or large chips causing problems.

Aspen bedding is currently being recommended for small animals - it's made from hardwood and they say it doesn't have the oils that cause problems like cedar and pine do. Also, corn cob bedding is available (if the animal wont' eat it).

Hay or straw might be a less expensive and better alternative than most other bedding. Anything that you put out, though, would have a lot of cleanup, I would think...it might be easier in the long run to get some grass seed that "patches" areas like that and that will grow in shade. I personally haven't been able to get grass to grow in the shade of our oak tree, but then again I have a black thumb and never remember to water it enough. red face


Happy- Pappy
Barked: Wed May 16, '07 6:38pm PST 
I know that the one "bulk" dog breeder operation used sawdust in her dog barn. My farm background wants to advise straw bedding. My pets prefer any fabric that is over 400 thread count!
Cherokee- Forever- Loved Cherry

Our Precious- Angel Cherry
Barked: Wed May 16, '07 7:48pm PST 
How about some artificial turf? Ot may be more expensive, but cleans up well with just a hose.
Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
Barked: Wed May 16, '07 7:53pm PST 
For outdoors, most people I know favor smooth gravel. Arthritic dogs and breeds like Greyhounds seem to have difficulty walking on it, but no one else seems to mind it much. I imagine it'd be easy enough to put some sort of bed out there. Unlike any sort of plant matter, it can be sprayed down easily and doesn't retain water (or urine or feces or vomit).

It's a no-go if your dog likes to eat rocks, though.

Barked: Thu May 17, '07 5:08am PST 
When we lived in Colorado we had NO grass in our yard. So when it rained we had one giant mud puddle.

We put straw down until the mud dried up. It is not expensive and it cleans up easily.

Barked: Fri May 18, '07 11:29am PST 
Thanks for everyones help....puppy