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So I was looking into getting a gerbil. I don't have a ton of money so all of the equipment and supplies might be and issue. I was wondering if shredded paper could replace traditional wood shavings?:confused:
 

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My mother is willing to help pay for the vet bills. Trust me, I have everything planned out, I already have a 10 gallon tank for it and will be able to purchase all of the equipment. I just don't want to have to buy more than I need to. That's why I was wondering if shredded paper is a good alternative to wood shavings.
 

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I would go with the wood shavings (pine), they are more absorbent and won't smell as quickly and they can dig in them. I would reccomend pine, because I have heard hamsters are allergic to cedar and I use pine, but I'm not sure about gerbils. I have a 10 gallon tank, too, I prefer them rather than the Critter Trails and wire cages because they can't really escape and are easier to clean. It is good that you have planned everything, especially what to do about vet bills if you have a low budget.
 

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Shredded paper can work but it won't really absorb that well or help with smells--you'd need to clean it a lot.

I would just use aspen shavings or a paper-based bedding like Carefresh. Avoid pine and cedar shavings.
 

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Avoid pine and cedar shavings.
Really? I use pine shavings and they work really well. My neighbors use that Carefresh stuff and it smells quickly, it doesn't seem to help with odor.
 

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Really? I use pine shavings and they work really well. My neighbors use that Carefresh stuff and it smells quickly, it doesn't seem to help with odor.
Cedar and pine shavings can cause respiratory and sometimes liver problems in many animals. Some animals are also allergic to them.

Pine isn't as bad as cedar, especially if kiln-dried. However, a lot of the risks with pine bedding aren't clear yet and I suggest avoiding them completely to be on the safe side :).

After all, aspen shavings cost the same and are readily available and known to be safe.

As for Carefresh, I don't personally use it but the "Ultra" variety seems pretty good. It's pricey, though, so I feel that aspen shavings are a better deal.
 

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I would go with the wood shavings (pine), they are more absorbent and won't smell as quickly and they can dig in them. I would reccomend pine, because I have heard hamsters are allergic to cedar and I use pine, but I'm not sure about gerbils. I have a 10 gallon tank, too, I prefer them rather than the Critter Trails and wire cages because they can't really escape and are easier to clean. It is good that you have planned everything, especially what to do about vet bills if you have a low budget.
Do not use pine or cedar! Bad.You may not have problems now,but they can pop up.There have been studies showing humans in mills getting RI's from pine dust as well.I use aspen for my small animals...it is very absorbant.I personally don't like Carefresh,so I don't use it.I use aspen and sometimes mix it with Yesterday's News.
 

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I have been using pine shavings for more than five years and I never had any problems, maybe I'll look into aspen next time if it's better. :)
 

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I've personally used the pine shavings my entire life. Most of my hamsters have lived full lives in them, without a single problem. If there is a problem with them, then it might not be something that's applicable to all hamsters. I don't know. Until there's a complete scientific study, I guess nobody will. I think that there could be something there for sure, but so far my personal experience hasn't proved it.
I will say that I avoid cedar shavings simply because they are very aromatic in general, and I know that I couldn't stand to smell that for a very long time, never mind live in it. I can't say that I've tried aspen, but I might give it a go in the future, to see if my hammy reacts positively to the change in his shavings.
 

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Pine and Cedar should definatly be avoided. It might not cause problems for every pet, but its better to be safe than sorry. Like evey ones said, aspen is about the same price, and you wont be risking your pets health.
I used to have a hamster that was allergic to all wood shavings, and we usually just used shredded paper for her. It works fine, but you have to clean it more often because it smells pretty quick.
 

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Aspen is very good and pretty cheap as well! I used it until I discovered my ham, Patches, had a skin allergy to it!! Nobody had ever heard of a ham being allergic to Aspen, but I switched to Ulta Carefresh and haven't had any problems since!


I don't know if gerbils are able to be "potty trained", but all three of my hams are and it saves A LOT on cleaning!! Which is nice since Carefresh is pricey!!!
 

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Aspen is very good and pretty cheap as well! I used it until I discovered my ham, Patches, had a skin allergy to it!! Nobody had ever heard of a ham being allergic to Aspen, but I switched to Ulta Carefresh and haven't had any problems since!
I had a degu with an allergy to aspen bedding so I guess it's not unheard of!
 

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I had a degu with an allergy to aspen bedding so I guess it's not unheard of!

Wow!! I mentioned it in another forum several months back because I switched to Aspen and Patches would just dig and dig at herself and scratch against anything and everything!! They said they'd never heard of an Aspen allergy but told me to switch to something else to see if it stopped. I changed to Carefresh and within a day or two she stopped and hasn't done it since!! She was actually fine in the Aspen until after she gave birth, so I don't know if that had anything to do with her developing the issue or what?!
 

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Wow!! I mentioned it in another forum several months back because I switched to Aspen and Patches would just dig and dig at herself and scratch against anything and everything!! They said they'd never heard of an Aspen allergy but told me to switch to something else to see if it stopped. I changed to Carefresh and within a day or two she stopped and hasn't done it since!! She was actually fine in the Aspen until after she gave birth, so I don't know if that had anything to do with her developing the issue or what?!
I'm not sure, but my degu had been fine on it for over a year before suddenly developing the allergy. I switched her to Yesterday's News (paper-based like Carefresh) and she was fine after that.
 

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I know some animals can be allergic to aspen.I have heard of it.I never had problems before tho.I did have a rat allergic to Carefresh though.
 
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