Selecting the right bedding for your animals is essential for their health, comfort, and well-being. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which bedding material to choose. This blog post explores the pros and cons of wood shavings and alternative bedding options to help you make an informed decision.

Wood Shavings for Animal Bedding

Wood shavings are one of the most popular bedding choices for animals, including horses, poultry, and small pets. Below are some pros and cons of using wood shavings for animal bedding.


  • Absorbency: Wood shavings are highly absorbent, effectively soaking up moisture and keeping stalls dry
  • Comfort: Wood shavings’ soft texture provides a comfortable resting surface for animals, promoting better sleep and overall well-being
  • Odour Control: Wood shavings help control odours by absorbing ammonia and other waste products, keeping the stalls clean and fresh
  • Dust Screening: Although some wood shavings can produce dust when disturbed, premium shavings are dust-screened for maximum respiratory comfort.


  • Cost: Depending on the availability and sourcing of wood shavings, they may be more expensive than alternative bedding options
  • Environmental Concerns: The source of wood shavings may cause environmental concerns related to deforestation, habitat destruction, and the use of chemicals in wood processing. Choosing sustainably sourced or recycled wood shavings can help mitigate these concerns. 

Alternative Options to Wood Shavings

Are you curious about other bedding options aside from wood shavings? Here are some common choices.

  • Straw: Straw is a traditional bedding material made from dried cereal crops like wheat, barley, or oats. It’s affordable, readily available, and provides excellent insulation, but it’s less absorbent than wood shavings and may need to be replaced more frequently
  • Hemp Bedding: Hemp bedding is an eco-friendly option made from the fibres of the hemp plant. It’s highly absorbent, dust-free, and biodegradable. However, this bedding may not be as readily available as other bedding options and can be more expensive than traditional bedding materials due to production costs and limited supply
  • Paper-Based Bedding: Bedding made from recycled paper or cardboard is another eco-friendly option. It’s free of dust and allergens, making it suitable for animals with respiratory issues. But paper bedding is less absorbent than wood shavings, which could result in more frequent bedding changes to maintain a clean and dry environment for your animals. 
  • Pelleted Bedding: Pelleted bedding is made from compressed wood fibres or other natural materials. It’s highly absorbent, low dust, and easy to clean, but it may be more expensive than traditional bedding options, and some animals may find it uncomfortable.

How to Make the Right Choice for Your Animals

Ultimately, the best bedding choice will depend on your animals’ specific requirements and your commitment to providing them with a clean, comfortable living environment.

If you’ve decided to use wood shavings for your animal bedding and are looking for premium quality at reasonable prices, Klassen Wood Company has you covered.

Visit our yard or online store to make a purchase, or if you have questions about our products, complete our contact form to connect with a team member.