Many animals require some form of bedding when in their enclosure, from guinea pigs to horses. However, it can be tricky to know when it's time to change the bedding material. Pine sawdust is one of the most sought-after bedding materials due to its great natural feel, longevity and absorbency, but even pine sawdust will still need to be replaced. The last thing you want is for your pet or animals to be distressed by a poor environment, so here are three signs that your animal's bedding should be replaced and you need to buy more pine sawdust.
1. The Old Bedding Is Compacted
When bedding has been in the cage or shelter for too long it can start to get compacted by the number of times it has been walked over. This is true for horses as it is for smaller animals like chickens and rabbits. If it does get compacted, to the point where there is clearly no movement of the top layer, then it provides little more benefit to the animals. It pretty much just acts as an extension of the hard floor at that point, which means it needs to be taken out. Ideally, you do this before it reaches a compact state, as getting rid of that hard material can be quite difficult.
2. The Bedding Is Darker
The darker the bedding becomes the more moisture and waste it has soaked up. Even though pine sawdust is very good at eliminating smells, it still will get darker as more animal waste gets mixed in and that can be your major sign of when it is too unhygienic to keep around. If you leave pine sawdust in for too long it can become a health issue and smaller animals, in particular, can get quite ill. Don't risk it; get it out as soon as there is a noticeable colour change.
3. You Can See the Floor
Animals can be quite messy and it is not unusual for them to throw out some of their bedding while messing around. At a certain stage, you will likely be able to see the bottom of their enclosure which is a sure sign that you need to top up their pine sawdust. You may not even have to necessarily take out the current sawdust if it is not in too bad of a state. Just add in a little bit more so that your animals can be more comfortable and have a higher quality of life.