Newspaper for rabbit bedding? Let’s cut to the chase – we both want to know if it’s safe or not, right?
Pet rabbits are probably one of the cutest animals. Their smooth, fluffy body, tail, and long floppy ears make the perfect combination of a cuddling buddy. That said, your pet rabbit needs a warm and comfortable home with the best bedding conditions when you are not cuddling. You may wonder if using newspaper bedding for your pet rabbit is okay.
You can use newspaper bedding for your pet rabbit. Newspaper absorbs the moisture in the hutch, providing your rabbit with a dry and warm environment. Besides, it is a cheap alternative.
Are you worried about your pet rabbit’s bedding conditions? Worry no more; this guide will provide you with all the information you need to provide your fluffy baby with the perfect housing conditions using newspapers. You will also learn how to place the newspapers and the dangers of newspaper ink on your soft baby.
Should You Use Newspapers For Rabbit Bedding?
If you’ve had your bunnies for some time, you may have noticed that they like chewing. So make sure that the bedding you use is safe to eat, but if it’s not, always have food in the hutch to prevent your fluffy baby from eating toxic materials. Newspaper for rabbit bedding is the most common choice for many pet rabbit parents, but it is not the safest choice by a long shot. Here are some things to consider when choosing bedding:
Comfort of newspaper for rabbit bedding
When choosing your pet rabbit bedding, you must consider its comfort when standing or sleeping. Newspapers provide a soft base for your fluffy animal to stand and sleep on, and their ability to absorb moisture and water makes it perfect.
Safety of newspaper for rabbit bedding
Although newspapers are not safe to feed on, they provide a safe level for your fluffy animals as they protect them from cold and hard surfaces. Your pet rabbit will only feed on a newspaper if they are hungry, bored, anxious, playful, or for fun. So always ensure that they have something to nibble on to avoid newspaper snacking. Although the newspaper isn’t good bedding, you can use it in a pinch.
Newspaper bedding is the most inexpensive rabbit bedding. You need to recycle old newspapers, saving you the cost of buying expensive bedding material for your bunny. However, if you can’t afford rabbit bedding, maybe you should consider finding a more suitable home for your rabbit where the basic necessities are easily afforded without question. After all, don’t you want the best for your furry friend? However, if the cage floor is raised above a tray, then the newspaper is the best option because your rabbit won’t be able to eat it.
Easy To Clean
If you’ve needed to use newspaper for rabbit bedding, remember that since newspapers absorb moisture, you must check and remove them regularly. Bunnies are clever animals and don’t urinate or defecate where they sleep. Please provide them with a tray where they can do their business. It makes cleaning easy and affords a higher level of sanitation.
Cages with cage floors over trays can easily use newspaper because your bunny can’t reach it through the cage floor.
Here’s a basic rabbit cage with raised floor and removable litter tray perfect for using newspaper as a liner. Check the price here.
Why Do Rabbits Eat Newspaper?
When you find your pet rabbit eating newspaper, it’s a sign that they are missing something crucial in their life. And they are trying to meet the need by eating newspapers. The most common is that they are hungry. But there are a bunch of possible reasons. So, using newspaper for rabbit bedding isn’t the best idea if they have access to eat it.
Rabbits tend to eat all day, and when they are hungry and have no food, they will turn to the next available option, in this case, the newspaper. And this can be very dangerous considering the different printing ink.
Besides hay, rabbits also need other foods, such as vegetables and a high-fiber diet, to live a long healthy life. And when that’s unavailable, they will opt for newspaper used for bedding.
If you keep a close eye on your fluffy baby, you may notice they are playful and social creatures. Therefore, ensure that you provide them with enough toys to keep them entertained. When restless, they will spend time playing with the newspaper and eventually turn it into a snack. For this reason, I choose not to use newspaper for rabbit bedding with my furry friends.
Is It Safe For Rabbits To Eat Newspaper?
Eating any paper is not healthy for any animal, rabbits included. It is because it causes problems in their stomach, which could be life-threatening. Newspapers use ink when printing, of which the components used to make the ink comprises chemicals and other petroleum-based products that are toxic to your bunny. Therefore, before using newspaper bedding, research the inks used first.
Check out cheap rabbit bedding that’s safe to use from Amazon. Check the price here.
Dangers Of Eating Newspaper To Rabbits
Newspaper is not wrong if your fluffy baby consumes just a few pieces, but as we all know, too much of anything is poisonous. If your bunny eats too many newspaper pieces with toxic inks, its probability of being poisoned is pretty high.
The major challenge is that they will experience severe gastrointestinal problems because of the poisoning from ink. It is difficult for the digestive system to process it, irrespective of how well the rabbit shredded it before eating. It causes constipation, which leading a bloated stomach and a change in the rabbit’s stool.
Constipation And Newspaper For Rabbit Bedding
Although constipation is not a big issue, it can cause severe damage to the rabbit, such as a bloated and painful stomach full of hard stool that excretes quite challenging. Your bunny will also stop or refuse to eat because of the discomfort. The condition can be life-threatening if left untreated for an extended period. Therefore, keep a close eye on your fluffy baby, and if you notice these changes, please seek veterinary services.
It might also be problematic if your pet rabbit eats the newspaper without properly shredding it. The newspaper’s huge chunks do not pass through the digestive system and get stuck in the intestines, causing a blockage. It pauses the bowel movement since it cannot excrete anything. Your bunny will be in a lot of pain and stop eating because of the pain and feeling of fullness and bloated stomach. Knowing this, why would you want to use newspaper for rabbit bedding?
The best treatment is seeking veterinary services for immediate surgery to remove the blockage. Consider the cost of surgery versus the cost of buying the proper bedding. It doesn’t make sense; just get the right stuff (it isn’t newspaper for rabbit bedding, that’s for sure). Check the price here.
What Are Newspapers and Ink Made of?
Before printing the newspaper with the content, it was simply plain paper made of a harmless organic compound found in trees. However, humans and bunnies do not have the enzyme required to digest it properly. Therefore, they will pass it out without being digested and likely cause constipation.
The inks might cause other health problems, like cancer or other issues, depending on the type of inks and the toxicity level of your bunny. Therefore, using newspaper for rabbit bedding is a bit of a health risk for your pet.
Types Of Ink Used In Newspapers
Papers become more dangerous because of the inks used. Modern newspaper ink comprises soybean oil, wax, and various pigments for black and colorful images, unlike old and toxic ones. And OSHA does not categorize them as hazardous, but consuming them is still unwise.
Call your local vet immediately if you think your rabbit has ingested newspaper with ink.
How To Stop Your Pet Rabbit From Eating Newspaper Beddings?
When your bunny eats newspaper bedding or other material used as bedding, it’s a sign that they are hungry. Therefore, providing vegetables or other food matters for your fluffy baby to snack on. It prevents them from eating newspaper bedding.
Bunnies are pretty active, so provide them with toys to keep them busy and away from the newspaper bedding. You can introduce another to keep them company if you have one bunny.
Or you can use an alternative bedding material, such as hay, straw, wood pellets, or pine shavings.
Here’s my favorite rabbit bedding when in a pinch (fast delivery on Amazon): Check the price here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will My Pet Rabbit Get Sick After Eating The Newspaper?
Yes and no. If your bunny eats a few shredded newspaper pieces, they won’t have issues since they will also excrete it with other waste. However, if your pet rabbit consumes many shredded pieces, you have a problem with your hands.
Newspaper is not edible, and no benefits come from eating it. What’s more, your pet rabbit will be affected by the toxic ink, and since your pet cannot digest it, it will lead to constipation and internal blockage, which can be detrimental to their overall wellbeing. (source)
Can My Pet Rabbit Eat Newspaper With Ink?
No. Bunnies cannot differentiate between plain paper and printed; it’s all the same to them. And since most of us love recycling, especially old documents in our homes, and use them as our pet rabbit’s bedding. Although we’ve learned that modern newspaper ink is not as dangerous, the ones used on pamphlets and leaflets are most dangerous for bunnies because most use cheaper and potentially toxic inks.
The best option is to choose an alternative to newspaper for rabbit bedding like organic hay.
Does Newspaper Ink Stain A Rabbit’s Fur?
Yes, if your pet bunny has white fur, there is a high probability of stains. It’s not a wonder to find your fluffy baby white paw turning a dark shade of gray or whatever color used on the newspaper.
Which Is Better Newspaper For Rabbit Bedding?
Okay, so let’s assume you have no alternative but to use newspaper for your rabbit. I won’t pass judgment, but you should consider a better alternative here. But if you can’t, let’s look at shredded versus un-torn newspaper for rabbit bedding.
|Shredded Newspaper||Full Newspaper|
|Zero chances of causing internal blockage||High chance of causing internal blockage|
|Not fun to play with since it’s already cut up.||It keeps the rabbit busy when shredding,|
|Zero chances of it getting stuck in the throat||High chance of it getting stuck in the throat|
When you use shredded newspaper, your pet rabbit’s chances of experiencing shocking or internal blockage are close to none. But if you put full newspapers, your bunny may not tear it into small pieces before eating, leading to shocking or internal blockage. However, it is best to use shredded paper under the hay.
Ensure that the newspaper is soft and does not have a lot of wax. Although, I will mention again that I don’t recommend using newspapers except as an emergency alternative. For example, you forgot to pick up new bedding and have to use newspaper for a day while you wait for your bedding to arrive from Amazon.
My Final Thoughts
Newspaper bedding for your pet rabbit is an excellent choice if the ink and paper are safe. However, it would help if you devised a robust cleaning schedule. It will prevent your pet bunny cage from sitting messily for a long time. It is best to clean it once a week and permanently remove soiled bedding.
My favorite option? Only use natural beddings that the rabbit can chew, like hay. Rabbits will chew when hungry, nervous, bored, or for fun. So, if you use newspaper that is heavily inked, or inked at all, for that matter, you’re risking your pet’s health. Just buy decent organic bedding if you really care about your pet.
The Bottom Line
I recommend organic hay, and if you buy it in bulk, it’s cheaper. Check the price here.
- Pet Territory Team, 8 Best Rabbit Bedding Products in 2021. Pet Territory Team, https://petterritory.com/best-bedding-for-rabbits/ Accessed Wed, 31, 2021.
- Carl, Can Rabbits Eat Newspaper? (Why or Why Not?) Hutch and cage, https://hutchandcage.com/can-rabbits-eat-newspaper/ Accessed Wed, 31, 2021.
- Alissa Ambrose, Washington Post Columnist to Eat Newspaper. But Is It Safe? Washington Post, https://www.statnews.com/2016/05/11/washington-post-dana-milbank-eating-newspaper/ Accessed Wed, 31, 2021.
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