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  • Why You Should be Using Red Cedar Bedding

    October 13, 2020 4 min read 5 Comments

    Red Cedar Bedding

    There are several types of bedding out there for use in dog kennels. Using red cedar ribbons as bedding can offer additional benefits over using straw or hay. In this article, we will break down each of those benefits and also cover some things to consider before choosing red cedar bedding for your kennel.

    Naturally Repels Fleas, Ticks, and Other Insects

    Red Cedar trees have natural insecticidal properties that help repel fleas, ticks, and other insects. The concentration of the insecticidal compounds varies by species of Red Cedar tree, with the Western Red Cedar tree having the highest concentration of these insecticidal compounds. This natural insecticidal property carries over to your kennel when using red cedar as bedding, whereas using hay or straw for dog bedding can actually harbor fleas and ticks. This may lead to possible infestations and the increased risk of needing potentially harmful chemicals to remove those insects.

    Holds Together Better Than Straw or Hay

    Straw and hay work great for a few days, but they will quickly begin to break down into smaller pieces and dust. This dust can lead to eye and nose irritation for the dog. Also, straw and hay does not stay in place and will quickly be trafficked out of the kennel, which once outside the kennel will quickly break down and become unusable. With Red Cedar ribbons, the ribbons will stay intact longer and will not break down into dust. They also hold in the kennel better and if pulled outside of the kennel, it can still be placed back into the kennel without it breaking down.

    Keeps Dogs Warm and Dry

    Red Cedar ribbons will act as an insulator, keeping your dog’s body heat inside the kennel and in their bedding. When your dog is wet, Red Cedar will pull moisture of your dog’s fur, keeping them drier.

    Comfortable and soft

    Red Cedar Bedding provides soft, comfortable bedding for your dog to lie down on. Cut into ribbons, the Red Cedar Bedding provides a natural compressing cushion unlike straw or hay.

    Help Control Pet Odors

    Dogs can become problematic with their odor, especially if left wet. Other types of dog bedding will quickly develop unpleasant odors. Straw and hay will get waterlogged, begin to break down, and will lead to a pungent mess. Red Cedar ribbons have natural cedar oils, which produces a refreshing and aromatic scent that will help mask and even reduce dog odors.

    Quick and Easy to Clean

    Anyone that has used straw or hay in a kennel knows that it’s a pain to clean. It gets everywhere, it breaks down into little pieces, and there are also dust and bits left over. With the Red Cedar being cut into ribbons, cleaning is quick and easy. The ribbons will not break down into tiny little pieces, often staying whole or at least staying in large enough pieces. As an added benefit, you also have to clean it out less often because it lasts longer.

    Things to Consider Before Choosing Red Cedar Bedding

    Before adding Red Cedar Bedding to your dog’s kennel, make sure to check if your dog is allergic to Red Cedar. In some cases, your dog may have an allergy to Red Cedar oils and a chemical called plicatic acid, which can unfortunately cause red swollen eyes, runny nose, squeezing, irritated skin that may look red and scaly, hair loss, nausea, fever, and lethargy. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to respiratory issues. If your dog does have an allergic reaction, please consult a veterinarian.

    Do not use Red Cedar bedding with pregnant dogs or newborn puppies. Red Cedar may harbor a bacterium called Klebsiella, which can lead to mastitis in nursing canines and blood infections in newborn puppies.

    Staff Tip: Before introducing a dog to Red Cedar bedding, get a handful of Red Cedar ribbons in your hand and allow your dog to sniff the ribbons. Wait a few hours to observe if there is any reaction. If there is not a reaction, add the ribbons to the kennel. For the first few days, keep an eye out from any redness in the skin or eyes, or if the dog is acting different.

    When sourcing your Red Cedar bedding, research into what type of Red Cedar tree the company is using to make their ribbons. The Western Red Cedar tree contains high concentrations of insecticidal compounds, whereas the Eastern Red Cedar tree has a lower concentration of these compounds. Red Cedar Ribbons sold at Lion Country Supply are sourced from Eastern Red Cedar trees harvested in Connecticut.

    If your dog is a chewer and likes to chew on sticks and wood a lot, be mindful of this when deciding to choose Red Cedar ribbons. A dog that is a chewer may be attracted to chew on the cedar ribbons, which could cause intestinal issues if consumed.


    Using Red Cedar Bedding comes with several natural benefits over other types of bedding. Though more expensive, you are going to have to replace it less often and when in use, it is going to be a better bedding material throughout the life of the product. As long as you check to make sure your dog does not have any allergies to the cedar oils, Red Cedar bedding is in our opinion the best bedding for use in kennels.

    Lion Country Supply stocks two different size options for Red Cedar ribbons. We have a 12x12x14” box and a 18x18x14" box.

    Red Cedar 12x12x14

    5 Responses

    Janice McGivney Keiser
    Janice McGivney Keiser

    May 11, 2023

    We use your cedar shavings as bedding for our puppy litters. It keeps pups nice & clean & is very easy to clean & change when it gets soiled.

    Gary Storm
    Gary Storm

    December 30, 2021

    Several years ago I switched from cedar to pine shavings. I have bird dogs (GSP & English Setter).

    Evidence suggested that the odor of cedar over a period of time would lessen their noses’ sensitivity. Which of course would be a serious side effect.

    Dogs seem to love pine.

    Michael - Lion Country Supply
    Michael - Lion Country Supply

    December 14, 2021

    Most dogs will not chew on or eat the red cedar bedding, but if they do, red cedar shavings are nontoxic in smaller amounts. One thing to be concerned about is if your dog ingests larger amounts of the shaving, this can cause digestive blockage and irritations. If you suspect your dog is experiencing blockage from the ingestion of red cedar shavings, take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

    Ron Simpson
    Ron Simpson

    December 14, 2021

    One of my dogs tends to eat on branches and sticks. Is there concerns I should have in ingested?


    November 23, 2021

    Interested in cedar for dogs

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