Cedar Chips for Dogs: Everything You Absolutely Must Know

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Cedar Chips for Dogs

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Cedar chips are one of the most common filling materials for dog beds. Many dog experts agree that it is one of the best out there.

However, as a loving pet parent, it is your responsibility to find out whether everything your dog uses is safe for him.

Not everything sold as good by pet manufacturers is actually good for your lovable friend.

In light of that, here’s everything you need to know about cedar chips for dogs.

What Are Cedar Chips?

Cedar chips are wood shavings derived from cedar trees. The chips are produced from different trees.

In the United States, the wood of the Eastern Red cedar is used. The tree releases natural oils with a pleasant smell.

 It is believed that cedar also possesses certain chemical properties that inhibit the growth of certain weeds.

As a result, cedar chips make for great weed inhibitors in many gardens.

They are also used as mulch since they can fertilize the soil.

In the canine world, cedar chips are used to deter insects and mask any unpleasant pet odor.

Are Cedar Chips Good For Dog Bedding?

Cedar chips are great for dog beds as they help repel fleas, ticks, and other insects.

Commercial dog beds mix the chips and fillers for this very reason.

Besides deterring insects, cedar shavings also help minimize dog odor.

Some of our canine friends can have incredible body odor. Perhaps it is because of dander, dirt on the body, bad oral hygiene, rolling in stinky surfaces, you name it.

No matter how much you love your doggie, you certainly don’t appreciate the smell.

Having a very strong sweet-smelling odor, cedar chips will overpower any other scent released by the dog.

Cedar chips are so natural and eco-friendly. Once you are done using them as dog bedding, you can throw them in the garden which will act as mulch.

That way, the environment will thank you for your kindness.

Do cedar chips keep dogs warm?

When it comes to warmth, wood has always taken the day.

If you live in a cold area, using wooden flooring can reduce your dependence on A/C than other materials.

Cedar shavings make a dog’s bed comfortable in more ways than one.

It prevents the cold from reaching the dog. It is also very soft and comfortable to lie on.

Do cedar chips keep fleas away?

The smell of cedar may be friendly to you but insects find it very annoying. When they come across it, their first instinct is to go as far away from it as possible.

Rumor has it that people of older generations used to line their cabin floors with cabin chips to ward off ticks, snakes, rodents, and fleas. The same principle is at play today.

Besides using it on cedar chests and cedar clothes, we also stuff dog beds with cedar to ward off insects.

As the weather warms up, ticks and fleas love to find a home in dogs. Since these creepy insects are tiny, they can safely burrow themselves in a dog’s skin without your knowledge.

This is especially true if you don’t have the habit of checking your pup for ticks and fleas on a frequent basis.

The best solution? Use cedar chips in his bed. The insects will be utterly repelled by the odor of the cedar and will run for their lives.

Will cedar chips keep ticks away?

Ticks, like fleas, love clinging on dogs. As a result, most dogs suffer tick bites as well as tick-borne sicknesses including babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Lyme’s disease.

Sadly, most of these diseases don’t have vaccines.

To make matters worse, detecting a tick bite is not an easy thing to do.

Your dog can take anywhere from one week to three weeks to show any signs of a tick-borne disease.

To avoid this scenario, your best bet is to prevent ticks from finding their way to your dog in the first place.

Ticks are repulsed by the smell of cedar wood. It is one of the surefire ways of keeping tick infestation at bay at home.

Cedar wood shavings bear the odor that the little buggers detest so much.

If you are looking for a natural solution to repel ticks, trust the power of cedar mulch.

Sprinkle a few layers around the yard and watch as tick infestation goes down.

To keep them away from your furry companion, use some in his bed and cover it in a strong fabric.

Are cedar chips safe for dogs?

Most dogs have zero problems with cedar. After all, it is a natural, biodegradable material with no added chemicals.

However, the pleasantly-smelling bedding can also pose health risks for some canines.

The shavings have phenols that have been known to irritate some dogs’ lungs causing bacteria to enter in the process.

They also contain plicatic acid and oils – both of which can cause allergic reactions to canines and even human beings.

Some of the symptoms of irritation include redness of the skin. If the infection is in the lungs, the dog will have signs and symptoms of asthma such as discharge from the nose.

Ideally, stay away from cedar chips if you have a sick or old dog until you talk to your vet about it.

Also, pay attention to your pup in case he comes down with an infection or an allergic reaction from the cedar.

Safety, or lack thereof, also depends on the size of the chips. The smaller they are the better.

In the event that your dog chews on them, a big piece can spell more trouble than a smaller one.

Are dogs allergic to cedar?

Some of them are. When they come in contact with the chips, the dog may cause allergic contact dermatitis, which is a fancy word for the inflammation of the skin.

So, in essence, contact dermatitis occurs on the part of the skin that comes in direct contact with the cedar shavings.

Sometimes, the irritation happens even after the dog sleeps on the cedar-filled bed for years.

The main signs of dermatitis include red, irritated, and swollen skin. It can be a rash, weeping pustules, or small bumps that are very itchy.

But again, this only happens to some dogs and not others.

Some of the breeds that are prone to having contact dermatitis include German shepherds, Wire-haired fox terriers, West Highland terriers, and Golden retrievers.

Are cedar shavings toxic to dogs?

Best Calming Dog Beds

Not really. Cedar doesn’t contain any substance that can cause toxicity in a dog.

However, some dogs have been shown to develop allergies when they come in contact with cedar chips.

If your dog is already sick or elderly, talk to the vet before using a cedar-filled bed for him.

Can dogs chew cedar chips?

Unfortunately, yes. Any chewer cannot resist the temptation of sampling the cedar shavings using his mouth.

If the shavings find their way to the gut (which is likely), your dog may suffer from gastric upsets, blockages, and mouth abrasions.

Do dogs enjoy the smell of cedar?

Not necessarily. They just don’t detest it like fleas, ticks, insects, and other insects do.

However, the scent has been known to offer a calming effect to dogs.

Final Thoughts

From repelling insects to fertilizing our gardens to making our homes smell good, cedar shavings are beneficial in and around the home.

You can use them to line your outdoor doghouse or fill his bed with them.

As long as he is not an aggressive chewer and your vet says it is fine to use the shavings on him, go ahead and buy some.

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Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.