is pine bedding safe for snakes?

Pine bedding safe

You have a snake pet, and you’re looking for the best bedding for it. Perhaps you may have heard people debating “is pine bedding safe for snakes?” or “what is the best bedding for snakes”. Snakes love being in an environment that gives them the opportunity to hide, lay, and burrow. Snake bedding provides this comfort.

However, when selecting a bedding type for your pet snake, it is important to consider if the bedding material will cause health problems for the snake. In this article, we examined the “FACTS” on the effect of pine bedding on snakes. We also provided other useful information on the best bedding for snakes. Read through and get informed.

Is Pine Bedding safe for snakes?

The answer to this question depends on the quality of the pine bedding. Non-dried pine bedding is not safe for snakes. However, dried pine bedding is safe for snakes.  A lot of people have the opinion that pine bedding, both dried and non-dried, are generally bad for snakes, but this isn’t true.

Is there anything in dried pine bedding that makes it safer than non-dried pine bedding? The answer is yes! The difference in the levels of phenols and volatile oils in both of them makes one safer than the other. Phenols are aromatic chemical compounds found in large quantities in pine wood and cedar wood. Pine, cedar, and other phenol-containing woods contain toxins that cause significant health problems to snakes.

Some of these health problems include allergic reactions and lung failure.

Is Dried Pine Bedding safe for snakes?

Yes, kiln-dried pine bedding is safe for snakes. Pines, when dried, give off a significant amount of phenols and volatile oil. Phenols are the chemical compound that is responsible for causing a lot of allergic reactions in snakes.

Advantages of pine bedding

Dried pine bedding has been used by many snake pet owners as a preferred bedding material because of some major advantages it has over other bedding materials. It is relatively cheap and easy to find. 

Disadvantages of Pine bedding

Dried pine bedding has some disadvantages, which can also be said of other types of bedding materials. For example, pine bedding can cause some digestive problems for snakes if they mistakenly swallow it. Similarly, pine shavings may harbor bacteria and mold if not cleaned and changed regularly.

Is Cedar Bedding safe for snakes?

No! Cedar bedding is unsafe for snakes. Cedar contains a high amount of phenols. Unlike pine wood, cedar does not give off a significant amount of phenol when dried. When used as a bedding material for snakes, it causes health problems. The effects of the inhalation of phenols by snakes are usually not immediate, but they accumulate over time.

What bedding is best for Snakes?

There are many types of materials that can be used as bedding for snakes. To select the right bedding for your pet snake, you should consider the type of snake species you have and not just the aesthetics of the bedding material. For example, if you keep a burrowing snake, you will need a substrate/bedding that is deep enough for it to burrow in. Some snakes may also require a higher level of humidity than others, so it is advised to find out the natural habitat of your specific snake pet so as to know the best condition.

You should also consider the smell of the bedding, the quality of the absorbent material, and how well it maintains or insulates humidity.

Some common bedding materials used by many snake pet owners are aspen, coconut fiber, newspaper, paper towel, reptile carpets, cypress mulch, butcher paper, artificial grasses, etc. Any of these could be suitable for your pet snake. We will examine various types of snake bedding, their advantages, and their disadvantages.

Aspen beddings

This is one of the most popular substrates used by many snake pet owners. Aspen wood bedding, unlike pine or cedar, does not contain phenols and volatile oils that are harmful to snakes. It has a great absorbent quality, so it makes it easy to contain any “mess” generated by the snakes.

Aspen bedding is a very good option for burrowing snakes because of its fluffy texture.

Cypress mulch beddings

Cypress mulch is becoming a very popular choice of substrate among many snake pet owners. It also has good absorbent qualities. It can maintain humidity.

Cypress mulch gives a feel of what snakes are exposed to in their natural habitat on the forest floor. It is suitable for burrowing snakes and helps inhibit mold growth. Since it is a common choice, it is readily available and can be found in many pet stores.

Coconut fiber

Coconut fiber is also another excellent option. Just like cypress mulch, it has a very good absorbent quality and can keep humidity at the right levels. However, coco fiber may not be very cheap or more available when compared to other bedding materials. You can still find them in pet stores or online. It also inhibits mold growth.

Paper-based Bedding

Paper-based substrates like paper towels, butcher paper, and newspaper can be used for snake bedding. It may not be natural, but it can still provide the right humidity for snakes. One of the major advantages of paper-based bedding is that it is very easy to clean, very cheap, and can be easily found. One of the major drawbacks of paper-based substrates is that it is not so good for burrowing snakes.

How often should I change my snake bedding?

Substrates or beddings for snakes should be changed at least every two or three weeks. That way, it helps keep the pet enclosure clean and free from bacteria. It is also recommended to spot-clean the bedding at least once a week.


Kiln-dried pine bedding is safe for snakes and would not cause any respiratory or organ damage; however, raw pine bedding has the potential to harm snakes. The problem with raw pine and cedar bedding is that it contains aromatic phenols and volatile oils. These substances can cause respiratory and organ damage to snakes when they inhale them. Instead of using raw pine for your snake bedding, you can make use of other bedding materials such as aspen, cypress mulch, coconut fiber, newspaper, paper towel, butcher paper, etc.

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