Hay vs. straw. What's better? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I was once told that straw causes mange.
The girls kennels have raised wood floors with a heat cable underneath. So I know they have a warm butt, but I want to give them the best to help keep them comfy.
If I leave them all in the house when I go to town there might not be a house to come home to.
It's too darn cold to take them all. I can leave Lacy and Palla in the house, but Larka and Loki are going to have to be out in the kennel. We built it so that we wouldn't have to worry about the weather but in this extreme.....
What is better?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:34 AM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I hadn't heard that straw causes mange, so I had a look and found this.

"Q. What kind of bedding should be used for an outdoor dog house?

A. We may surprise you by saying we hate to see our clients use straw or marsh hay for bedding for their dogs. Several times, we have seen straw and marsh hay infest an entire kennel with a case of sarcoptic mange, not to mention fleas and ticks. The bacteria Klebsiella and a parasite called Rhabditis strongyloides can also be found in straw and other organic bedding. Both of these can cause disease in dogs. Hay comes from farms and if they have livestock, you can bring their problems to your door. Straw and hay are impossible to disinfect and become tracked into an indoor kennel, helping to clog drains and gutters. Wood shavings from pine and cedar trees have been used for years as bedding for everything from horses to mice. The shavings are a great bedding material because they are soft and comfortable, and they absorb excess moisture while covering up unpleasant odors. Wood shavings have a repellent effect on fleas and other insects, and they are environmentally safe when it is time to dispose of them. Another attractive feature of wood shavings is the pleasant aroma of pine and cedar. Wood shavings, however, also have potential health risks. Be sure the wood shavings come from a reputable source, and NEVER USE WOOD SHAVINGS FOR PREGNANT OR NEWBORN ANIMALS. "

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:52 AM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I've been using straw for about two months, I havent seen a prob, I'll keep a close eye on it.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 12:01 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I used straw for YEARS and never had a problem.

If you are going to use one or the other, straw is MUCH cheaper.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:26 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I would think that straw used for personal dogs outside wouldnt carry as much risk as a kennel with dogs going in and out? At least thats my thought when I read it.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:55 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

For most of my childhood our dogs were kept outside and we used straw and never had a problem. While I prefer wood shaving, they are much more expensive so if cost is a factor straw is a good option IMO.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 03:33 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

There is a difference in the quality of straw as well as hay, clean good quality straw is a wonderful bedding and provides warmth. I have used straw in both my foaling stalls and whelping boxes for well over 25 years. I keep the newborn puppies on it until they begin to poop, than it gets kind of messy and at that time they are placed on large cedar chips, the added benefit of that is the puppies when they reach 6 weeks old are put in a large puppy run with a plastic swimming pool filled with shavings, they are so used to pooping and peeing in shavings that they go to the pool to relieve themselves, this helps immensely with housebreaking when they go to their new homes. If I could only train the foals to do the same thing!!!!!

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 06:30 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

i use straw for our horses and have never heard or had a problem
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 08:41 PM
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Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?

I use straw because it generates heat and insulates from the cold ground.

Hay is a little bit more iffy as if it should get wet it can spontaneously combust. I would not worry about this outside, but if you are storing some leftover in a shed, the shed can go up and take the kennels and house with it. I stay away from hay.

For cleanability, wood chips are a whole lot easier than cleaning up straw in the spring time. I do not know if they give as much warmth as straw.

I usually wait until after it gets cold -- into the teens to get the straw. I have never had a problem with sarcoptic mange or anything else mentioned above. I have also used wood chips with new born pups and never had a problem either.

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