Coco coir, found in a variety of home and garden products, is also a useful and non-toxic component of pet care for the following animals.
Coco Coir for Terrarium Pets
Many reptile pet owners rely on coco coir for pets for terrarium substrate. When moistened, coco coir for pets is suitable for certain tropical or exotic pets that thrive in humid environments, and in its dry form, it is suitable for animals that do well in desert terrariums. These animals include varieties of snakes and geckos, tortoises, box turtles, and bearded dragons. In order to mimic their natural habitat, some of these animals, as well as hermit crabs and snails, may require coco coir for pets to be mixed with coarse sand or another substrate mixture.
Coco coir is ideal for hermit crabs as it is easy for them to dig and burrow into it while other substrates, like wood chips, are difficult for them to burrow into. Hermit crabs require a substrate that will stay moistened without too much effort that might disturb them during their molting process while they are burrowed underground. A mixture of coco coir for pets and sand creates ideal conditions. Coco coir used for bedding is also suitable for nesting animals and may assist with egg incubation.
Maintaining Coco Coir in Terrariums
Coco coir for pets used as a substrate may help sustain humidity needed in certain pet environments. Using a spray bottle or terrarium mister, spritz warm, non-chlorinated water onto the coco coir to moisten it whenever it begins to dry out. Scoop out the top layer of coco coir about once every two weeks to remove animal waste material. About every three months, completely replace the substrate when giving the terrarium a thorough cleaning.
Coco Coir for Non-Terrarium Pets
Dogs do well with coco coir in bedding or toys, while cat owners find it useful in litter boxes. Even small mammals, like mice or rats, can use coco coir as bedding, either mixed with another substrate or used on its own.
If the coco coir appears dusty, sift out the dust before using. Coco coir for pets is environmentally friendly and may be recycled by adding to a compost pile or working into garden soil once it has been soiled by the pet and removed from the animal’s box. Coco coir for pets is free from added fragrance, making it safer for your pet. It is also naturally absorbent, which aids in eliminating pet waste odors.
Coco coir comes from coconuts. Be aware that coco coir is sometimes confused with cocoa mulch, a substance that comes from the cocoa plant, from which chocolate is made, and that may be toxic to dogs. Coco coir, however, is safe to use around dogs.
Even though coco coir for pets is non-toxic to use with many animals, it is recommended to speak with your veterinarian about the safety of any new substance before introducing it to your specific pet.