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Research Integrity

Bedding is a controllable research variable that research animals are exposed to 24/7.

A bedding material comprised of variable materials and inconsistent in composition, may impact the integrity of valuable research.

ALPHA-dri  PLUS is the bedding of choice to ensure the elimination of bedding derived confounding variables.


  • Exceptional consistency
    ALPHA-dri Plus is consistent in chemical composition and particle size from cage to cage, bag to bag and lot to lot.
  • NOT Manufactured from Harvested Materials
    Other harvested bedding materials like wood chips and corn cob are highly variable in species, composition and microbiological contaminants in addition to seasonal variability. ALPHA-dri PLUS is manufactured from pure, virgin paper cellulose virtually free of confounding variables.
  • Never Recycled and Always Consistent Virgin Paper Pulp
    Other available paper pulp materials are often manufactured from recycled fibers or inconsistent pulp sources. ALPHA-dri PLUS is only manufactured from one specific grade of virgin paper pulp that meet’s SSP’s strict standards.
  • Completely Free of Odor Controlling Chemicals or Masking Substances
    We at SSP will never add a foreign substance to ALPHA-dri PLUS to artificially eliminate or mask odors. These substances may alter research results and they are specifically forbidden to be used in bedding per the GUIDE.
  • Free of Chemical Contaminants
    ALPHA-dri PLUS is free of all heavy metals, pesticides and emerging contaminant compounds like PFAS and PFOS substances.
  • Free of Mycotoxins and Endotoxins
    Mycotoxins and Endotoxins are common in corn cob and wood chip bedding materials. These substances may have a significant impact on the physiological and behavioral aspects of the research animal. These inorganic contaminants are not removed by autoclaving or irradiation treatments. ALPHA-dri PLUS is free of these potentially study disrupting chemicals.

Animal Health & Welfare

Research animals give their lives for the advancement of science. In return, we at Shepherd believe it is our duty to provide bedding material that encourages species specific behaviors and overall health.

ALPHA-dri  PLUS is an exceptional bedding choice in support of this lofty goal.


    • Comprised of a Clean and Consistent Material
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is manufactured from a pure cellulose material that is free of potentially harmful substances like endotoxins, mycotoxins, PFAS, heavy metals and pesticides.
    • Absorbs Over 300% Of Its Own Weight
      ALPHA-dri PLUS superior absorbency is what helps keep the cage environment clean and dry – an ideal environment.
    • Exceptional Natural Ammonia Control Without Chemical Additives
      ALPHA-dri PLUS exceptional performance results in low ammonia levels particularly in ventilated cages.
    • Dust Elimination
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is manufactured in our proprietary production equipment to produce cleanly cut paper chips that are screened and aspirated resulting in the removal of loose dust fibers. Low dust levels limit health issues within the respiratory systems, sinuses and eyes of the animals.
    • Excellent Animal Observation
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is manufactured to a specific and strict brightness specification. This bright, white color aids in health checks for blood, food consumption and other discharges.
    • Soft and comfortable
      Corn cob and wood chips are manufactured from hard materials. ALPHA-dri PLUS is manufactured from a soft paper pulp that encourages digging and manipulation.

    Operational Productivity

    Bedding material is crucial to the health and welfare of the animals and the research goals of the investigators. However, bedding material must also be able to be utilized effectively and efficiently within a large scale research facility.

    ALPHA-dri PLUS’ unique characteristics and overall performance supports economical facility wide usage.


    • Pre-mixed Premium Bedding Material and Nest Building Materials
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is a pre-mixed bedding material that eliminates the extra labor and cost of dosing bedded cages with enrichment materials. Each bedded cage of ALPHA-dri has enough ALPHA-twist (mini rolls of paper) to be utilized in the construction of a dome shaped nest.
    • Dispensable in Automatic Equipment

      ALPHA-dri and the ALPHA-twist, have similar bulk density and flow characteristics in dispensing equipment which allow for efficient and cost-effective automatic dispensing of bedding and nesting material in one step.

    • Exceptional Absorbency and Performance Reduces Costs
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is economical to use throughout the facility due to its superior absorbency and overall performance. Less bedding is needed per cage compared to other bedding materials, and cage changes may also be extended resulting in labor savings. 

    • Virtually Dust free
      Lower dust levels mean there is less dust to filter and control within the facility and the cage wash areas.
    • Available in Several Grades
      ALPHA-dri PLUS is available in our standard, irradiated and individually batch-certified grades.
    • Eliminate Costly Autoclaving or Irradiated Grades of Harvested Bedding Products

      The overall cleanliness of ALPHA-dri PLUS is virtually free of microbial contaminants and is suitable for most studies right out of the bag. Harvested bedding materials like corn cob and wood chips require expensive sanitization methods like autoclaving or irradiation to attempt to reach similar bioloads as ALPHA-dri PLUS. However, chemical contaminants like Endotoxins and Mycotoxins present in those bedding materials resist these sanitization treatments. 

    • Several Packaging Options
      Both certified and standard grades are packaged in high strength autoclavable bags. Irradiated material is supplied in a sealed poly bag within a sewn paper bag. ALPHA-dri PLUS is also available in bulk sacks.
    • Available through our Distributor Network.