Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Chew Wood? (Find Out Now)

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Guinea pigs are curious creatures that love to chew on everything – but is wood a safe option? One of the most common questions that guinea pig owners have is: what kind of wood is safe for my pet to chew on?

There are many types of wood that are perfectly safe for guinea pigs to chew on including popular choices like willow, apple, whitewood, and birch. Only give your guinea pig wood untreated with chemicals or pesticides. And make sure there’s no sharp edges that could cut your pet’s mouth.

a guinea pig who says he's likes chewing on wood

To help you make the best decision for your pet, keep reading to learn more about the different types of wood that are safe (and unsafe) for guinea pigs to chew.

Is It OK For My Guinea Pig To Chew On Wood?

a tip about whether guinea pigs chew on wood safely

In general, it is perfectly safe for guinea pigs to chew on wood. Chewing on wood helps to keep a guinea pig’s ever growing teeth healthy and ground down. But, it’s important to make sure that the wood is free of chemicals and pesticides.

You’ll want to avoid giving your guinea pig treated, varnished or painted wood, as these can be toxic. Instead, opt for untreated woods like apple wood, bamboo, and spruce. There’s plenty of other safe woods for guinea pigs to chew on, but these three are some of the best.

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If you’re not sure whether a particular type of wood is safe for your guinea pig, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and give them something else to chew on instead. You wouldn’t want your guinea pig to get sick from chewing on something that was harmful to them.

With a little care, you can provide your guinea pig with a healthy and enjoyable chewing experience.

What Wood Do Guinea Pigs Like To Chew On?

Guinea pigs like to chew on wood that’s hard, untreated with chemicals or pesticides, free of aromatic oils, and easy to eat. Some of their favorites are apple, birch, white wood, hazel, maple, and willow.

If you have these trees in your yard, your guinea pigs can enjoy fresh branches as a treat. They’re safe and provide a healthy outlet for chewing (and we all know how much guinea pigs love to chew!)

Softwoods like regular pine and cedar should also be avoided, as the aromatic oils can cause liver and respiratory problems.

Do Guinea Pigs Chew Through Wood?

Yes, Guinea pigs chew through wood.  Guinea pigs teeth do not stop growing like our teeth.  They need to chew on things in order to keep their teeth shortened.  If not, they can get painful sores in their mouth.  One of the safest and most natural things that they can chew on is untreated safe wood as described above.

Some chewing on the cage is normal.  However, if your little piggie is chewing a lot, or right through the cage, there could be a problem.  Some of these include:

  • Your guinea pig could be feeling lonely and may need some extra loving
  • Your furry friend could be stressed out.  Maybe he’s having trouble adjusting to a new pet, new cage…or even loud noises.
  • The little furball could be bored.  It’s a thing with guinea pigs.  You could try either giving him some new toys or swapping toys out for a change of pace.
  • Maybe the little fluff doesn’t have enough chewies and is having trouble with his teeth.  Try adding a few more different types of chew toys for him or her to try.

What Happens If My Guinea Pig Eats Wood?

If your guinea pig happens to eat a little untreated, guinea pig-friendly wood, it’ll pass through their digestive system without any problems. A guinea pig’s digestive system can easily handle and process small amounts of wood – as long as the wood is soft enough to eat and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or pesticides.

But, if they eat wood that’s been treated with varnish or paint then you need to get them to a vet right away. Eating chemicals like this can be very dangerous for guinea pigs and can even be fatal.

Guinea pigs’ teeth never stop growing, so they need to chew on something hard to wear them down. Untreated wood is the perfect material for this purpose.

Plus, chewing on wood can help to relieve boredom (hello, mental stimulation!) and stress ( because the last thing you want is a stressed-out fur baby.)

If you’re worried that your guinea pig has eaten too much wood, watch your fur babies closely for any signs of pain or discomfort. If they seem to be having trouble digesting the wood, or if they show any other signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately.

In most cases, though, a little wood won’t hurt your guinea pig. So, there’s no need to worry if they take a nibble on a piggie-safe twig now and then.

How Do You Prepare Wood Branches For Guinea Pigs?

a tip about guinea pigs chewing on wood

When selecting branches for your guinea pig, it’s important to choose ones that are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. You should also avoid any branches that are sharp or splintery, as these could injure your little friends’ mouth.

Choose branches from non-toxic trees and shrubs; some common species that are safe for guinea pigs include willow, maple, birch, and apple. You can also find safe branches at your local pet store or even online.

To prepare the branch, simply remove any leaves or buds. You’ll probably need to trim the branch down to size so it fits comfortably in your guinea pig’s cage.

And that’s it. Put the branch in your guinea pig’s enclosure and let them go to town.

Where Can You Find Good Branches For Your Guinea Pigs?

There’s a few places where you can find good branches for your guinea pigs to chew on.

  • Your local pet store. Many pet stores carry branches that are specifically meant for guinea pigs to chew on.
  • Online. There are many websites that sell guinea pig-friendly branches.
  • Look for branches in your own backyard. Just make sure that the branches you choose aren’t poisonous and have not been treated with any chemicals.

By providing your guinea pigs with good branches to chew on, you will help keep them mentally stimulated and happy.

Can I Just Feed My Guinea Pig Wood Instead Of Hay?

No, you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig wood instead of hay. Hay is the most important part of a guinea pig’s diet and should make up the majority of their food intake.

Wood is a healthy treat, great for helping keeping their teeth trim, and an excellent form of enrichment that can be given to your guinea pig on occasion, but it shouldn’t replace hay in their diet.

Hay is packed with the fiber that guinea pigs need to stay healthy. It’s also important for fur babies’ digestive system. Wood, on the other hand, is mostly just for chewing and doesn’t provide the same health benefits as hay.

Honestly?

Hay (and lots of it) is really the only thing needed to keep your guinea pigs’ teeth ground down – and to keep their digestive system working well.

So, while untreated wood is a perfectly safe treat for guinea pigs (to nibble on and to swallow in small amounts), it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for hay. Be sure to give your guinea pigs plenty of hay to munch on every day, in addition to any other piggie-safe treats that you might want to give them.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Need To Chew So Much?

Guinea pigs need to chew so much because their teeth grow continuously. If they don’t chew, their teeth can become overgrown and cause problems with eating.

Plus, guinea pigs use chewing as a way to explore their environment and release boredom or stress. As a result, it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys and hay to chew on (well, mostly hay actually).

Otherwise, they may start to chew on other things in their cage, which can be dangerous.

Is Plywood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Plywood is not safe for Guinea Pigs.  Did you know that it’s not solid wood? It’s made of layers of wood and wood particles…and a whole lot of glue.  That glue is poison to your furry friend.

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Is MDF Safe For Guinea Pigs?

MDF is NOT safe for guinea pigs. Just like plywood, MDF is filled with toxic glue that can really hurt your cavie.  

Is Pine Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, pine is safe for guinea pigs as long as it is kiln-driedUntreated pine has oils that are toxic to your little friend.  When it is kiln dried, you know that those oils have been removed.

Is Bamboo Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, bamboo wood is safe for guinea pigs.  It’s strong for cages and great for keeping their teeth in shape..  But did you also know that it’s high in Vitamin C and high in fiber?  That’s great for your little piggie’s stomach.  

All parts of the bamboo plant are great for little furballs.  They can eat the shoots, leaves and the wood.  Just make sure they eat it in small amounts.

Is Apple Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, apple wood is safe for guinea pigs.  It’s strong wood and great for cages.  Your little friend will love fresh cut branches to chew on too.

Is Maple Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Maple Wood is safe for guinea pigs.  The wood smells great and works great for their cages.  But be careful if you’re cutting branches for them to chew on.  The leaves are NOT safe for your furry friend.

Is Spruce Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Spruce is safe for guinea pigs.  Did you know that it’s healthy for guinea pigs too?  Spruce acts as a germicide keeping your piggie’s immune system strong.  It is also anti-inflammatory and is great for breathing problems.

Is Birchwood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Birchwood is safe for guinea pigs.  They love to chew and grind their teeth on this beautiful wood.

Is Cedarwood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

a funny quote from a guinea pig about chewing on wood

No, Cedarwood is not safe for guinea pigs. It gives off aromatic fumes that are dangerous for your pet.

Is Eucalyptus Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Eucalyptus wood isn’t safe for guinea pigs. The aromatic oils present in eucalyptus trees can be harmful to guinea pigs’ respiratory systems. In severe cases, the oils can even make it hard for them to breathe.

Is Ash Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Ash is safe for guinea pigs. Ash helps with inflammation and bladder problems.  The bark even has pain relieving properties. But be careful and only give it in smaller amounts so they don’t get sick. 

Is Whitewood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Whitewood is safe for guinea pigs.  It is a softer wood, but your little piggie will love to give it a nibble.

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Is Fir Wood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, Firwood is safe for guinea pigs.  It’s also a great building material for a hideout or loft in the cage.

Is Redwood Safe For Guinea Pigs?

No, redwood is not safe for guinea pigs.  Redwood contains toxins like cedar and should not be near your little furry friend.

What Is Safe For Guinea Pigs To Chew On?

a funny meme about guinea pigs chewing on wood

Some safe chewing options for guinea pigs include hay, untreated wood, and certain types of fruit and vegetables. Willow balls, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and untreated paper are also perfectly safe for your furry little friend to chew on.

By providing your guinea pig with these safe chewing options, you can help them stay healthy and happy.

Some people also like to give their guinea pigs twigs or branches from fruit trees as a natural chewing option. Again, just be sure to remove any leaves or buds before giving it to your guinea pig, as these can be toxic – depending on the type of tree.

And always avoid giving them toys with loose plastic pieces chew on, as it can cause choking or other digestive issues. And even though stuffed animals are good toys for piggies, you need to make sure there aren’t any buttons, beads, or other small objects that could come loose and be swallowed.

With so many safe and tasty options available, there’s no reason not to let your little, fuzz spud chew to their heart’s content.

Is It Okay For Guinea Pigs To Chew On Cardboard?

Yes, it’s okay for guinea pigs to chew on cardboard. Cardboard is an inexpensive and easy way to provide your guinea pig with some much-needed enrichment. It also helps to keep their teeth worn down.

Just be sure to choose a safe and non-toxic variety of cardboard, such as unbleached brown paper or corrugated cardboard – untreated with chemicals. And make sure that there’s no glue or tape on the cardboard, as these can be harmful if ingested.

Remember too much of anything (except grass and hay, that is) is bad for your guinea pigs. Too much cardboard can cause digestive problems and blockages if they swallow a lot of it, so keep an eye on how much your fur babies are chewing and eating.

Do Guinea Pigs Need Chew Sticks?

While guinea pigs certainly don’t need chew sticks in order to survive, they can be a great addition to their enrichment activities. Since guinea pigs love to chew, giving them chew sticks is a good way to keep them occupied and help prevent boredom.

If you decide to give your guinea pig a chew stick, be sure to choose one that is made of natural materials and free of chemicals. Hay is also a great way to provide your guinea pig with fiber and entertainment.

While they’re not essential, chew sticks can be a great way to enrich your guinea pig’s life and provide them with hours of fun.

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Let’s Wrap Up

So, if you’re looking for a fun and safe way to keep your guinea pig entertained, give her a piece of wood to chew on.

Just be sure to choose one of the many types of safe wood available, and avoid any that have been treated with chemicals or pesticides.

With a little bit of exploration, you’re sure to find the perfect piece of wood for your furry friend.

Have you ever given your guinea pig a piece of wood to chew on? What type did you choose? And did your piggie even like the wood?

Let me know in the comments below.

Can Guinea pigs chew on wood? (2017, April 29). Online Guinea Pig Care. Can Guinea Pigs Chew On Wood?

Can Guinea pigs eat birch? (2017, May 12). Online Guinea Pig Care. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Birch?

Can Guinea pigs eat maple leaves? (2021, January 5). Facts And Tips About Pets. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Maple Leaves?

Safe branches list for rabbits & Guinea-pigs — Bunny meadow. (2021, April 10). Bunny Meadow.Safe Branches List for Rabbits & Guinea-pigs — Bunny Meadow

Safe wood for Guinea pigs to chew? (2021, January 6). Guinea Pigster. Safe Wood For Guinea Pigs To Chew? Saurav. (2020, March 24). 

Can Guinea pigs eat bamboo? (Leaves, shoots & more). Guinea Pig 101. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bamboo? (Leaves, Shoots & More)

Guinea pig housing. (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. Guinea pig housing | The Humane Society of the United States

What woods are safe when building Guinea pig houses? (n.d.). Pets on Mom.com. What Woods Are Safe When Building Guinea Pig Houses?

Why your Guinea pig is chewing its wooden hutch and what to do about it. (2021, April 3). Home & Roost. Why Your Guinea Pig Is Chewing Its Wooden Hutch And What To Do About It | Home & Roost

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