Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper Bags? (Find Out Now)

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Have you ever wondered if guinea pigs can eat brown paper bags? Turns out, they can!

Guinea pigs can chew on and even eat paper bags in small amounts. You’ll have to make sure you cut the handles off of the paper bags (if they have them) and only give guinea pigs paper bags that aren’t glossy, colored, or treated with harmful substances. Eating too much paper can cause digestive problems for guinea pigs. But as an occasional nibble, a paper bag is no problem.

a picture of a guinea pig wondering if he can eat paper bags

In this blog post, you’ll learn about how to make sure paper bags are given to guinea pigs in a safe and healthy way. You’ll also learn about some of the potential risks associated with guinea pigs eating paper bags. So, let’s get started.

An easy-to-read food chart for safe piggie foods – Buy, download, and print.

Are Brown Paper Bags Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat?

a tip about guinea pigs eating paper bags
Paper bags should NEVER be a meal replacement for the hay, veggies, and pellets that your piggies need for healthy, strong bodies.

As a general rule, brown paper bags are often safe for guinea pigs to eat in small amounts. The paper is usually made from trees (cellulose), which are a natural source of fiber for guinea pigs and a good source of roughage.

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But, you can’t feed a paper bag to your guinea pigs as an actual meal. Giving a brown paper bag to your piggies to play with and nibble a little is one thing, but using a paper bag to replace their regular diet is not a good idea.


Well, because eating too much paper can cause digestive problems for guinea pigs.

Remember, guinea pigs need a high-quality diet that’s full of fiber, fresh veggies, Vitamin C, and other essential nutrients. Feeding them large amounts brown paper bag instead of their regular food can lead to health problems and blockages (more on this later.).

It’s also important to make sure that the paper bag doesn’t have any chemicals or dyes before giving it to your guinea pig. You can usually tell if a paper bag is safe for your guinea pig by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Is the bag colored? If so, then don’t give it to your guinea pig. Dyes can be harmful and even toxic.
  • Is the bag glossy or shiny? Glossy papers are often treated with a chemical called “lamination.” This chemical can make it difficult for guinea pigs to digest the paper (not good)
  • Does the bag have any kind of printing on it? Inks used in printing on some paper bags can contain harmful chemicals that can be poisonous to your fur babies.
  • Has the bag been treated with harmful substances? Sometimes certain paper bags are treated with a flame retardant chemical. This chemical can be harmful to guinea pigs if they eat it.

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you should avoid giving that particular paper bag to your little, fuzz spuds.

So, as a general rule, you should avoid giving your guinea pig any brown paper bags that are colored, glossy, or have printing on them.

How To Safely Feed Paper Bags To Guinea Pigs

Let’s say that you decide that a particular brown paper bag is safe for your guinea pig to eat a little bit of (remember don’t “feed” your little friend big amounts of paper bags) and to play with.

There’s a few things you need to do in order to make sure the experience is a healthy one:

  • The first step is to cut off the handles of the paper bag. This will prevent the guinea pig from getting tangled in the handles and hurting themselves.
  • Cut a hole in the bottom of the paper bag, so that there’s two exits for your piggies to get in and out of. This will help reduce the chances of the bag getting stuck on their head or body. It’ll also prevent fighting over food.
  • Last but not least, make sure that the paper bag is fresh and clean before giving it to your guinea pig. Old, dirty paper can contain harmful bacteria and fungus that could make your little ones sick.

So, as long as you take a few precautions, giving brown paper bags to your guinea pig can be a fun and healthy experience for both of you.

Is Eating Paper Bad For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs are funny little creatures, and one of their quirks is that they like to eat paper (yeah, like who knew?). While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually be very harmful to them if they eat too much paper or paper that is contaminated with chemicals or toxic inks.

In small quantities, paper provides them with some much-needed fiber, but too much paper can block their digestive system and cause problems that you do NOT want your little friends to have to deal with.

Plus, paper that is treated with chemicals can be toxic to guinea pigs and potentially make them very sick.

So, if you have a pet guinea pig, it’s best to keep an eye on their paper consumption and make sure they’re only eating clean, untreated paper in small amounts.

Paper Bag Alternatives For Guinea Pigs

4 alternatives to eating paper bags for guinea pigs
There’s plenty of ways to entertain your piggies other than using brown paper bags.

If you’re looking for paper bag alternatives for your guinea pigs, you’re in luck. There’s plenty of piggie toy options out there, and paper bags are just the tip of the iceberg.

So, if you’re not comfortable with giving your cavies paper bags to eat, there are a few alternatives that you can use – that are safe for them to chew on (and to swallow as well). Here’s a few good ones:

Hay: Hay is a food AND a toy for piggies. They can play, eat, and munch on hay all day long and it’s good for them.

Wooden Blocks: Wooden blocks are a classic toy for piggies. They can chew and play with these blocks all day. Just make sure that they’re made of untreated wood and that there are no small parts that could be swallowed and cause problems.

Apple chew sticks: These are sticks from an apple tree that are safe for guinea pigs to chew on. They’re a good alternative to paper bags.

Cardboard boxes: Cardboard is a great option for guinea pigs because it’s soft, yet durable. And you can find it everywhere. As long as the cardboard is untreated, your guinea pigs can have a blast playing and chewing on it.

So, there you have it. A few good alternatives to paper bags when it comes to providing entertainment and food for your guinea pig. Use this information to make the best choices for your little ones.

Wanna Give Your Piggies
the 5 STAR Treatment?

Stop getting dirty looks from your piggies, because you forgot to do something for them...AGAIN. These colorful, chore charts will help you keep track of when to feed your fuzz butts, clean their cages, and much more. 


Let’s Wrap Up

Now you know that guinea pigs can nibble on paper bags in small amounts without any problems.

Just make sure to cut the handles off of the bag and watch out for any harmful substances that may be used in the printing or manufacturing process. You’re not trying to give your pig a tummy ache, right?

Alternatives to paper bags for guinea pigs include hay, wooden blocks, apple chew sticks, and cardboard boxes.

Make sure to monitor your guinea pig’s paper intake and only give them clean, untreated paper in small amounts.

Have you ever given your guinea pigs a brown paper bag to chew on and play with? How did they like it? Let me know in the comments below.

[Digestive disorders in rabbits and Guinea pigs]. (n.d.). PubMed.

Care and Feeding Of Guinea Pigs. (n.d.). Animal Hospital of Soquel – Veterinarian in Santa Cruz, CA US.

The effect of cellulose on crystal formation in the kidneys of Guinea pigs fed diet rich in calcium and sodium. (n.d.). PubMed.

Guinea Pig Care Sheet. (n.d.). Vet Near Me | Livermore, CA | Ohana Animal Hospital.

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

Guinea pig. (n.d.). | Science, health and medical journals, full text articles and books.

Guinea pigs – Nutritional requirements. (n.d.). Pet Food Manufacturers Association.

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information.

What should I feed my Guinea pigs? (n.d.). RSPCA Knowledgebase – Let Australia’s most trusted animal welfare charity help you answer the big questions.

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