Guinea pigs have a wide range of habits and activities that they engage in, including chewing on various items. Piggies have teeth that never stop growing, which means they need to chew on rough, fibrous objects to keep their evergrowing teeth under control. If you have guinea pigs, you may be wondering if it’s safe to let your guinea pig chew on tree branches too?
Guinea pigs can chew on tree branches. Not all branches are safe for guinea pigs to chew on, but many are. Willow, apple, pear, mulberry, ash, and birch are safe woods for guinea pigs. Chewing tree branches keeps their teeth and body healthy and can have many benefits for guinea pigs.
Tree branches and other sticks are easily available and readily found outdoors in many environments. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the trees you’re selecting branches from are completely untreated and pesticide free. Tree branches can provide a great source of enrichment for your piggy, but traces of chemicals can be dangerous for them.
Can Guinea Pigs Chew On Tree Branches?
Guinea pigs love to chew, and wooden items like tree branches and sticks are very popular for them. Wild guinea pigs often chew on tree bark or fallen sticks in addition to foraging for grasses. However, is this safe for guinea pigs? Can it cause harm for guinea pigs to chew on sticks?
It is safe for all guinea pigs to chew on tree branches, as long as they are from a safe type of tree. In fact, it is necessary for guinea pigs to chew on a regular basis, and sticks are a great option. Chewing on tree branches helps guinea pigs grind down their teeth and keep them at a manageable length. Guinea pigs will chew nearly anything made of dried grasses, wood, cardboard, or paper.
Guinea pigs can develop dental issues if they do not gnaw down and chew enough fibrous items on a daily basis. It’s important to remember that hay is just as essential for this, as the long strands of hay help to reach the back molars that can’t be as easily reached by chew toys like sticks. However, a variety of objects help to work their teeth in various ways.
Wild guinea pigs chew through various tough and fibrous items to keep their teeth and body healthy, which means that it is important for guinea pigs that are kept as pets to be provided with lots of opportunities to chew as well.
Guinea pigs in captivity benefit from a variety of chewable items for enrichment and to maintain their teeth. Sticks and branches typically come in various widths and textures which is fun for guinea pigs to chew. Providing adequate enrichment and activities to do also helps keep your guinea pig happy in their enclosure.
You can forage for safe sticks outside, pick them from a tree, or purchase packs of organic apple tree sticks online or from a pet store if you can’t find safe and untreated branches near you.
Can Guinea Pigs Chew On Any Type of Sticks?
We have established that chewing on tree branches is important for guinea pigs, but is it safe for guinea pigs to chew on any type of stick? Can it be dangerous for guinea pigs to chew on certain tree branches?
The reality is that while it is a good idea for guinea pigs to chew on tree branches to maintain their health, not all trees are safe for guinea pigs to chew on. Some trees can be very toxic to guinea pigs, and potentially dangerous if they are consumed.
Guinea pigs are originally native to South America, where there are plenty of safe trees that provide fallen sticks for wild cavies to chew on. It is important to understand which tree branches are safe to give to your guinea pigs, depending on where you live.
It may not be safe to go out into your garden, break off a branch, and give it to your guinea pigs. First, you must understand what trees you have in your garden and then determine if these trees are safe for guinea pigs to chew on.
Guinea pigs will often ingest parts of the branches that they chew on. If your guinea pig consumes wood from a branch that is toxic or harmful in some way, the guinea pig is very likely to suffer toxic effects.
Guinea pigs are relatively fragile creatures, so it’s crucial to only offer sticks from safe and untreated trees.
What Branches Are Safe For Guinea Pigs To Chew On?
We now know that not all branches are safe for guinea pigs to chew on, but there are several types of trees that are safe for guinea pigs to chew and consume.
It is important to give branches to your guinea pigs to chew on, but it is essential to understand that not all tree branches are safe for these animals. If in doubt, it’s best to avoid that particular type of tree in lieu of a safer alternative.
With that in mind, here is a list of the trees and branches that are safe to give to guinea pigs for chewing:
There are several other tree branches that are potentially safe, but ultimately unknown and best to avoid if you want to err on the side of caution.
When collecting sticks and branches from outside, it’s a good idea to soak or rinse them off thoroughly before giving them to your guinea pig to get rid of any small bugs or dirt. Avoid any branches that look unhealthy or smell moldy. Also be sure to remove any leaves or buds from the branches, as not all leaves are good to feed your piggies.
Always ensure that the particular tree you’re collecting branches from is not treated with pesticides or sprayed with any other chemicals. To be on the safe side, it’s best to collect sticks from your own trees or that of a family member or friend that you know has organic trees.
If you are unsure of whether a tree is treated or you don’t have access to safe trees, you can also purchase packs of organic apple tree sticks on Amazon for your piggy to chew on. Hay cubes are also a great option for chewing.
However, it’s crucial to provide your piggy with large piles of hay daily, as this is the most important thing for wearing their teeth down on a daily basis. The best types of hay for guinea pigs are typically timothy or orchard grass hay, but guinea pigs can eat nearly any type of grass hay.
Types of Wood To Avoid With Guinea Pigs
Branches from many evergreen trees (pine, cedar, etc.) and pitted fruit trees (plum, cherry, peach, apricot, etc.) should be avoided with guinea pigs.
Pitted fruit trees often contain toxic traces of cyanogenic glycosides throughout the tree. The amount in these trees can vary, so some may be less toxic than others. However, fruit trees come in all different varieties and it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how much is in each particular tree. To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid all pitted fruit trees and stick to some better-known safe alternatives.
Evergreen trees often have strong smells and contain toxic phenols in their raw form, which are not safe for piggies to smell or ingest. Any other strong-smelling aromatic trees should also be avoided.
Can Guinea Pigs Chew On Regular Wood?
It is safe and good for guinea pigs to chew on safe sticks and tree branches, but is it okay for guinea pigs to eat and chew on regular wood as well?
If you do not have tree branches available to give your guinea pigs, you can give them wood to chew on.
However, it is critical to ensure that the wood is from a tree that is safe for the guinea pigs to chew on. It is also vital that the wood be completely untreated and free of chemicals, sealants, cleaners, and any other substances.
The wood that you give your guinea pigs will often be eaten, so it cannot contain or be treated with any substances that may cause harm to your piggy.
It is beneficial for guinea pigs to chew on branches, as it helps to keep their teeth under control and promotes overall health. However, not all types of sticks are safe for guinea pigs, so it’s best to avoid a particular type of tree if you are unsure. Additionally, it’s crucial to make sure the tree is not treated with pesticides, as many of these chemicals are dangerous to piggies.
While many things are safe for guinea pigs, there are several foods and other plants that can be potentially dangerous for them. You can find more items to avoid giving your furry potato on our list of 45 things your guinea pig should never eat.