Yes, hay and vegetables are two of the most obvious things that they chew on, but what about something more natural like twigs or trees? Is it possible for Guinea Pigs to chew on tree branches? What level of security does it provide?
Guinea pigs are capable of chewing on tree branches, but not all tree branches are safe for them to chew on at the same time. Apples, pears, maple, bamboo cane, kiwi, and other fruits and vegetables are considered safe for our guinea pigs. Apricot, almond, cedar, fig, and citrus woods are all things you should stay away from at all costs..
Guinea pigs have teeth that are constantly growing. As a result, they require something to chew on in order to maintain their shape.
However, while hay, chew toys, and vegetables are some of the most obvious options, branches are also a natural option that most guinea pigs find appealing.
You may need to experiment with different types of branches to find out which ones make your guinea pig happy because each one has its own personality.
You might be wondering what kinds of tree branches our guinea pigs are allowed to eat now that you know they can eat tree branches. Here are some suggestions. Let’s take a look at it!
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What wood is safe for guinea pigs?
When looking for safe wood for your guinea pigs, keep in mind that the majority of fruit tree branches are safe for our guinea pigs. There are, however, a few notable exceptions.
The exception to the preceding rule is found on fruit branches that bear fruits that have a solid pit in them. For example, mangoes, peaches, most citrus trees, plums, cherries, and other fruits are available.
Despite the fact that these fruits make for a delicious snack for our guinea pigs, the branches of these trees contain traces of harmful toxins, including cyanide, that can cause our guinea pigs to lose their lives in a matter of minutes.
As a result, it is recommended that you exercise caution when selecting wood for your guinea pigs.
In the event that you are visiting any pet stores or other pet supply stores, you may be wondering which one to choose.
In this case, the rule of thumb is to look for a label that states that the product is safe for rodents or guinea pigs. These types of wood are completely safe for our guinea pigs to be exposed to.
The following types of branches, in addition to the ones mentioned above, are considered to be risk-free for our little friends:
What wood is toxic to guinea pigs?
Some woods contain a trace amount of toxins, including Phenols, Tannins & even Cyanide that can be fatal for our guinea pigs.
Thus, you must be aware of the same while looking out for branches for your guinea pigs.
Here are some wood branches that are deemed toxic for our guinea pigs:
Please note: Trees branches such as Apricots, peaches & nectarine can be provided to your guinea pigs after drying them for at least one month. The fresh branches are unsafe for our guinea pigs to chew on.
Health benefits of chewing branches in guinea pigs
The chewing habit of your guinea pig may be something you are concerned about, but believe me when I say that it is beneficial to your guinea pig’s health.
However, the majority of the time, you will only notice that your guinea pig is chewing on the cage bars, fleece hideouts, hay feeders, or other items in their environment.
Guinea pigs chew on those items because they don’t have access to something better to chew on, such as chew toys or safe branches.
Therefore, make sure to provide your guinea pigs with something they can chew on while you are caring for them.
We’ll move on from there to discuss some of the health benefits of chewing in guinea pigs, now that we’ve got that out of the way.
Prevents overgrown teeth
Guinea pig’s teeth grow continuously throughout their lifetime. It grows at a rate of 1-2mm every week.
Thus, they need high fiber and roughage in their diet to keep their teeth in the right shape and size.
If your guinea pigs don’t get enough things to chew on, their teeth can overgrow, hindering their ability to eat and also causing a lot of pain in your guinea pigs.
Thus, adding some branches into their cage can keep their teeth in shape and grind them as your guinea pigs try to chew and shred those branches.
Branches from Apple, Maple, Pear, and Cotton plants are some excellent choices to keep your guinea pigs teeth in good shape.
Guinea pigs are active animals, and they need a lot of stimulation and physical exercise to keep themselves happy.
A pet guinea pig might not get enough physical stimulation, and thus adding something like a few branches or wood can keep them busy and provide the much-needed stimulation and exercise they need.
Please note that this is not a replacement for floor time but just an additional measure to keep your guinea pigs happy.
Help remove boredom
Apart from the physical stimulation, guinea pigs also need some mental stimulation to keep themselves happy.
Being confined in a cage with nothing much to do can make them bored and lazy.
Some guinea pigs also start chewing on cage bars to get the attention of their owners.
Thus, adding some branches can help in keeping them busy and thus preventing boredom in guinea pigs.
Rich source of fiber
Branches of trees contain a decent amount of fiber in it. Apart from keeping their teeth short and in shape, it also supplements fiber in your guinea pigs.
Fiber is essential for our guinea pigs as it helps in maintaining a good digestive system and helps prevent diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases.
Thus, you should add some wood into your guinea pig’s cage for chewing.
Branches that harm guinea pig’s health
A few trees and branches are dangerous for your guinea pigs because they contain toxic chemicals or toxins that can be harmful to them. Here are a few types of wood you should avoid at all costs: acacia, cedar, and fir.
- Our guinea pigs are at risk from eating stone fruits, which are fruits that contain large pits or stones (such as peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, and so on). Some tree branches, such as peaches and apricots, can be made safe by drying them out for a month or more before using them. If these branches are served raw, they are lethal.
- Cedar and Pine: Cedar and pine wood contain a chemical known as phenol, which gives them a distinct smell and feel when touched. Phenols are toxic to guinea pigs, and they can cause a variety of diseases in them if they are consumed. Due to the fact that klien dried pine trees contain negligible amounts of phenols, it is suitable for use in the treatment of guinea pigs.
- Forest fire wood that releases cyanide: Cyanide is a toxin that can cause life-threatening health conditions and even death in some cases. A trace amount of cyanide can be found in the branches and leaves of trees such as almonds, oaks, and others. As a result, make sure that it is kept away from your guinea pigs.
- Tannins are another chemical that you should be on the lookout for when searching for wood for your guinea pigs. Tannins are released when wood is cut. Redwood, walnuts, and other similar trees can release a significant amount of tannins and should be avoided.
What type of wood can guinea pigs chew on?
Guinea pigs need more items to chew when they are kept in a confined space. They might chew on food and water dishes, hideouts, etc. if they are not provided with chew toys and branches to chew on.
Thus, providing the right and safe branches to your guinea pig is really important. You need to pay attention to your guinea pig’s habits and personality, also while choosing the right wood for them.
Guinea pigs are just like our children. As every child’s need for toys and diet is different, the same goes for our guinea pigs as well.
Wood such as apple, pears, hazel, maple, willow, etc. are some excellent choices for our guinea pigs.
However, some guinea pigs may prefer maple over others, while others love only apple wood.
Thus, you need to experiment to find the right type of wood for your guinea pig.
Where can you find good branches for your guinea pigs?
If you are looking for some wood or branches for your guinea pigs the here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Branches from a forest or a park is a good option.
- Branches from pet stores marketed as rodent safe are an excellent and safe choice.
- Homegrown tree branches are also safe unless they are heavily dosed with chemicals.
- Avoid branches from road-side trees as it absorbs a lot of toxins from the environment.
- Avoid branches or twigs from the area where people walk their dogs.
How to prepare branches for guinea pigs?
Preparing a piece of wood or branch for your guinea pig is a little tricky. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Branches from trees like apricots, peaches, etc must be dried for at least one month before serving.
- Break the branches into small pieces and sand the sharp edges.
- Remove any attached materials like ivy, mosses, etc.
- Remove any bugs or pests attaches.
- Wash the branches in warm water to get rid of any attached pesticides or chemicals.
- Allow the branches to dry before serving.
Most pet store branches are prepared for rodents and can be served directly. However, you might want to give them a good wash just in case there is something attached.
Is it safe for guinea pigs to consume fir branches?
Fir branches are not suitable for guinea pig consumption because they contain harmful chemicals that are detrimental to our guinea pigs’ health.
Is it possible for guinea pigs to have apple branches?
Yes, the branches of an apple tree are completely safe for our guinea pigs. Make certain that the branches are properly prepared before serving them.