If you are a new guinea pig owner, you might’ve noticed that your fluffy pets are always munching on something. You might wonder if this is normal and yes, these critters tend to chew on a lot of things in their environment. It’s pretty normal. However, such prolific nibbling could lead them to chew things they really shouldn’t.
This article looks at guinea pigs that take a fancy to cardboard. Is it safe for them to chew this material or not? What can you, as an owner do, if anything needs to be done? Let’s dive in!
Why do Guinea Pigs Chew So Much?
Guinea pigs are from the rodent family which includes rats and mice. Their teeth never stop growing and to prevent a dental disaster, guinea pigs need to trim their teeth constantly. This is why they nibble on so many things!
If they stop chewing or cannot find anything to chew, their teeth might grow out of control. This extreme growth can become a danger to their health.
In the worst-case scenario, your pet’s teeth can be filed down by a vet but this is rarely necessary. Chewing is such a natural instinct for guinea pigs that it nearly always keeps their teeth in shape. It is very rare for a guinea pig to develop teeth that are too long. So, you do not really have to go that extra mile and cut or trim their snappers.
Does chewing damage their teeth? In the case of guinea pigs, this is not a problem. There are seldom cases of guinea pigs going for tooth transplantation. In such situations, the pig might already have a teeth infection or poor oral health. Normal chewing is actually good for their health.
Should I Provide Chews for my Guinea Pigs?
Yes, this is a very good idea. In the wild, guinea pigs chew on whatever they want but in a domestic situation, they often do not have many options. If they run out of something to chew, they might start to chew on the box that they are kept.
Healthy snacks and mineral munchies are available, especially for guinea pigs. Giving excessive mineral chewable might lead to deficiency and digestive problems in guinea pigs, so watch out for that.
There are some items exclusive and natural for guinea pigs to chew on. They include twigs and wood (safe wood) and other toys.
Can Guinea Pigs Chew On Cardboard?
Cardboard boxes are extremely safe for guinea pigs when you need to transport them or give them a warm sleeping box. However, you need to keep an eye on your pet. While merely chewing cardboard is not hazardous, actually swallowing the material is not safe for guinea pigs.
If you notice that your pig is chewing on cardboard items, it’s perhaps better to remove these objects and replace them with safe alternatives.
What Snacks Can I Give My Guinea Pigs?
There are some healthy and cheap munchies for your little piggies available, some are already in your kitchen!
- Rolled oats
- Fresh hay
- Grass mats
Guinea pigs really love hay sticks. They are a particularly healthy type of chewable. You cannot randomly give any bar you find on the road to your guinea pig. That stick may not be safe enough for your piggie.
There are lots of factory-made sticks online. These sticks are created from grass and wood residues. They are clean, polished, and exclusively designed for chewing.
These sticks also come in flavors like fruit and vegetables. Only organic and edible flavors are used, so you do not have to worry about your little piggies’ health.
Grass mats are typically made from organic grass. They are hand-woven into a bed without the use of any chemicals and wires. These beds are small and are safe to chew or even eat.
You can see a number of grass mats online, but only some of them are safe. Most of them have wires or threads at the bottom. It will require you to remove the bed after your pigs much off the grass. So, before you buy, look out for some hand-woven grass beds that need minimal attention.
A Quick Wrap
Grass and wood are the primary materials in most chewable for Guinea pigs. This is because these materials are naturally accepted by the animal’s digestive system.
If you feel that your pet is asking for more chewables and starts to avoid their food, it is advisable to approach the nearby vet as soon as possible. Your pet might be addicted to the fun flavors and textures of chewables and they might end up malnourished.