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Is it okay for guinea pigs to eat paper? Okay, this is a serious question. To answer this, we must know the eating patterns of guinea pigs.
Do you ever wonder why your little piggie is chewing all the time? You definitely would have wondered about it at least once. Here is the answer, your guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing. Long teeth are not ideal; they interfere with eating and in the worst-case scenario can lead to starvation – but don’t worry!
Guinea pigs are genius. Habitually chewing helps them to keep their teeth under control. Even after finishing their meals, they chew on something to trim their teeth.
What do Guinea Pigs Chew?
Guinea pigs chew a lot. They chew on specific materials that they find tasty. Chewing something does not mean they eat it.
Guinea pigs mostly chew and spit the material out. Their regular food is different from chewable food. So do not think that they are overeating. It is just they want to keep their teeth grinding.
Since Guinea pigs will literally nibble on anything they find, you must be careful of what you put near them.
Other Reasons for Chewing
There are a number of reasons your pet might show excessive chewing when they’re not doing it for dental purposes.
Attention craving: Your fluff ball might need attention. Make some time to play with your piggies. Being alone for long periods can affect their mental health. Piggies are affectionate animals once they get used to you. When left alone for long periods of time, they’ll battle their loneliness with excessive chewing.
Boredom: Piggies get bored too. Guinea pigs are highly active animals. They also need physical activities and entertaining toys. If you are too busy and do not find time for your fluffies, they’ll get bored. If your guinea pig does not have much playtime and interaction, they start chewing. It is always wise to buy guinea pigs as a couple or in a trio to avoid boredom.
Chewing food: Old guinea pigs chew the remains of food to keep their mouths active. When they age, they mostly stay in one place. Their eating habits also change with time. Since they cannot chew so much, they bring up the swallowed food and chew them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper?
Paper is something that guinea pigs chew. It is more likely to be their chew toy. That does not mean they are to be fed paper.
The digestive system of Guinea pigs accepts paper and wood but only in small quantities. While chewing, some bits of paper might enter their digestive system. This will be perfectly fine till they exceed a particular limit.
So the answer to the question would be no. You cannot feed them paper. Guinea pigs are wild rodents, and they are not used to eating human-made paper.
If you suspect that your piggie might be eating paper, then take it for a scan to the vet.
What Else Should I Not Give Guinea Pigs?
There are lots of foods that you should avoid giving your piggies. There are various reasons why but some foods might have high fat and sugar, which is a hazard to your piggies’ system. Your pig cannot chew all foods. Some might get stuck and choke your fur ball.
The main items you should avoid in Guinea pigs are:
- Peanut butter
- Plant seeds
We might have seen rodents in movies eating kernels, corn, and bread. That is not the case with Guinea pigs.
Houseplants, flowers, and grass might also be risky for your piggies due to the use of pesticides. Most beautiful flowers are toxic to guinea pigs. This is why guinea pigs are encouraged to accept organic foods and chewable toys, including organic grass and sticks. You can find these organic products online.
Guinea pigs have the inability to synthesize vitamins, so some might develop deficiencies. To compensate for this, some owners provide salt licks, which are large bars of salt. Overfeeding them with these salt licks can also be dangerous.
A Quick Summary
Guinea pigs have a rather unique approach to chewing. Most animals use chewing to process food but this cute rodent also grinds its teeth to keep them short and to show boredom. When bored, they might amuse themselves by chewing on paper but this should be avoided. Some piggies get a blockage and require surgery. Rather avoid placing any paper products in their enclosure.