It is perfectly fine to let your guinea pig eat toilet paper rolls. It doesn’t replace food, but it is a good way to keep your guinea pig’s teeth clean and trimmed. Make sure you remove any leftover glue and paper bits from the roll before letting your guinea pig chew on it.
What You'll Learn
You’ve brought home your guinea pig, and perhaps you’ve seen toilet paper rolls in guinea pig cages or have heard stories of people giving them one. What’s the reason behind giving a toilet paper roll to a guinea pig, and is it safe for them to eat? Keep reading to find out!
Why Give A Toilet Paper Roll To A Guinea Pig?
It is perfectly safe for guinea pigs to eat toilet paper rolls. But why give a roll to your little friend? So they don’t have to see a dentist! Just kidding (kind of), but it actually does help with their teeth.
Letting your guinea pig chew on a toilet paper roll assists with keeping their teeth short and trim. Their teeth are always growing, so there’s an added benefit of maintaining their chompers while they happily gnaw away.
Teeth that get too long could cause health issues for the guinea pig, so having plenty for them to chew on is very beneficial.
Guinea pigs are naturally inclined to chew. They will typically do this on just about any item in their vicinity. Cardboard is a soft material, making it an excellent item for guinea pigs. It poses no risk of breaking their teeth.
Letting them chomp on a toilet paper roll helps prevent the guinea pig from munching on other items in the cage. You certainly wouldn’t want them to turn their attention to their food dish, water bottle, or other such items near them.
A toilet paper roll is also something that guinea pigs can play with. Guinea pigs can use the roll to run through, nap in, move around in their cage, and so on.
You can fill the roll with hay for a different way to give your guinea pig their food. You can get even more creative and cut out holes in the toilet paper roll so your guinea pig has little nooks and crannies to play with.
There is lots of fun to be had! But there are some things to be aware of before you put a toilet paper roll in their cage. The next section outlines a few precautions to keep in mind.
Precautions With Chewing On A Toilet Paper Roll
First, you want to make sure all paper is removed from the roll before giving it to your guinea pig. If they consume paper products, it could cause digestive trouble. If they somehow get their little paws on any type of paper products, quickly remove it from their possession.
Second, you will want to ensure all glue is removed from the roll before giving it to your guinea pig. They absolutely should not ingest any leftover glue on the roll. You can scrape the glue off, or even cut out the section of the roll with the glue on it.
The nice thing about giving your guinea pig a toilet paper roll is that it’s a free item that you can find in your home.
You might look around and notice you have other cardboard items in your house. So, can you give your guinea pig other types of cardboard items as well? The next section covers other cardboard products that are safe for your guinea pig to chew on.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Other Types of Cardboard?
Aside from toilet paper rolls, guinea pigs can occasionally chew on and eat other types of cardboard. The main thing is that this should not become a common practice, but every now and then is fine.
Do you have a collection of boxes from online shopping deliveries? Depending on the type of cardboard, a great way to reuse those leftover boxes is to give them to your guinea pig.
One reason you wouldn’t want to let your guinea pig chomp on a cardboard box all the time is because you don’t want your guinea pig to swallow large amounts of cardboard. Not all guinea pigs consume the cardboard they chew on, but some do. Many guinea pigs will just chew on cardboard without actually swallowing it.
In small quantities, guinea pigs can digest cardboard; their system allows them to process wood and objects with a wood base, including cardboard and paper.
If your guinea pig swallows cardboard from time to time, it will not cause them to grow ill. But, if they consume a large quantity of cardboard in a brief period, it can cause obstructed bowels. That is very serious and would require a prompt visit to the vet.
If you decide to give your guinea pig a cardboard box, something to keep in mind is that cardboard that comes from recycled materials is not a good choice. This is because the chemicals used during the manufacturing process, as well as the paper used in making recycled materials, are toxic and have a high chance of causing harm to your little furry friend.
Ensure there are no labels, glue, or anything else attached to any cardboard you choose to let them have.
Here’s some extra “food for thought”; small tree branches also make excellent chew toys for your guinea pig. Not only are they another wood object to give your pet, but they are also fairly healthy and are a good source of fiber. Just wash the branches before giving them to your little friend, and they’ll be good to go!
Bottom Line – Give Them A Roll!
Yes, it is ok to give your guinea pig a toilet paper roll! While they are not food replacement, they provide guinea pigs something to chew on, play with, and keep their teeth trimmed. As long as you ensure the paper bits and leftover glue are removed from the roll, let your guinea pig have as many as they can handle.
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