When it comes to chewing things up, guinea pigs are not fussy about it. Guinea pigs pass their time by shredding anything that comes across their path because they get bored quickly. And if any paper is lying in their cage, you can be sure that they will shred it into pieces. But is eating newspaper bad for guinea pigs? Can they get sick? Let’s find out!
Guinea pigs can get sick if they eat newspaper in excess. Also, eating papers doesn’t provide them with any nutrition. They can have a hard time digesting it. As a result, your guinea pig may suffer from constipation and gastrointestinal blockage. However, a small piece of paper once in a while is not a problem.
Yes, a lot of paper is bad for your guinea pig but that doesn’t mean you must keep it away altogether.
Guinea pigs find joy in such activity that consumes time, and crumbling paper offers them the chance.
Here this guide will make you understand why your guinea pigs should not be eating paper, but at the same time how you can use paper to improve the living environment of your guinea pigs.
Why does my guinea pig keep eating paper?
In most cases, playing with papers seems more entertaining to guinea pigs instead of eating them. What happens is guinea pigs always require more encouragement, and they will wish for more extended challenges.
However, it is not like that after playing with the paper; they will not eat them. Guinea pigs will eat paper because they may feel hungry, and if you observe something like this, then be sure that your piggies are getting sufficient amounts of hay.
If your guinea pigs are eating papers that means the requirement of fiber in their body is not fulfilled, offer them more food that contains fiber in it, because the newspaper will not fulfill their deficiency.
Or maybe your guinea pigs are bored. That is why they are munching paper. If they are allowed to run freely in the house, they will try to chew other objects as well.
Guinea pigs will play with whatever they find in their living space. Some owners of guinea pigs put crumpled newspaper around the pen of their guinea pigs, from where guinea pigs get a chance to eat and play with them.
Also read: 25 awesome boredom buster ideas for your guinea pigs.
Will eating newspapers harm my guinea pig?
Well, the response of this depends upon how much your paper did your guinea pigs ate. A small piece of paper will not affect their health. Many guinea pigs tear the paper into small bits, which will be digested easily.
However, overeating newspapers can be dangerous for your pet’s health. It does not matter how you watch it, but the paper is not for eating. It will give nothing good to your guinea pigs rather than a bunch of health issues.
The intestine of guinea pigs is made to process green foods and hay full of fiber. So, paper lies nowhere in these categories. If your guinea pigs are consuming lots of paper, then they can fall sick.
The significant risk of guinea pigs eating paper is blocking of their intestines. Paper’s material can not be broken down in pieces there in the digestive passage. So if guinea pigs eat large amounts of paper, it can cause constipation.
Unable to eliminate waste is terrible for guinea pigs; Some signs of constipation are:
- Your guinea pigs are not eating food or dry grass.
- Observing that their stomach has puffed-up.
- Hunched posture
- Signs of pain in the body
If you notice these signals in your guinea pigs, call a vet immediately. Constipation takes no time to turn into a life-threatening condition.
How to stop guinea pigs eating newspapers?
The simplest way to stop your guinea pigs eating newspaper is to keep it out of their reach.
Many pet owners use papers to make boundaries around the cage of their guinea pigs. Though, it is a natural material to be used for lining. But there are other options to line around the cage-like:
- Small balls of wood
- Wood chips
Be sure that the air circulation near their cage is proper if you are using any above options. Because guinea pigs are prone to breathing and liver issues, but if you use them correctly, they do less harm to your guinea pigs.
If the essential health requirements of your guinea pigs are fulfilled, they are less likely eat papers. That means you are providing them sufficient foods filled with nutrients and fiber.
You should keep this note that your guinea pigs have a happy communicative life. If you cannot hold two guinea pigs, you must give your time and attention to your single guinea pig. Because lonely guinea pigs feel stress and boredom, they will pass their time by eating paper.
Having toys is also essential for guinea pigs. If they have a lot of toys to play with and are busy with, they will not show interest in eating papers. Put lots of objects and things in the cage of guinea pigs to keep them distracted.
Can guinea pigs get sick from eating newspapers?
Yes, guinea pigs can get sick from eating newspapers. You will have to be concerned about the kind of ink used in those papers. Few inks act as a danger for guinea pigs. But nowadays, inks are much safer. Still, it’s better to walk on the safe side than apologizing.
The most harmful inks for guinea pigs are discovered on cards and booklets.
Producers use uncostly toxic inks in these paper materials because they produce these materials on a big scale.
That does not mean high-quality pamphlets are non-toxic; they contain wax, which is very harmful.
The next thing you must know is that inks can mark colored spots on guinea pig’s fur. If your pets are white in color they may like that.
Don’t be shocked if you observe that the white paws of your pets are turned grey. That is the last thing you want to happen, especially if your guinea pig’s feet and fur are stained by urine or water.
Is newspaper ink toxic to guinea pigs?
Newspapers are considered everyday use for guinea pigs cage. You may read the newspaper while enjoying morning tea, and by the end of the afternoon, you can use them to make boundaries around your pet’s cage.
It is an easy way to reuse newspapers, but the question is it safe or not?
As newspapers are a common way to know about the information around the world, the press companies these days are bound to use non-toxic inks.
As in older times, petroleum was used for the base, and now they use soy and water.
You should test these newspapers before giving them to guinea pigs.
You can check by rubbing your hands on a newspaper, if the ink gets blurred, stains your hands or not comes off your hands when you try to wash it. Then it is for sure a petroleum-based newspaper, which should not be given to guinea pigs.
Inks that are petroleum-based never dries up completely. It contains the same kind of oil that a mechanic of a car uses. So it is recommended not to use these kinds of inks for making boundaries for guinea pigs.
Can you use shredded paper for guinea pig bedding?
In some conditions, small bits of paper are much secured than a full-sized paper because it will be already broken in pieces, and if guinea pigs ever try it to eat, it is less likely to cause any intestinal stoppage.
Small pieces of paper reduce exposure to ink. That means when the paper gets crumpled, it will break the ink pieces as well.
Even after this, shredded newspapers are not safe alone to be used as bedding for guinea pigs. It is recommended to top it up with hay or any other commercial bedding.
One more method for guinea pigs to use paper safely is to give them the whole paper so that they can tear it on their own. They will find it entertaining. This option will provide them with some activity, and they can use these crumbs of paper to make their bed.
Can guinea pigs eat paper bags?
Paper bags are believed as a source of entertainment for guinea pigs. You can place paper bags around their cage as they appear like toys.
Your guinea pigs can do lots of activities with paper bags like chewing, hiding in it, or crushing.
Even paper bags are not entirely safe, as they can not be digested easily after guinea pigs eat them.
They are solid and large. Similar to other paper materials, paper bags can also lead to stomach issues in guinea pigs.
The best way to let guinea pigs play with paper bags is to fill paper bags with foods like hay. In this option, your guinea pigs will have both fun and good health.
They will play and eat at the same time. There is no trouble when your guinea pigs are having fun while playing, but still, if they show more interest or demand to chew paper bags, do not allow them to do so.
Can guinea pigs eat paper towels?
There is no such danger to your guinea pigs when they are eating paper towels, but still, it is not confirmed that paper towels can not cause harm.
If you are providing tight and absorbing paper towels to guinea pigs, they will not be able to digest these.
Paper towels are also covered by cardboard similar to toilet rolls, which can be adapted for guinea pigs. Before giving it to guinea pigs, make sure that the carton contains no pieces of paper towels.
Guinea pigs can also use napkins for playing, tearing them, or using them as cover. But if they try to eat them, it can cause danger. So, towels are better when they are not offered to guinea pigs.
That is because napkins are solid and tough to gulp. Your guinea pigs may enjoy chewing them for a long time, but the issue arises when they try to take it down in their stomachs.
At last, napkins are hard to digest. Also, to make napkins beautiful, kinds of dyes are used to create designs, which can damage the health of guinea pigs.
If you are not sure whether dyes are used, do not step forward to offer them to your guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat toilet paper rolls?
Many kinds of paper are there, but toilet paper rolls are less harmful to guinea pigs. Which does not mean that they are good for the health of guinea pigs? Offer fresh herbs as the refreshment of guinea pigs instead of toilet paper rolls.
If you found your guinea pigs biting the ends of rolls, it is not a thing to worry about. They will consume a very tiny amount of paper while eating these rolls rather than chewing a regular paper. Your guinea pigs will digest these easily.
When your guinea pigs will end up with toilet paper rolls, offer them the tube under toilet rolls, which will be an excellent toy for your pets. They will munch on it, push and pull it, and play with it around their cage.
You can even stuff hay or other treats in that tube. Or you can paste apple sticks on it to make it a toy for guinea pigs.
Is cardboard safe for guinea pigs to eat?
Cardboards must not be offered to guinea pigs to eat. It can create trouble for them because cardboards are very tough, solid, and can not be digested if eaten.
But gratefully, these cardboards can be offered as temporary toys to guinea pigs, they will chew them, push them, and try to eat them, but they will get tired after doing so. Guinea pigs will show interest in eating them, and they will play more.
Chewing cardboards is not a bad thing, and it will keep guinea pigs busy and entertained. When guinea pigs munch on solid cards, it will give shape to their sharp teeth. However, do not let your guinea pigs eat cardboards as it is not suitable for them.
Sources: Digestive physiology, Gastrointestinal Disease in Guinea Pig, Guinea pigs, The laboratory guinea pig(research)