Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat paper; it has no nutritional value. However, eating a small amount of paper won’t harm them.
But a large amount of paper can lead to various digestive issues such as irregular stool, abdominal discomfort, and paper can even block the intestine.
Moreover, the inks or dyes in the paper are toxic and should not be given to guinea pigs.
In this article, we’ll be discussing why guinea pigs shouldn’t eat paper, the consequences of eating paper, and how to stop them.
Table of Contents
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat paper; however, if your guinea pig accidently ate a small amount of paper, they will be fine.
Paper isn’t a food, and it has no nutritional value.
Moreover, paper products often contain adhesive, ink, or had a glossy finish which is considered toxic for guinea pigs.
While munching a small amount of paper is fine, eating paper in a large amount can be problematic.
Guinea pigs cannot break down and digest a large amount of paper and may face various digestive issues such as irregular stool, difficulty passing bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort.
Moreover, paper can block their intestine, which can lead to complex diseases that can be life-threatening.
So, if your guinea pig is chewing or eating a lot of paper, you should talk with your veterinarian and take expert advice.
Is Paper Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Not all papers are safe for guinea pigs, and some of them are made with plant-based products which aren’t relatively dangerous to guinea pigs.
Still, you should never allow your guinea pig to consume large amounts of paper.
Papers with inks or dyes should not be given to guinea pigs since they can be toxic. Paper products with any adhesive or a gloss finish should not be given to guinea pigs to chew.
If you give your guinea pigs paper, monitor them carefully to ensure that they are chewing but aren’t swallowing large portions of the paper.
As a rule, if your guinea pig is swallowing more than they are chewing and spitting out, then the paper is not safe to leave with them in their cage and should be removed.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Eating Paper?
Guinea pigs are highly active creatures, and they will play with almost everything they find in their cage, whether it’s shredded paper, cardboard, or their food.
But most of the time, guinea pigs don’t exactly eat the paper or cardboard; instead, they keep chewing it.
Paper and cardboard do an excellent job of wearing down their teeth which is crucial. If your guinea pig teeth get too long, they may find it difficult to eat. Moreover, it can even slow their eating process, affecting their eating habit.
Or maybe your guinea pigs are bored or stressed, which is why they are munching on paper. Domestic guinea pigs often get bored if they are not allowed to roam freely in the house.
Playing with papers seems more entertaining to them. But there is no assurance that they will not eat the paper after playing with it.
Lastly, if your guinea pigs are eating papers, it could be an indication that they are hungry. In this case, make sure your pet is getting sufficient amounts of hay.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat NewsPaper?
No, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat newspaper.
Most newspaper companies use cheap and low-quality paper and ink, which is toxic for pets. This is because they have to produce these on a big scale.
Guinea pigs can easily get sick from eating newspaper. While a tiny bite of newspaper won’t probably harm your guinea pig but still it’s better to be safe than regretting later.
So, you shouldn’t allow your guinea pig to munch or eat any kind of newspaper or even use them for their beddings.
You should know that many newspaper companies use petroleum-based ink that never gets dries completely.
If you ever used newspaper for their bedding, you might have noticed that their paws turned grey, and this is because the newspaper is wet by urine or water.
The petroleum-based newspaper contains the same kind of oil that a car mechanic uses, so it should never be given to guinea pigs.
Is It OK For A Guinea Pig To Eat Cardboard?
A small amount of cardboard won’t probably harm your guinea.
Cardboard is typically made with plant-based products just like papers, they aren’t toxic themselves, but it doesn’t mean they are safe for your guinea pigs to eat.
Cardboard has no nutritional benefit and shouldn’t consider a food item.
But, cardboard can be used as a tool for your guinea pigs to gnaw. Gnawing on cardboard helps piggies to keep their teeth short as well, as it engages them throughout the day.
Besides, you can use cardboards to make hides for your guinea pigs; this can be a great way to entertain your guinea pig with something new.
However, do not use cardboard if it has product images or plastic coverings on top or glues to hold them together.
The images are often made with inks and dyes with toxic chemicals, and pets shouldn’t munch on anything that has adhesive or plastic.
Lastly, avoid wet or stained cardboard; there can be mildew which is highly dangerous for guinea pigs.
The respiratory system of a guinea pig is vulnerable, and mildew can cause dangerous upper respiratory diseases which can be life-threatening.
So, make sure that the cardboard you are using for your guinea pig has no mold or developing mildew for your pet’s safety.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper Towels?
There is no such danger in eating a small amount of toilet towel; however, you shouldn’t encourage them to do so.
Similar to cardboards, toilet papers are mostly manufactured from “chemical pulp.”
These pulps can be made with various recycled paper, chemicals, and bleach that are not toxic.
But, to get the pure white color of the toilet towel, companies use various chemicals like ozone, peroxide, oxygen, sodium hydroxide, and colors that can be problematic for pets.
So, if your guinea enjoys playing, tearing, or munching the toilet paper, there is no need to worry as long as they are not eating them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Toilet Paper Rolls?
Today, most toilet paper is made of chemical pulp; it’s a combination of recycled paper pulp mixed with water and chemicals.
While toilet rolls are less harmful, it doesn’t mean your pet can eat them. They are not food, and it has no nutritional benefit, so instead of toilet paper, you should offer them fresh hay.
Still, if you found your guinea pigs nibbling on the toilet rolls, do not worry, as consuming a small amount of toilet paper won’t harm your cavy.
Lastly, if you are worried, you can offer them tube toys; they are an excellent choice for your pet. They will much it, push, pull it and play around in their living space.
What If The Guinea Pig Eats The Paper Bedding?
Nibbling on paper isn’t always a bad thing. Gnawing on paper can be healthy as it helps them keep their teeth short and sharp.
However, bored and lonely guinea might eat more paper which can be dangerous.
While paper bedding is cheap, they aren’t always a great bedding choice. The shredded paper doesn’t properly absorb liquids, meaning water, pee, and other liquid things remain on the floor of their living space until you replace them.
And if your guinea pig loves eating paper, then having paper bedding isn’t a great idea; consider changing it.
Instead of paper, you can opt for other bedding items such as fleece liners, wood pellets, and hay.
These are the safest and healthiest options for your guinea pigs
How To Stop My Guinea Pig From Eating Paper?
Nibbling on paper isn’t always bad. Gnawing on paper and cardboard is important for keeping their teeth short.
But if your guinea pig kept munching on paper throughout the day, this could be a matter of concern.
In this case, you should try to divert their attention from paper and engage them on something else.
Here are a few things you can do to stop your piggy from overeating paper:
1. Change Their Beddings And Lining
The most obvious way to stop your guinea pig from eating paper is to change their bedding and lining from paper to other material.
Several affordable options can be used for beddings and linings, such as fleece liners, hay, and straws.
Wood pellets, cloth, paper, and wood shavings are becoming a popular option, especially for indoor guinea pigs.
This is how you can eradicate all paper material from their living space, and they won’t have any paper available in their surrounding area to chew.
2. Offer Toys and Activities
Guinea pigs are highly energetic animals, and if they frequently get bored, they might get engaged in the bad habit of eating paper.
In this case, you should spend some time with your cavy and play with them, or you can even purchase toys and activities such as tunnels, chew balls, fleece, tubes with hay, and other stimulating activities.
This will keep them busy and stimulated throughout the day, and they won’t even have time to chew or eat paper.
Note – while choosing toys and activities for your guinea pig, make sure they aren't too small; otherwise, your little friend might try to swallow it, which can lead to choking and could be fatal.
3. Feed Enough
Another reason your guinea pig is that eating papers can be hunger or fiber deficiency. In this case, make sure your cavy is eating a sufficient amount of food
And while you are away, it’s your responsibility to make sure your little friend has free access to food and drinking water.
If your guinea pig isn’t eating hay, you can opt for other guinea pig-friendly foods, easily available in pet stores for the change.
Make sure your cavy gets sufficient amounts of macro and micronutrients from the food you are offering.
4. Get A Companion
If you have only one guinea pig in the house, then there are high chances that they will get bored if you do not spend sufficient time with them.
And boredom could lead them to chew paper, and eating too much paper isn’t good for their health.
In this case, you can get another mate if possible or take them to a park or something like that where they can engage with other guinea pigs to play with.
It will help them beat the boredom, and they will have less time to chew down the papers.
Guinea pigs shouldn’t be eating papers, although a small amount of paper won’t probably harm your pet.
But if your guinea pig eats a lot of paper, it can cause abdominal problems and intestinal blockages.
If your pet often chews papers, this could be due to boredom. In this case, make sure your cavy has access to good quality hay products, pellets, fruits, and vegetables.
You can also give your pet teeth gnawing toys; these are excellent choices to keep their teeth short and sharp.
Papers can also be used to create toys and hide for your pet; they are inexpensive and can be fun for your guinea pigs.
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