About a week ago, one of my friends offered me some pine cones for my Guinea Pigs. He sells pine cones from his yard pine tree on eBay. What made him offer me pine cones is that he has some regular buyers of pine cones who are also Guinea Pig parents like me. This information piqued my curiosity- can Guinea Pigs eat Pine Cones!
Being a cautious piggy parent, I never offer any food or toy to my Cavy that I’m not adequately knowledgeable of. So, I had to research and consult with other Guinea Pig owners about offering pine cones to Guinea Pigs. This is what I learned.
Pine cones aren’t healthy for Guinea Pigs. Pine cones can make good chewing toys, though. However, that too has health risks for delicate Cavies. Stick to the article to know more about the uses and effects of pine woods for Guinea Pigs.
Why shouldn't you feed Guinea Pigs pine cones?
Pine cones are plants that are very popular among people worldwide for its food and decorative value. However, this is not one of the foods that should be offered to a Guinea Pig. here’s why-
- Pine cones contain aromatic oil. Any kind of essential oil can cause diseases like nasal congestion, muscle aches, anxiety, and other skin diseases to Cavies.
- Pine cones contain turpentine. Being herbivorous animals, Guinea Pigs are not capable of digesting it. So, this can be lethal for your pet.
- The sharp points of pine cones can hurt Guinea Pig’s mouth.
- The fibers of pine cones can break off. It can cause choking hazards to Guinea Pigs.
- Large pieces of pine cons can get lodged in Guinea Pig’s intestine, causing an intestine blockage.
- Pinewoods doesn’t add any nutritional value to Guinea Pig’s diet.
So, now that you know are pinewoods safe for Guinea Pigs or not, you can realize by yourself that pine cones aren’t a sage choice of Guinea Pig food. However, it has been observed by many pet owners that Guinea Pigs love pine cones. (Maybe this is why people keep buying pine cones for their Guinea Pigs from my friend). Offering pine cones that are sterilized and devoid of aromatic oils and seeds reduces the health hazards. Still, the best treatment is to avoid feeding pine cones to Guinea Pigs.
Pine cones as chewing toys
Chewing something is a classic rodent’s pastime often encouraged by owners. Chewing helps in wearing down their teeth and prevents their teeth from growing. While this activity is good for dental hygiene and stress relief, what wood or object they are chewing indeed is something concerning worth, though.
Pinewoods can be used as a good chewing toy. Guinea Pigs enjoy chewing pine cones and play with it tossing around. However, pines contain some natural toxins, as mentioned earlier, that can be threatening for your piggies. Therefore, sterilizing it before offering it to your pet is a must.
How to sterilize pine wood
If you have ever wondered casually, can guinea pigs pine wood or not, you already know that they can eat pine cones or chew pine wood only when they are sterilized. Sterilizing omits the harmful toxins and aromatic oil from the pine woods and disinfects it. So, how can you sterilize pine wood?
- First, soak the pine cones in warm water for 20 minutes to remove dirt, bugs, sand, and other contaminants.
- Wipe out the wetness or sap.
- Dry it completely.
- Wrap the cones or wood in foil and bake for 1-2 hours at 200 degrees.
- Let the pines cool before serving.
Now you have a batch of sterilized pine cones and woods as your pet’s food and toy. Offer them to your pet. Their excitement seeing these will guarantee happiness to you.
Now that you are well aware of pine cones as food and chewing toys, here are some frequently asked questions and answers that you might find helpful.
1)What are some best harmless chewing toys for Guinea Pigs?
Answer: Some great, harmless, easy to find chewing toys for Guinea Pigs are hay, toilet paper tube, paper bag, grass.
2) Is pinewood safe for Guinea Pig’s bedding?
Answer: Despite, commonly used as Guinea PIg’s bedding, pinewood should never be used for Guinea Pig bedding and house. Pine shavings release phenols. Long term exposure to phenols can cause chronic respiratory complications and liver problems.
3)Which woods are best for Guinea Pigs to chew?
Answer: Oak, Maple, Alder, Willow, Aspen, Apple, Spruce, Beech, Bamboo, Fir, Balsa are the best woods for Guinea Pigs for chewing.
4) Can canines eat pine cones?
Answer: pine cones aren’t suitable foods for canines. Eating pine cones can lead to health complications like diarrhea, nausea, lethargy, drooling, excessive thirst, or urination.
The Bottom Line:
Experimenting with new foods for pets is a common tendency of pet owners. However, you should always bear in mind the consequences of your pet’s food. So, if you had this query that can Guinea Pigs eat pine cones, the brief answer would be they shouldn’t, but they can only if appropriately processed. However, when there are other food options too for your delicate pet, why go through the hustles of sterilizing pine cones, right!
So, choose your pet’s food wisely. Hopefully, the article suffices your queries