Hi everyone, happy first Wednesday of 2015! For this week’s post, I’ll be listing off woods and chews that can safely be used for wearing down your chinchilla’s constantly growing teeth and help combat boredom. I have collected a cross-referenced list of chinchilla-safe woods, with the help of a few chinchilla friends, studious family members, breeders, and my personal knowledge accumulated over the years.
All chinchilla woods and chews should be organic, pesticide-free, and untreated. This is not a fully comprehensive list, however woods not found on this list should be carefully researched prior to consumption. All woods should be thoroughly cleaned, boiled, and baked prior to gifting to your chinchilla (obviously with the exception of already prepared or kiln-dried woods). I have used bold print for the more commonly sold and distributed ready-to-chew woods, which should be easier to find and purchase for immediate pet consumption in the United States.
- Arbutus (Strawberry Wood)
- Some mountain ash seeds are thought to produce hydrogen cyanide, which lead some to question the safety of the wood. In contrast, others believe there is little evidence to support this belief, and that ash berries and wood are safe for chins.
- While technically safe, bamboo is less advisable than other woods due to its ability to create sharp splinters, which could injure your pet.
- Birch: White, Common Birch Only
- Certain birches are considered safe by some, toxic by others. In general, it comes down to a personal opinion. Many breeders and owners have used white, silver, or common birch with no problems.
- Blackberry, Blueberry
- Black Currant, Red Currant, Gooseberry
- This is a dried cactus, very soft and used mostly for toy-making
- Crab Apple
- Elm & Red Elm
- Many elm trees are treated with herbicides, double-check your organic source before given for consumption.
- Grape & Grapevine
- Manzanita (A Sub-Category of Pine)
- Ocotillo (Desert Origin)
- Pine: Only Kiln-Dried White
- Rose Hip
- Willow (Although Not White Willow)
The following items are not woods, but chew alternatives. These elements can be used for toy-making. Again, all of these items should be organic, pesticide-free, and untreated.
- Banana Leaf
- If ingested, cardboard can cause blockage. Some chins only bite at cardboard, but others will try to eat it. Chins should be watched when playing in and around cardboard, and cardboard ingestion should be prevented.
- Coconut Shells
- Hay Cubes
- Mineral Lava
- Loofah, Unbleached
- Palm Leaves
- Pine Cones, Must Be Cleaned and Baked
- Pumice Stone
- Shredder Tape, Created From Woven Palm Leaves
- Sisal rope has been known in rare cases to cause impaction, so it should be used with care and supervision.
- Sola Plant
While there could be many more leaves, herbs, and flora to add to this list, I’ll save the rest for a “Safe Herbs” post later this month!
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