If you're a guinea pig owner, you have to make sure your cavy always has plenty of appropriate chew toys in his living quarters. As rodents, guinea pigs' teeth grow constantly. When guinea pigs regularly chew down on toys, it helps keep their chompers at reasonable -- and healthy -- lengths.
Using Things From Your Home
You can make a chew toy for your guinea pig simply by looking around your home. The experts at the Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic suggest making chew toys out of common household necessities including paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls and cardboard in general. Not only can chewing on these things help keep your guinea pig's teeth in good shape, they can get his mind working and minimize boredom. These homemade toys can also stop your guinea pig from chewing on furnishings in your home. If you make a cavy toy out of cardboard, opt for something that doesn't have much ink on it.
Blocks of Wood
If you or someone else in your household has a penchant for woodworking, you can use a tiny slab of wood to create an exciting new toy for your pet. It is crucial to make sure the wood is in no way painted or treated, however, as that can be harmful to guinea pigs. Sealants and tarnishes on woods are both major no-nos for these fluffy creatures. Willow sticks can also make strong and satisfying toys for guinea pigs. Sticks from fruit trees often work well, too.
Caution is vital for making appropriate guinea pig toys. Not only is it important to stay away from ink, it's important to stay away from plastic in general. It's also crucial to never make toys out of objects with smooth rubber, loose components or any pointy sides. Smooth rubber can be problematic because guinea pigs can often chomp it up into many tiny bits -- and them swallow them. Before you make any kind of toy for your pet, check with your veterinarian to get her approval. Your guinea pig's safety should always be your priority. Don't forget, too, that a wide array of toys are commercially produced specifically for guinea pig use. These toys are commonly available at pet stores. Your vet can recommend to you well-known toys that are appropriate and safe for your cutie.
Caution With Electrical Cords
Chewing is a big pastime for guinea pigs. They do it on a daily basis. Because of this, it's vital to always carefully watch over your pet when he's out of his enclosure. Otherwise, the poor thing could end up chewing on unsafe wires and cords. Guinea pigs can't exactly tell toys and non-toys apart. Keep electrical cords away from your munch-happy pet's mouth at all times, no exceptions. If your pet gets his teeth on electrical cords, he could potentially electrocute himself. This could also endanger your residence. Take the matter seriously.
- Tri-County Humane Society: A Good Pig is a Guinea Pig
- Guinea Pig; Audrey Pavia
- Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic: Guinea Pig Toys, Treats and Chews
- Ontario SPCA: Guinea Pig Care
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- Exotic Small Animal Care and Husbandry; Ron E. Banks, Julie M. Sharp and Sonia D. Doss, et al.
- Homemade - How to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh and More Naturally; Editors of Reader's Digest
- The Global Guide to Animal Protection; Andrew Linzey
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images