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Thread: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

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    Cavy Slave wheeek's Avatar
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    Question Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Is it okay for guinea pigs to eat cardboard?

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    If they nibble a little on some plain cardboard, it's not dangerous. If they start eating a lot of it, it could cause blockage so you may want to use something different than cardboard.

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    Cavy Slave wheeek's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    But if they don't have cardboard they eat the coroplast!

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    Cavy Slave BabyBellie's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Are they actually eating it? Mine love to chew on it and I usually find pieces of it lying on the ground. If they're just chewing it it should be fine. Like Ly said I would only worry if they're eating large amounts.

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    Cavy Slave MissGinger's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Do they have hay to chew on?

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    Cavy Slave Deenanicole08's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Mine have unlimited hay and they still chew on everything else in the cage or anything surrounding the cage that they can reach. Hay wears down their molars not their incisors so even if they have hay they most likely will still chew on other things to wear their incisors down. If they are just chewing it's ok, if they're actually ingesting it then there's something to worry about. In very small amounts it should be ok though.

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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    I give them lots of fresh grass. They are actually eating the cardboard though. Is there any way to keep them from eating the coroplast?

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    Cavy Slave Deenanicole08's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    You could try to make it a little higher in hopes they wont be able to each it as well. Or try to get wood sticks to chew on and it will hopfully distract them. When I catch them chewing on the coroplast I just clap (not too loud as they have excellent hearing) and say no, even though that probably doesn't work, it stops them at that moment. I'm hoping it'll eventually show them that doing that causes me to get mad at them, and they'll realize to stop. I also give them other things to chew on.

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    Cavy Slave RainKindle's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    It really helped my chewer to give him a wooden hidey.
    He likes chewing on that and has forgotten about the choroplast.

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    Cavy Slave sophistacavy's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by wheeek View Post
    I give them lots of fresh grass. They are actually eating the cardboard though. Is there any way to keep them from eating the coroplast?
    I don't know if it's ok to give them just fresh grass and no hay, but is that what you meant to say you are doing in that quote? If it is, then maybe try giving them unlimited hay, and supplement with limited fresh grass.

    Do you try to follow Ly's nutrition chart as far as daily veggies and occasional fruits? Also, how are you feeding them their pellets? Like, what brand pellets, how much, how often do you feed them?

    Just curious, because although I don't know about cavies and pica, or if they can even get that, but I know that sometimes when dogs eat inappropriate objects (which are oftentimes paper/tree-based items like cardboard), they might have a dietary insufficency of fiber. Or at least thats what a vet once told me. Some dogs just do it inexplicably.

    Maybe Ly&Pigs knows whether or not piggies can do that, or if they can get it as bad as pica.

    But I like what deenanicole08 said, about their teeth in the back still needing to be ground down by something, since hay really only takes care of the front ones.

    Many people on here give their cavies twigs from non-pitted fruit trees. Make sure it's non-pitted (like for example, choose apple wood sticks instead of peach wood sticks, peaches have pits, apples do not), and free from chemicals and fertilizers, and pesticides. Thats about one of the few safe things to give them to chew on, Ly told me to avoid giving them the chews found in pet stores, because those are artifically colored, and sometimes artifically fruit flavored too, and some are just materials that aren't healthy for cavies to munch on. If you can find some of the Tropical Fiddle Sticks, I bet your pigsters would love those. One of mine, Opal, sits there and gnaws away on the rim/edge from the inside. And she likes going all the way in and reaching up a bit and nibbling the ceiling. She also liked chewing on those snak-shak tunnels and huts, but I realized she was actually eating those because they are technically edible, and the ingredients are a no-no, so...had to take those away.

    You could try some of that bitter apple spray or gel, but I have personally found that that stuff doesn't even work for my dog, which is the species it is aimed at, but you could give it a try, just keep the receipt. It did work for my very first hamster when he wouldn't quit chomping away at the top of his water bottle. He didn't go up there that often after I put that stuff on there. I've gotten it in my mouth before, and it's absolutely horrible ....and wear gloves if you decide to try it, b/c it absorbs into your skin and doesn't come off with washing, it takes a few days until it dissapears.
    Or try spraying some 50:50 water and white vinegar solution on the coroplast. There's some website that has photos of some lady actually climbing inside the c&c cage, and in the one where she's sponging it down with that solution, she put a caption that said if her piggies come too close and sniff the solution, they scatter like a bolt of lightning. So, apparently her pigs are very averse to the smell of vinegar, maybe yours are too..
    Oh and I'm sorry everybody that my posts are always so long...it just happens, sorta like the process of cavy pooplets..they don't have the same highly functional sphincter muscle that people have, or that dogs and cats have. Its just like: "La dee da dee da..... oh my! What do we have here?"

    Good luck!

    Hope that helps!!
    Last edited by sophistacavy; 11-30-08 at 07:47 pm. Reason: my alpha pig told me to

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    Cavy Slave Deenanicole08's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by sophistacavy View Post

    But I like what deenanicole08 said, about their teeth in the back still needing to be ground down by something, since hay really only takes care of the front ones.
    I said hay grinds down the molars (which are the back teeth) and some pigs chew to grind down their incisors (which are their front teeth). Hay does not mainly take care of the front ones as pigs do not chew with their front teeth. They break up their food with the front ones in small enough pieces to put back to their molars to chew, much like humans do, except we aren't doing to to keep them ground.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    I also have to ask what their diet is like. They may not be getting enough of something and are hungry therefore that's why they want to eat cardboard or coroplast.

    You said you are giving fresh grass, but they also need hay. They need at least 1 cup of fresh veggies each per day divided into two feedings. Mostly leafy greens. What brand of pellets are you feeding and how much are you giving?

    I'd also suggest some untreated apple branches.

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    Cavy Slave sophistacavy's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deenanicole08 View Post
    I said hay grinds down the molars (which are the back teeth) and some pigs chew to grind down their incisors (which are their front teeth). Hay does not mainly take care of the front ones as pigs do not chew with their front teeth. They break up their food with the front ones in small enough pieces to put back to their molars to chew, much like humans do, except we aren't doing to to keep them ground.
    x_X That was just a typo.....actually, I couldn't remember exactly what you typed, I was typing so much myself.....I know what you're saying, I just got mixed up w/ the molars/incisors locations. I should work on that considering I'm going to be an exotic animal vet..after college and all that..

    Edit: 15,022 posts!! Sounds like the number of heartbeats per day of something.... Congrats Ly!
    Last edited by sophistacavy; 11-30-08 at 08:53 pm.

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    Cavy Slave wheeek's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    Does anyone know where I can get cheap hay? They will get hay as soon as I can find some cheaper than $5 for a tiny bag. I checked their food before, and couldn't find anything bad in it. Next time I go to the store I will pick them up some fruits and veggies. Do they need one cup each? Hope this answers all the questions!

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    Cavy Slave Deenanicole08's Avatar
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    Re: Can guinea pigs eat cardboard?

    They are supposed to have 1 cup each per day split into 2 feedings, like Ly said. Also if you can, it would be much more benificial for you and your pigs to order online in bulk. Try Kleenmama's and Oxbow, I've found Kleenmama's to be better and cheaper though.

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