One day you discover your guinea pig likes eating paper, then what will you do? Give him more paper or feed him your exam paper to hide it from your parents?
This article will discuss what happens when guinea pigs eat paper and how to stop them from doing that.
Can guinea pigs eat paper?
Guinea pigs cannot eat and digest paper. Paper has no nutritional value and no food quality. Guinea pig’s digestive enzymes cannot break papers, so eating it a large amount can cause abdominal problems or intestine blockage. The ink of writing can also be harmful to them.
The Paper does not have any food quality, although you may remember some weird kids used to eat papers occasionally back in school.
It is healthy for no animal except termites and other wood-eating bugs. Paper is made of wood pulp, grass, old paper etc. (and does not taste good)
Back to the point, chewing paper is expected for guinea pigs, but eating the paper in a large amount can be problematic. They may face abdominal discomfort as the paper is not digestible to them.
A large amount of paper can block their intestine, leading to constipation and complex diseases that can be life-threatening. So, why do they eat paper?
Sometimes when you feed them less fiber than their requirement, they will eat the paper if they get access to it. You may already know that guinea pigs teethe ever-growing, and they have to chew things to keep their teeth in shape.
Sometimes, they can get paper nearby and choose to use it to keep their teeth in shape. Pay attention to their chewing process. If they are just chewing paper, there is nothing to worry about.
Guinea pigs are highly socialized animals, and they need company to stay healthy and happy. If you keep a single guinea pig and don’t pay enough attention to the animal, they may eat paper out of boredom.
We will discuss more deeply all the details, but first, let’s find out if there is any safe paper for the little furry friends.
Paper towel rolls:
Paper rolls are bad for the guinea pigs as they can eat long protons of a paper towel at once, which can cause abdominal blockage in them. Eating smaller paper is a lot safer for them.
Paper bags are not safe for guinea pigs, although paper bags can be an excellent toy for hiding. You can give your guinea pigs paper bags if the little buddy doesn’t have a habit of eating paper.
Hard paper plates are a little safer than regular paper. Paper plates are rigid, and they will have to cut the plate into small piece while eating. However, never allow your pet to eat paper once you notice.
You can use tiny paper cuts for their paper bedding if the guinea pig does not tend to eat paper. Small papers are not as dangerous as big portions of papers.
Chewing cardboard is fine, but eating cardboard is not healthy for guinea pigs. Focus on his food availability if you see your guinea pig eat paper.
Do guinea pigs like and eat paper?
No, guinea pigs do not like to eat paper usually. They know what is eatable and what is not. They can chew the paper to shape their teeth and spit the small parts of the paper while chewing.
The chewing activities are very normal, and they will not always eat something they chew. Although, some guinea pigs can grow habits of eating paper. Eating papers can cause critical health problems for your small pet.
This is why you should provide wooden stuff around them so that they can chew and shape their teeth. If you notice your guinea pig does not shape its teeth and the teeth are growing big, you should take your pet to a nearby vet.
Is paper OK for guinea pigs? Will eating newspapers harm my guinea pig?
It is not okay for a guinea pig that has a habit of eating paper. But if you see your pet is not interested in eating paper, you can use paper to make its nest, border and toy.
Like all other papers, eating newspapers are not suitable for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can eat pig parts of newspaper which can cause constipation and further internal complication.
Moreover, the inks of newspapers can be toxic to them. However, modern inks have health-friendly ink, although its best not to feed your guinea pigs with newspaper and paper.
If you notice your guinea pig is eating paper and continuing to do that when they get paper, remove all types of paper around them, give them proper attention and company, so they don’t get bored, make sure they are not hungry.
3 reasons why guinea pigs should not eat paper
There are a lot of solid reasons guinea pigs should not eat paper. Check out the following points.
Papers are not food:
Papers are made of wood pulp, including grass, wood, old paper, and other plant materials and chemicals. In the papermaking process, all the nutritional value with all unnecessary elements.
So, when a guinea pig eats paper, it is eating stuff that will not break and will not provide any single calorie.
Papers have no nutritional value; that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that the paper will not break down and make big balls of paper inside the stomach of the guinea pigs.
The big paper balls will block the intestine, and the food and waste will not pass. This can cause severe constipation, and your pet will lose appetite, its belly will be puffed-up, and he will show signs of pain.
As guinea pigs are small, signs of complications are often hard to notice. So, you need to pay close attention to guinea pigs’ behaviors.
Petroleum-based ink is very harmful to guinea pigs, although most modern inks are made of soya.
You can check if paper ink is containing petroleum or not. Rub your finger with the letters of the page. If the ink blurred and stains your finger, you should not give the paper to your pet as it contains petroleum.
What happens when guinea pigs eat paper?
If a guinea pig eats a small amount of paper, nothing will happen, and the paper will come out with waste.
The problem occurs when he eats a lot of paper, especially large parts. A large amount of paper can block the intestine of the guinea pig, which can cause life-threatening constipation.
If you notice such complications in your pet, visit a veterinary doctor for a health checkup.
If a guinea pig eats a lot of small parts of the paper and does not create abdominal problems, it will undoubtedly cause a lack of nutrition. Eating piece will reduce the stomach space, and the pet will lose appetite.
Young guinea pigs are more prone to eat paper and non-food stuff. Most guinea pigs will give up eating pieces once they grow older.
Why does my guinea pig keep eating paper?
If your guinea pig keeps eating paper, pay attention to its food requirement. Provide a lot of hey and other food with fiber. Guinea pigs can eat paper out of hunger.
Make sure your pet is getting enough source of entertainment. Guinea pigs need companies to be happy, so it’s always best to keep a pair of guinea pigs.
If you want to keep a single guinea pig, spend enough time with him, so he does not feel lonely and bored. A bored guinea pig can build up to harmful behaviors.
If you notice your guinea pig keeps eating paper, you need to remove all the paper around him and use hay and wood for his nest and borders.
How to stop guinea pigs eating papers?
Stopping guinea pigs from eating paper is not hard. Here are some tips for doing that.
Remove all the papers around him:
It is the easiest and most obvious way to stop paper-eating behavior. Do not keep your guinea pig in a cardboard box. Don’t use newspapers to make his nest and provide fun plastic toys for him.
Bring another guinea pig:
If you have a single guinea pig and you can not spend enough time with your guinea pig, get another one. They will play together and give up harmful behaviors.
Always keep some food around your pet, so he doesn’t eat anything else out of hunger.
Eating paper is not healthy for guinea pigs, although eating a little paper will not harm them. Eating a lot of paper can cause abdominal problems to them. Monitor their food requirement and make sure they are not getting bored so that they do not build harmful habits like eating paper.