Chinchillas belong from the Andes and have a variety of breeds.
These rodent animals have overgrown teeth, which mean that their teeth keep on growing throughout their life.
Overgrown teeth can cause chinchillas to face several dental diseases and pain.
In the wild, chinchillas tend to chew on wood to get their teeth trim.
Chewing on solid material helps these unique animals to prevent their teeth from overgrowing and keep them short.
It is extremely important to keep their teeth aligned; otherwise, they will feel severe pain, which can lead them to be stressed and get aggressive towards you.
Chinchillas tend to chew on toys and cages that are made from wood.
If you plan on adopting a chinchilla or if you already own a pet chinchilla and want to know how you can keep your pet’s teeth in shape, then you need to get a tree bark for them to chew on.
However, as a pet owner, it is important for you to know that you can’t just feed any kind of wood to your pet chinchilla.
There are different types of woods, and some of them can be dangerous for your pet chinchilla, so make sure that you are buying wood that is safe for your pet to chew on.
Make sure to stay away from toxic trees that are contaminated and are poisonous for your pet.
Woods safe to use
When I got my first pet chinchilla, I did detailed research on what kinds of wood are safe for chinchillas to chew on and which woods they should avoid.
I came across different research papers according to which you can feed barks of trees including apple, aspen, elm, hazelnut, Manzanita, pear, pecan, pine, quince, birch, ash, and willow.
There are some other tree barks that may or may not be safe for your pet chinchilla including birch, ash, and juniper.
Woods not safe to use
While doing my research, I also came across woods that are not safe for chinchillas, and they stay away from these kinds of wood even in the wild.
These woods include tree barks of almond, cedar, cheery, chestnut, grapefruit, lemon, orange, cherry, oak, plum, walnut, tallow, sumac, redwood, and fresh pine branches.
Tips when collecting wood for chinchillas
Now that you which woods are safe and unsafe for your pet chinchilla, therefore make sure to only get the best kind of wood for your pet to chew on.
Other than the kinds of unsafe wood mentioned above, you should also focus on the wood being clean and organic when collecting sticks or barks from a tree.
Make sure that the wood is not treated with any pesticides and is not contaminated or poisonous.
It is always a good idea to get wood from the trees that are grown in your home.
When I failed to find any non-toxic trees around the areas that I live in I started collecting tree barks and sticks from my own garden since I know that I have never treated my trees with any pesticides.
It is important not to pick up any contaminated wood for your pet chinchilla as it can be dangerous for their health.
Make sure only to use organic wood, and that is free from any fungus or lichen.
Another important tip that I would like to give you is that don’t get plywood for your pet chinchilla since it may contain different additives such as glues.
Preparation of the wood
Once you are successful in finding the wood that is completely safe for your pet chinchilla to chew on it is time for you to check whether or not your pet chinchilla can handle it.
Break up the wood into small pieces and boil it for about 20 minutes.
After boiling the wood, make sure to scrub off any detritus over it using a toothbrush thoroughly.
Also, if you notice that there is any lichen on the wood then throw it away instead of cleaning it and giving it to your pet chinchilla.
After cleaning the wood sticks properly place them on a towel and allow them to dry completely.
Once the wood gets dry, you can place it in your pet’s cage so that they can happily chew on the wood to keep their teeth trim and aligned.
Being a new pet owner, it will be shocking for you to notice that chinchillas are prone to chew on wood constantly, which is why it is incredibly important to only feed safe wood to them.
There have been many occasions when pet owners would not pay attention to the kind of wood that they are serving to their pet chinchillas, which would lead their pet’s to get any dental disease.
Some pet owners don’t pay attention to the wood that they buy from stores and don’t check whether the wood has been treated with pesticides or not, and end up giving toxic and poisonous wood to their pet chinchillas to chew on which causes them to die.
If you love your pet chinchilla like l love mine, then I would recommend you to start growing trees and plants in your own garden and give them tree barks and sticks from your garden since it is the safest source that you can find wood from.
Yes, it can be extremely time-consuming to collect twigs and barks from your garden and place it inside your pet’s cage, but you need to do everything to make sure that your pet chinchilla remains safe and healthy.
Other than this, there are many stores where you can easily find safe wood for your pet chinchilla.
The most common kind of wood that is available in stores is applewood and pine cones.
Make sure only to get what is best for your pet chinchilla to save them from toothache and dental diseases that can be fatal to them.
You can always ask your friends who own chinchillas to help you in finding safe wood for your pet.