Are you always on the lookout for new treats to give your chinchilla?
It can be hard, since so many foods can cause digestive issue.
And pine cones seem like they could be dangerous for other reasons.
Can chinchillas eat pine cones, then?
Are they that rare safe and healthy snack?
Keep reading to find out. We will also cover what you need to do to pine cones to make sure they are safe for your pet. Don’t give it a pine cone until you’ve read this!
Can Chinchillas Have Pine Cones?
Yes, chinchillas can have pine cones. They don’t eat them per se, but they are great for chewing. Not only do they help wear down your chinchilla’s ever-growing teeth, but they’re also a great way to keep your pet entertained.
But don’t just go grabbing the next pine cone you find and give it to your chinchilla. You need to prepare it first and make sure it is safe for your pet. Let’s find out what this entails.
Can Pine Cones Harm My Chinchilla?
Pine cones could be dangerous for your chinchilla, if you pick it up from the wild and don’t clean them properly. You need to make sure you remove any dirt, sap or pests from the pinecone before giving it to your chinchilla.
Pine cones can even be covered in pesticides, which may be particularly harmful to your chinchilla.
To make the pinecone safe, you should thoroughly clean it with warm water and vinegar, making sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. I recommend using a toothbrush or your fingers to give the pinecone a good clean.
You should also avoid any pine cones that have been painted or treated. A painted pinecone might look pretty in your chinchilla’s cage, but it could also be toxic if your pet swallows chemicals in the paint.
How Do I Give My Chinchilla A Pine Cone?
You can just place the pinecone in your chinchilla’s cage and let your chinchilla go to the pinecone itself. You don’t have to worry about cutting the pinecone into pieces or spraying it with any flavorings for your chinchilla.
If you simply go out and pick a pine cone up from the wild, you really should sterilize it before handing it over to your chinchilla. This will remove any toxins from the pinecone and make it safe for your little rodent.
You can do this by soaking the pinecone in warm water and white vinegar and then using your hands (or a toothbrush) to remove any dirt. Once the pinecone is clean leave it to dry, either by a radiator or a window. You may need to leave it for a few days to ensure it’s completely dry.
Another way to ensure you kill of any bacteria is to cook the pine cone in the oven on high heat for an hour and a half. After cooking, leave the pine cones to cool, before giving it to your chinchilla.
Where To Find Pinecones
If you don’t fancy picking up pine cones from the wild, you can also find them in your local pet store. In fact, buying pine cones made specifically for pets has the advantage that you can be assured that they are clean.
Usually, store bought pine cones are either cleaned in apple cider vinegar or boiled in water. The pinecones will be organic and the best quality for your chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Paper
Paper isn’t toxic for chinchillas, so it is something they can eat in small amounts. However, you should not let your chinchilla eat paper in large amounts as it will become hard to digest.
The only time it can become toxic for your chinchilla to eat paper is if it has dyes or ink on it that is toxic. For that reason, you want to avoid giving your chinchilla any printed paper. The same goes for cardboard.
Can Chinchillas Chew On Pine Wood?
Your chinchilla can safely chew on pinewood. It is a safe wood for chinchillas. It’s something you can either order directly online or prep yourself. If you just go out and find the pinewood yourself, you will want to make sure it’s safe for your chinchilla to eat.
You can do this by cleaning the sticks with warm water, boiling the wood and then baking it in the oven on high heat, the same as you would with a pinecone.
If you choose to order pine wood online, double check the product description to make sure that the wood has been completely cleaned. Then once it arrives, you can put it directly into your chinchilla’s cage, without having to prepare it in any way.
Can Chinchillas Eat Pine Cones: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas can have pine cones, but only if you buy them from a pet store or thoroughly clean any you find in the wild. The cleaning ensures there are no bacteria or other harmful substances on the pine cone. You don’t want your pet to get sick or injured!
Once you know a pine cone is safe, it makes a great treat for a chinchilla. Your pet will love the opportunity to chew and wear down those ever-growing chompers it has.