Which Woods Are Toxic for Chinchillas[+Safe Woods to Use]

Chinchillas have a unique need compared to some other pets you can choose to adopt.

Chinchillas have teeth that grow continuously, and they need the ability to file down their teeth daily.

This can help to prevent dental issues, overgrown teeth, pain, and more severe infections.

Many new chinchillas’ owners understand this or have been informed by a local breeder but still aren’t quite sure which woods would be considered safe to provide chinchillas to chew on.

That’s the question I want to answer today for all the new chinchillas’ owners reading that need some advice on the topic.

After going through the same struggle in the initial days as you, I found it imperative to provide this information for the safety and health of all our furry friends.

Here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, which woods can a chinchilla have? The following list directly below are all woods that are considered safe to provide a chinchilla:

  • Apple
  • Arbutus
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Bamboo
  • Cholla
  • Cottonwood
  • Crabapple
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • Grapevine
  • Hawthorn
  • Hazelnut
  • Kiln-Dried
  • Pine
  • Kiwi
  • Magnolia
  • Manzanita
  • Mulberry
  • Ocotillo
  • Pear
  • Pecan
  • Poplar
  • Quince
  • Rose
  • Rowan Berry
  • Sycamore
  • White Birch
  • Willow
  • Yucca

On the list above, you will notice the woods that are considered safe for your chinchilla to chew on.

It’s also important to note that white willow would not be considered a safe wood for your chinchilla.

In addition to white willow wood, here is a quick list of woods that you should never offer to your chinchilla.

  • Crab Apple
  • Broadleaf
  • Birch
  • Grapevine
  • Lime Tree
  • Madrone
  • Medlar
  • Sequoia

The rest of this post is designed to talk about this topic more in-depth and answer some frequently asked questions new chinchilla owners often have.

Lastly, I will have a section in this post designed to teach you how to prepare wood for your chinchilla to chew on if you are an individual who prefers not to purchase the wood online or from a local pet store.

To make life easy, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

what-wood-is-toxic-for-chinchillas

Here are the topics I plan on covering for you today:

As stated previously, the links above will allow you to skip to any section you want to learn more about.

Otherwise, let’s dive into the details that are imperative to understand for your chinchilla’s safety and enjoyment when it comes to chewing on wood and keeping those teeth filed down.

What type of Wood Can Chinchillas Have?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that wood sticks for a chinchilla aren’t necessarily a treat or a luxury.

I’d argue they are much needed and more of a necessity and part of providing the best care possible.

Yes, your chinchilla can naturally file down their teeth some using just their natural diet, such as timothy hay. Still, this amount of tooth filling is minimal compared to the amount of filing a chinchilla is accustom to in the wild.

The chew sticks provide a harder surface and help to file down the teeth even more, preventing dental and health issues in the future.

Not to mention, the pain that a misaligned or overgrown tooth could cause your chinchilla.

Obviously, none of us want our chinchilla to experience this pain, and it’s possible that you don’t prefer to order your own chew sticks (which is what I recommend for the record).

If that’s the case, you may be using your own wood from a tree in your own yard and wondering if it’s safe and what prep work is involved in the process.

As stated previously, the list above is your starting point for ensuring that your chinchilla is chewing on a tree that is considered safe in the first place.

Refer to that list before offering any wood sticks to your chinchilla on.

Let’s keep moving forward and begin discussing a few additional woods and then cover what steps need to be completed to prep the wood for your chinchilla.

Can Chinchillas Chew on Pine Wood?

Yes, chinchillas can chew on pine wood.  Ordering or prepping your own pinewood for your chinchilla is safe and okay for your chinchilla to chew.

We will discuss how to prep the wood accordingly later in this post.

Can Chinchillas Have Douglas Fir Wood?

No, chinchillas can’t have Douglas fir wood.  Douglas fir wood is considered a wood that should never be offered to chinchilla due to the chance of illness that may follow if a chinchilla ingests it.

Can Chinchillas Eat Bamboo?

Yes, a chinchilla can have bamboo wood. Bamboo wood can be offered to chinchillas either by purchasing the wood or by prepping the wood yourself before offering to your chinchilla.

Is Twine Safe for Chinchillas?

Yes, chinchillas can have twine if it’s constructed of sisal and seagrass. However, using cotton or synthetics can be dangerous if ingested by your chinchilla.

Cotton and synthetics can cause blockages and digestive tract tangles.

If you use twine or any form of rope, be sure to remember to only use sisal and seagrass.

How Do Your Prepare Wood for Chinchillas?

Now comes the fun part where we can briefly discuss how you can go about preparing and using your own wood and sticks for your chinchilla to chew on.

You have 4 steps in the process:

  • Step 1- Collect the sticks
  • Step 2- Clean the Sticks
  • Step 3- Boil the Sticks
  • Step 4- Bake the Sticks

Here’s a more in-depth look at these steps.

During step 1, you want to make sure you are collecting sticks from a tree that is pesticide-free and ideally organically raised.

The only real way to be sure of this is to only use trees from your own property.

While you could speak to local orchards or even try trees from your city, it’s likely that it’s not as safe as sticking to your own.

Once you collect your sticks and you are sure you have a clean source of wood, proceed to wash the sticks with a scrub brush and hot water to remove as much dirt, grime, and contaminants as possible.

Once you feel you have done a complete job in this step, all that’s left is to boil the sticks for 30 minutes.

This is going to ensure that you are sterilizing the sticks protecting your chinchilla from potentially getting ill.

Now, you simply need to bake the sticks for another 30 minutes at about 250 degrees F.

This is how to get your sticks capable of snapping easily and removing all the moisture from the center of the stick.

That’s it and all there is to it.

This is a cheap and natural way to provide your chinchilla with an excellent way to file down their teeth and keep them mentally stimulated to help avoid boredom inside and outside of their cage.

Keep it Safe by Ordering Organic Chew Sticks Online

Now, let’s assume that you don’t feel like going through any of the hassles we just discussed by doing the sticks for yourself.

In all honesty, I don’t really see a reason to do it either, or I don’t do it even though I easily could.

It’s easier just to order the sticks, and they are cheap enough that it doesn’t bother me to do it this way whatsoever.

I recommended purchasing chew sticks such as the Apple Orchard Chew Sticks (Link to Amazon)

I offer them to my chinchilla with frequency, so I recommend purchasing yourself a decently large supply of them and to always have plenty on hand for your chinchilla.

2 bags of the sticks I referenced previously will last you roughly 2-4 weeks depending on how often you give them to your chinchilla.

Problems with a chinchilla’s teeth can cause issues and cause stress on your chinchilla, so if a few bucks can help eliminate this issue altogether, why not just do it?

Other Toys and Hay Help to File Down Teeth Further

The last bit of advice I want to give you is to always ensure that you are providing other toys throughout the cage as well.

Hanging toys and other items for your chinchilla to chew can keep them occupied and help them to file down their teeth even further.

This, in addition to always providing the best hay, will ensure that your chinchilla is getting what they need on a nutritional level as well as what they need to keep their teeth and dental hygiene in check.

Final Thoughts

A chinchilla’s teeth can undoubtedly become an issue without the ability to chew when they please.

It helps keep those ever-growing teeth aligned and prevents overgrowing.

With some chew sticks and plenty of other great accessories in the cage, you won’t have much to worry about.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have steps or information you believe needs added to this post?

Do you recommend prepping sticks to provide to your chinchilla?

Be sure to share your thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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