|Look at all those colorful things! Are those treats for us?|
Typical types of Christmas trees include spruce, pine and fir, so let's look at each:
- Spruce - The diet expert at Guinea Pig Cages was unsure if spruce was safe to use as a bedding, which probably means there is not much information on how dangerous it is if guinea pigs eat it. According to one YouTube user, spruce "contains etheric oils which could be harmful in large quantities." We're not sure if this person has done their research or not, but the key point is that spruce might be harmful, so it's better to err on the side of caution.
- Pine - Pine needles are on the Happy Cavy's list of dangerous foods.
- Fir - Fir tree oils can be irritating to other types of pets, so they're also almost certainly not good for guinea pigs, either.
- Artificial trees can also be bad for your pet's health if ingested, though it's probably less likely that you'll have artificial leaves/needles falling off that your piggy might chew on.
- Christmas tree flame retardants can make your tree more toxic to guinea pigs.
- You should also make sure that you keep mistletoe and holly plants away from your guinea pig if you've decorated your house with them for Christmas. They're toxic to piggies.
- You will also want to be very careful when it comes to Christmas tree lights. As long-time readers probably know, we will chew on all kinds of things if you let us, including shoe laces and iPod wires. Chewing on wires carries an additional risk of electrocution.
- Keep your Christmas tree (and mistletoe, holly, etc.) away from your guinea pig cage, and away from where they enjoy their floor time if possible.
- As an extra precaution, you should purchase a gate to put around your Christmas tree to keep your guinea pigs away from any tree droppings.
- Keep Christmas light wires away from your guinea pig. If your Christmas tree is next to an outlet, make sure all the wires are protected within the gate.
- Sweep and vacuum frequently around your tree to remove any temptation.
- Do not use flame retardant products on your tree. It will make your tree more toxic to your guinea pigs, and according to at least one study, they are not even effective at making your tree more fire-resistant.
- If your guinea pig ate something that he or she shouldn't despite your best efforts, you should call call the ASPCA's animal poison control number (888-426-4435) or your local vet immediately.
|Now here's a "tree" that's safe for piggies!|