Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper? (Read This First!)

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One day, you find out your pet guinea pig is always eating paper. What do you do? Give him more paper or feed him your exam paper to hide it from your parents?

This blog post will detail what happens when guinea pigs eat paper and how you can prevent them from doing it.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Paper?

Paper can’t be digested by guinea pigs. Aside from being nutritionally useless, it is also tasteless. 

Guinea pig’s digestive enzymes can’t break it down, so a high amount of paper can lead to abdominal problems or blockages in their intestines. The ink from written words could also be harmful as well.

Although the paper does not have any nutritional value, you may also remember that some kids back in school used to eat them occasionally.

You’re not going to find any animal besides termites or other wood-eating bugs that will eat paper. Paper is made of wood pulp, grass, old paper, etc.

For guinea pigs, chewing on paper is a natural behavior. However, eating an excessive amount of paper can lead to problems. It isn’t digestible to them and will cause abdominal discomfort.

As we know, a lot of paper can block their intestines, leading to constipation and complex diseases that could be life-threatening. 

Why Do Guinea Pigs Eat Paper?

When you feed your guinea pig less fiber than they need, they may not have anything else to chew on and will eat the paper if they can get access to it. 

You probably already know that guinea pigs have to chew things in order to keep their teeth filed down.

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 social animals, and they need company to stay healthy and happy. If you keep a single guinea pig, we suggest that you spend time with the animal or be sure to provide paper for them. This will help them avoid 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 towels are bad for guinea pigs because they might start eating long ribbons of paper at once. Leafing through a small amount of paper is safer for them.

Paper bags:

Although paper bags can make a great guinea pig toy, they aren’t safe for your pet. However, if you’re concerned about your guinea pigs eating the paper, you can give them a few.

Paper plate:

Hard paper plates are slightly safer than regular paper. Paper plates are rigid, so when people eat them, they have to cut the dish into small pieces. 

However, never allow your pet to eat paper once you notice that your pet has been chewing on it.

Paper bedding:

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.

Paper cardboard:

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?

Guinea pigs don’t usually enjoy eating paper, but they can eat small pieces if they desire to keep their teeth nice and sharp.

Some guinea pigs may develop habits of eating paper, which can cause serious health problems.

However, this is not always the case – it’s normal to chew on things and not always eat whatever they chew.

I recommend you give them wooden items to chew on so that they can trim and shape their teeth.

If you notice your pet doesn’t use its teeth and the teeth are growing too long, you should take your guinea pig over to the vet.

Paper is not a foodstuff and it may be bad to feed paper to guinea pigs. This can lead to health problems such as stomach upset or indigestion.

If you find that a pet guinea pig is eating paper, don’t give it any more. However, if your pet isn’t interested, it’s okay to use paper to make its nest, border or toy.

Like all other types of paper, eating paper cannot be sustained by guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can eat pig parts of paper which causes the animal to become constipated and face more major internal complications.

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 see your guinea pig eating paper and continuing to do that when they get paper, remove all types of paper around them. 

Give them attention and company, so they don’t get bored. Make sure they aren’t 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:

Paper is made of pulp, mainly comprised of vegetable fibers and chemicals from plants. These fibers are soaked and boiled in a vat that removes all the nutritional value and also strips away any unwanted elements.

So, when a guinea pig eats paper, it is eating stuff that will not break and will not provide any single calorie.

Abdominal complication:

Paper might not have nutritional value, but they’re not causing the problem. The real problem is that paper can’t be broken down in the stomach of a guinea pig.

If the big ball of paper blocks your pet’s intestine, it won’t be able to pass stool or waste and can develop severe constipation. 

Your pet may lose his appetite, his belly will get puffed-up, and you’ll see that he is experiencing pain.

Guinea pigs are very small, and it can be hard to notice the warning signs when they start showing other symptoms.

Make sure you pay close attention to their behaviors and make sure they’re not getting dehydrated or experiencing any other issues.

Ink poisoning:

Most modern inks are made from soy, but as far as we know, any type of ink can be harmful to guinea pigs. A good way to check for petroleum in paper ink is to rub your finger across the page. 

If the ink blurs and stains your fingers, then you’ve found one of the ingredients in the paper. If a pet consumes that type of paper, dangerous additives can be fatal.

What Happens When Guinea Pigs Eat Paper?

If a guinea pig eats a small amount of paper, it won’t have any noticeable side effects. The paper will come out with waste.

If guinea pigs eat a lot of paper, particularly large pieces, they run the risk of experiencing a lot of gastrointestinal distress. 

Too much paper can block the digestive system and cause severe constipation which could be life-threatening.

If you notice such complications in your pet, visit a veterinary doctor for a health checkup.

If a guinea pig overeats paper, they won’t have much room in their stomach, and they’ll lose their appetite. 

And if the guinea pig eats small pieces of paper without any problems, then it will definitely cause a lack of nutrition.

Young guinea pigs are more likely to eat paper and other objects that can be found around their habitat. As they grow older, most of them eventually outgrow it.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Keep Eating Paper?

If your guinea pig can’t seem to stop eating paper, it may be starving. Be sure that the guinea pig is getting enough food and fiber-rich foods. It can eat paper when it gets hungry.

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 plan to only keep a single guinea pig, make sure to spend plenty of time with him. This will help him feel less lonely and bored. A bored guinea pig may begin developing harmful behaviors.

If you notice your guinea pig is eating paper, rid their area of any paper and use hay and wood for his nest and borders.

How to Stop Guinea Pigs from Eating Papers?

Stopping guinea pigs from eating paper is not hard. Here are some tips for doing that.

Remove all the papers around him:

The easiest way to get rid of paper eating is by switching up his bedding. When your guinea pig is in a cardboard box, it should only be used temporarily until you can set up with two or three days worth of newsprint-covered hay. 

You can also use a pile of grass clippings and straw, which are both best not to be used alone.

Bringing another guinea pig:

One guinea pig is not enough. If you can not spend enough time with your guinea pig, get another one. They will play together and give up harmful behaviors.

Feed enough:

Keep some food around your pet at all times so he doesn’t eat other things when he’s hungry.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs should not eat paper. However, eating a small amount of paper will not cause harm to guinea pigs. 

Do make sure they are eating their food requirement and are getting enough exercise so that they don’t develop unhealthy habits like eating paper.


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