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Safe Woods


A chinchilla chewing on an
apple wood twig.
Chinchillas love and need to chew and wood is one of the best things you can give a chinchilla for this purpose. Chewing wood helps keep a chinchilla’s teeth worn to the proper length. If not supplied with a variety of things to chew, a chinchilla’s teeth can become overgrown very quickly, causing major dental issues. Not just any wood is safe for chinchillas. Some woods contain resins or toxic chemicals that can make a chinchilla sick or even kill it. Additionally, safe woods still need to be prepared properly. This involves scrubbing, boiling and then baking the wood to make sure that it is safe. All wood given to chinchillas should be from organic trees that have never been sprayed with pesticides. This includes all toys, houses, shelves, etc. that are in the chinchilla’s cage.

The following is a list of safe woods for chinchillas to chew on.

Apple
Arbutus
Ash
Aspen
Bamboo
Black Berry
Cholla
Cottonwood
Crabapple
Dogwood
Elm
Grapvine
Hawthorn
Hazelnut
Kiwi
Magnolia
Manzanita
Mulberry
Pear
Pine (kiln dried or baked)
Pecan
Pine (kiln dried white)
Poplar
Quince
Sequoia (Redwood)
Sycamore
Willow (but not white willow)

This is a picture of a wooden chinchilla house that has been chewed. It shows why all wood in a chinchilla’s cage should be made of chinchilla safe wood. Had this been made of unsafe wood, the chinchilla would probably suffer from digestive and other problems.
These are woods that should never be used around or given to chinchillas.
Almond
Apricot
Beech
Birch
Black locust
Black lotus
Blackwood
Box Elder
Buckthorn
Cashew
Cedar
Cherry
Chestnut
China berry
Chinese snake tree
Chokeberry
Citrus woods(orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.)
Cypress
Ebony
Elderberry
Eucalyptus
Fir
Gingko
Hemlock
Honey locust
Hydrangea
Juniper
Laurel
Mahogany
Mango
Manufactured/glued woods (plywood, fiberboard)
Maple
Mesquite
Myrtle
Nectarine
Oak
Oleander
Pine that hasn't been kiln dried
Peach
Pistachio
Plum
Prune
Redwood
Sandalwood
Sequoia
Spruce
Teak
Walnut
Weeping fig
White willow
Yew

Note: If a wood is not listed on the safe wood list or the dangerous wood list, assume it is not good for a chinchilla and do not offer it. Additionally, if it cannot be determined whether the wood has ever been sprayed, it should not be used.

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