Guinea pigs are one of the most commonly kept pet rodents in the world and although hamsters are currently more popular than guinea pigs, with the recent surge in popularity of keeping guinea pigs, this may change in the future and guinea pigs may re-take the to spot.
With so many people having a pet guinea pig, we commonly see people reaching out and asking a wide range of different questions about how they should be caring for their pet.
As most guinea pig keepers will know, their pets can be quite mischievous and end up eating things that they really shouldn’t be eating, due to this, we often see questions from people who have a pet guinea pig who are worried about something that their guinea pig has eaten.
For today’s article, we are going to be taking a look at one of those questions as there have been a number of people asking if guinea pigs can eat toilet paper or not due to their guinea pig finding a roll of toilet paper and eating its way through it.
Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Eat Toilet Paper?
The first thing that we need to cover before we can answer the question is whether it is normal for guinea pigs to eat toilet paper in the first place.
As we just briefly mentioned, guinea pigs are known for being mischievous and they will often chew on and eat things that they really shouldn’t be eating, due to their curious and playful nature.
Toilet paper is one of those things that guinea pigs may be tempted to try and eat, especially if they can get their teeth around it and start to chew on it, as the softness of the toilet paper may make it seem like a good thing to chew on.
With that being said, just because guinea pigs may be tempted to eat toilet paper, it doesn’t mean that it is normal for them to do so and there are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t allow your guinea pig to eat toilet paper.
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Guinea Pig Eat Toilet Paper!
The main reason why you shouldn’t let your guinea pig eat toilet paper is because it really isn’t good for their health and it can cause them a lot of digestive issues.
Toilet paper is made from pulp which comes from trees, as you can imagine, this isn’t something that guinea pigs would normally eat in the wild and as a result, their stomachs aren’t designed to digest it properly.
When guinea pigs eat toilet paper, it can cause them to suffer from digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting and in some cases, it can even lead to an obstruction in their intestines.
Another reason why you shouldn’t let your guinea pig eat toilet paper is because it doesn’t contain any nutritional value for them.
Toilet paper is made from pulp and as we just mentioned, it isn’t something that guinea pigs would eat in the wild, as a result, it doesn’t contain any of the nutrients that guinea pigs need to stay healthy.
Toilet paper is also quite high in cellulose which is a type of fiber, guinea pigs need a certain amount of fiber in their diet but they get the majority of the fiber that they need from hay, so eating toilet paper is just going to add extra unnecessary fiber to their diet.
What Happens If My Guinea Pig Eats Toilet Paper?
There are a number of things that can happen to your pet guinea pig if it eats toilet paper.
Depending on how much toilet paper your guinea pig actually eats, your guinea pig may have some, all or none of the symptoms listed below but keep an eye out for signs of any of them:-
is the most common symptom that guinea pigs will experience if they eat toilet paper and it is also the most dangerous, as it can lead to dehydration which can be fatal.
Another symptom that your guinea pig may experience if it eats toilet paper is vomiting but it isn’t as common as diarrhea.
Bloat is a condition where the stomach becomes swollen and it can be very dangerous, especially if not treated quickly.
If your guinea pig eats enough toilet paper, it can cause bloat in the hog and the change in the size of your guinea pig will usually be obvious.
Constipation is another possible symptom of eating toilet paper but it isn’t as common as diarrhea or vomiting.
It is usually due to your guinea pig eating so much toilet paper that it is not able to digest it and it ends up constipated but in this, this should pass.
Malnutrition is another possible symptom of eating toilet paper but it is more likely to occur if your guinea pig regularly eats toilet paper or other things that it shouldn’t be eating.
This is because the toilet paper isn’t providing your guinea pig with any of the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy and as a result, it can become malnourished.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t let your guinea pig eat toilet paper as it isn’t good for their health and it can cause them a number of digestive issues.
If your guinea pig does eat toilet paper, keep an eye out for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloat, constipation and malnutrition and if you are concerned, please seek veterinary advice.