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Is Pine Wood Safe For Hamsters?

Using pine wood for your hamsters is a controversial topic with some hamster owners saying that it’s fine and some hamster owners recommending that you avoid pine wood with hamsters altogether.

Due to the discussions often getting heated on social media, we often see people new to keeping pet hamsters or at least new to building their own hamster cages reaching out and asking if pine wood is safe for hamsters or not.

We decided to publish our own article on using pine wood with your pet hamster as there are different situations where it is considered to be safe and some situations where it is considered dangerous and potentially toxic so it should be avoided if possible.

We wanted to publish a full article going over the topic as it does need to be explained in full for most people to understand when they can and can’t use pine wood with their hamsters.

That said though, we do see a large number of people simply avoid using pine wood due to other alternatives such as Aspen being a much better option for bedding for your hamster and Elm being a better option than pine wood for crafting your own hamster cage.

If you are looking to build your own custom hamster cage then our article on hamster safe glue is probably worth checking out as you will probably need glue when building out your cage.

Is Pine Wood Safe For Hamsters?

Pine wood in its fresh, pressure treated, and red states are consisted to be unsafe for use with hamsters and presents a number of potential hazards to your pet.

Kiln-dried white pine is generally considered safe for hamsters though and is commonly used for a number of things intended for use with hamsters such as their bedding.

Although many people will choose to use Aspen bedding with their pet hamsters due to it simply removing the risk, many people do still opt to use a kiln-dried white pine bedding.

These kiln-dried pine bedding products are very common and have a great reputation amongst the community with many hamster owners using it without issue.

The main issue that we see people worried about is that they may accidentally pick up a general pine bedding for their pets without it being considered safe so going with an aspen product or even the more popular clean and cozy bedding totally removes the risk and worry from the pet owner.

When it comes to building your own hamster cage, the idea can seem fine at first but it is often more work than most people first realize so going with a pre-made MDF Aspen hamster cage is usually the best option for most people.

What Are The Risks Of Using Pine Wood For Hamsters?

The main two main risks of using pine wood for your hamsters is the potential toxicity levels of the pine wood as well as the splinter risk that can cause the pine wood to cut your hamster’s mouth or digestive tract if it eats the wood.

With there being so many alternative wood materials available that don’t present those risks then there is no real reason to take the risk.

As we touched on above though, the risks of using pine wood with hamsters usually come from fresh, pressure treated, and red pine with white pine that has been kiln-dried often being considered safe.

The majority of pine-based small pet bedding is usually kiln-dried white pine but there are a small number of products that aren’t and are specifically designed for other pets so always check the label.

When it comes to the risks of pine wood for building a hamster cage, we would just avoid pine wood altogether if possible.

There’s just so many alternatives available that are a similar price or even cheaper than pine wood with none of its risks that just nullifies any reason to even use pine wood.

Why Do People Use Pine Wood For Hamster Cages?

Although fresh, pressure treated, and red pine does present a risk to hamsters, white kiln-dried pine is considered hamster safe so is often used in its shaved form as hamster bedding.

There are a number of pine rodent toys on the market that are becoming more and more popular too with some people who build their own hamster cages also using pine for the cage.

Other than using a kiln-dried white pine bedding, we would usually not really recommend that you use pine wood for anything in your hamster cage though.

Although the risks of toxicity poisoning or the pine wood cutting your hamster is very low, it is still a risk that is not present in other materials.


That brings our article going over if pine wood is safe for hamsters or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand that although the risk is small, some types of pine wood can present a risk to your pet hamster. If possible, we usually just recommend that you avoid pine wood in your hamsters cage if possible. There is almost always a suitable alternative to pine wood available with a similar price tag without these risks that our readers are able to use instead and we have recommended some specific ones in our article above.