Chinchillas love to chew. Their teeth are constantly growing, which drives their urge to chew everything in sight. Because of this, you should provide healthy chewing options for your pet chinchilla. One of the best options for chew toys and cage accessories is wood. Unfortunately, many kinds of wood are toxic to chinchillas, so you should only provide chinchilla safe wood. Because chinchillas love to chew so much, you should try to prevent their access to any wood that isn’t safe, including furniture and other items you don’t want to them to chew on.
We’ve compiled two lists, one of chinchilla safe wood and another of other safe natural materials to make chinchilla toys out of. These come from consulting various online sources, exotic vets, and longtime chinchilla owners. If a wood or material is not on one of these lists, assume it is toxic to chinchillas until you’re able to research it further.
Chinchilla Safe Wood
When giving your chinchilla wood, you want to try and take a few other precautions as well. Make sure any wood you provide came from organic and pesticide-free trees, and it should be untreated, without glue or paint. Before the wood can be given to a chin, make sure it’s been cleaned and baked (either by you or whoever you purchased it from).
- Arbutus (Strawberry Wood)
- Black Currant, Red Currant, Gooseberry
- Chinese Dogwood
- Crab Apple
- Elm & Red Elm
- Grape & Grapevine
- Horse Apple
- Ocotillo (from the desert)
- Pine (oven baked or kiln dried only)
- Rose Hip
- Willow (goat, weeping, or pussy willow)
Other Safe Materials for Chinchilla Toys
- Banana Leaf
- Cardboard (monitor you chin to make sure they’re not eating it)
- Coconut Shells
- Hay Cubes
- Mineral Lava
- Loofah (unbleached only)
- Palm Leaves
- Pine Cones (cleaned and baked only)
- Pumice Stone
- Shredder Tape
- Sola Plant
Unsafe Wood and Other Materials
Any wood on this list should not be given to chinchillas.
- Cedar (including shavings for bedding)
- Fresh pine branches or pine cones
- Man-made Boards (plywood, fibreboard, etc.)