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Safe and toxic woods for rats to chew. (Avoid the toxic ones of course) - Rodent Club — LiveJournal
December 31st, 2017
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Safe and toxic woods for rats to chew. (Avoid the toxic ones of course)
https://www.thespruce.com/safe-and-toxic-woods-for-rats-1238293

Safe and Toxic Wood For Rats to Chew

By Adrienne Kruzer, RVT

Updated 04/28/17



Rats are rodents that need to chew on things regularly to keep their teeth trimmed and healthy (because their teeth grow continuously throughout their life). Wood is a popular and natural choice for rat owners to provide to their pets but not all types of wood are safe. Before just grabbing that tree branch from your backyard or a chunk of wood from the local lumber yard, make sure that the wood you are offering your pet is safe, free of pesticides, untreated, and free of paint.



Many woods on the safe list can be found in your yard but if you aren't 100% sure on what it is, it is best not to give it to your rat.
Safe Woods (and Wood-like Substances) for Rats to Chew

apple (thin apple wood sticks can often be purchased from pet stores)
arbutus
ash
bamboo cane
blackberrry
blackcurrant
cholla
coconut shell (can be purchased at craft stores and pet stores, usually with hermit crab supplies)
cottonwood
crabapple
dogwood
grapevine
hawthorn
hazelnut
kiwi
linden
manzanita
mulberry
pear
pecan
pine (kiln-dried white only)
poplar
quince
rose hip
sycamore

Toxic Woods for Rats to Chew

abale/esia
alder
almond (can produce cyanide)
apricot
aspen
balsam fir
beech
birch
black locust
blackwood
bog wood
boxwood
buddleia
cashew
cedar
cherry
citrus (all citrus woods including lemon, orange, lime, etc.)
cocobolo
cypress/bald cypress
dahoma
ebony
elang/mukulungu
elder/elderberry
elm
eucalyptus
fig/cape fig
fir
goncalo alves
greenheart
hemlock

horse chestnut
iroko
juniper
kapok
laurel
magnolia
mahogany
mansonia
maple
mimosa
mopane/mopani
myrtle
nectarine
oak/cork
obeche/abachi
okuhaba/yungu
oleander
olive
opepe/kussia
paduak
pau ferro
peach
peroba rosa
pine (fresh pine is toxic as are pinecones)
plum
plywood
prune
purpleheart
quebracho
redwood
rosewood
satinwood
sassafras

sequoia
snakewood
spruce
teak
walnut
wenge
willow
yew
yunnan
zebrawood

Other safe wood options for rats are available in pet stores. Woods marketed for chinchillas and other rodents are usually safe to offer to your rat but make sure the type of wood is not on the toxic woods list before putting it in your rat's cage (just in case). The same goes for the material that hide boxes and cages are made out of (if they are made of wood). Any items in the cage are fair game for your rat's teeth to nibble on so you want to make sure they are safe!

If you think your rat may have eaten a toxic wood then contact your exotics vet as soon as possible. Different woods are more dangerous than others and affect your rat in different ways.
Wood Bedding for Rats

It used to be common to house your pet rat on wood shavings but we have learned that there are more comfortable and safer options for our pets. Aspen shavings are the safest of the wood shavings available at pet stores if you still must use them but you should avoid pine shavings. Cedar shavings are thought to be the most dangerous to rats so you should under no circumstances house your rat on cedar bedding.

Besides the fumes and possible ingestion of toxic wood shavings, wood can be irritating to walk on.

Rats may develop sores or small cuts on their feet and might itch due to the wood being irritating to their skin. Options such as recycled paper bedding (such as CareFresh) are preferred over wood shavings for their absorption qualities and softer texture.
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