Guinea pigs often eat what they should and what they shouldn’t. That’s why you have to take care and pay attention to them when they eat so that they don’t eat something that could cause problems with their health.
I did some research on whether guinea pigs can eat styrofoam as my guinea pig ate a small amount, and here is what I found out on this topic.
Can guinea pigs eat styrofoam?
Guinea pigs can eat styrofoam, but in small amounts to make it safe for them. As long as they don’t have problems with pooping and peeing eating styrofoam won’t be a problem for them.
In any case, they should never eat often or in large quantities because it can block their digestive system and cause health problems.
In today’s article, you will find out whether guinea pigs can eat styrofoam and whether it has bad effects on their health.
Can guinea pigs eat styrofoam?
Guinea pigs can eat styrofoam, you just have to be careful not to eat too much because then it can cause certain problems with the digestive system.
Styrofoam is mainly harmless to guinea pigs because it is made of polystyrene, which is a material that does not break down in the guinea pig’s stomach.
In any case, styrofoam also contains certain chemicals that, when reacted with heat and acids, can cause a certain reaction in the guinea pigs’ bodies.
Those chemicals are:
- diethylhexyl adipate
Small amounts of these two chemicals will not pose a problem for your pet.
If guinea pigs eat more styrofoam and ingest more of these two chemicals then problems with their digestive system can occur.
To know if everything is fine with your guinea pig after eating styrofoam, it’s enough just to watch if it pees and poops regularly.
If you notice that he has problems when he needs to go to the toilet or if he has certain pains, then you should immediately consult a veterinarian.
Styrofoam can also cause problems for guinea pigs in other ways, through other chemicals or dyes that come into contact with the styrofoam.
If, for example, styrofoam was used to pack food, then the guinea pig could be poisoned.
Although Styrofoam is not toxic, it all depends on what it was used for before it ended up in your pet’s stomach.
In any case, if you notice any problems with your guinea pig after eating styrofoam, you must take him to a veterinarian to examine him and see if there are any more serious health problems.
How can styrofoam negatively affect the digestive system of guinea pigs?
As we said, a larger amount of styrofoam can cause certain problems with the digestive system of guinea pigs.
A larger amount of styrofoam can cause blockages in your pet’s stomach, esophagus, and intestines, which is a serious problem for their health.
Sometimes this problem has to be solved by surgery to remove the blockage, so they should not be allowed to eat too much styrofoam.
Any operation is dangerous for small animals, so it is best to avoid this situation for your pet.
What should I do if the guinea pig eats styrofoam?
If your guinea pig has eaten styrofoam you should not panic, first, you should wait and see if everything is okay with his pooping and peeing.
If you notice unusual changes when he goes to the toilet then you should take him to the vet immediately for an examination.
It is best to always watch what the guinea pig eats because prevention always prevents problems with their health.
Symptoms that guinea pigs have eaten too much styrofoam
When guinea pigs eat too much styrofoam, certain symptoms appear that will let you know something is wrong with them.
Those symptoms are the following:
- reducing their weight
- no appetite to eat
- occurrence of constipation
- hiding in the cage
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is a sign that something is wrong with your pet and you should take him to the vet to be examined.
The veterinarian will check if there is a blockage in the digestive system of the guinea pig and if there is, he will try to unblock it, or if necessary, he may have to do an operation to solve this problem.
What are the dangers of frequent styrofoam eating in guinea pigs?
If the guinea pig eats styrofoam frequently, it is not good at all and may have consequences for their health.
Here’s what frequent eating of styrofoam can cause in guinea pigs:
- Styrene exposure – can cause dizziness, fatigue, and headaches in guinea pigs.
- Polystyrene foam – causes cancer, damage to hearing and vision, weaker memory, and problems with the nervous system in guinea pigs.
- Infertility – too much exposure to styrene can cause problems with hormone function in guinea pigs and infertility.
Therefore, it is best that the guinea pig does not eat styrofoam often, sometimes in small amounts, but nothing more than that.
Can I put styrofoam in a guinea pig cage?
You can use styrofoam as the base for your guinea pig cage.
But you have to be careful and check if your pet will eat the styrofoam.
If you notice that he starts eating the styrofoam often, then you should remove him from the cage so that there are no problems with his digestive system.
Is plastic toxic to guinea pigs?
It all depends on what plastic the items in the guinea pig cage are made of.
If the plastic is non-toxic and strong then there will be no problem for the health of the guinea pigs.
It is dangerous if any toy or object is broken or has sharp edges, as they can injure the guinea pig and must be removed in time.
Guinea pigs can eat small amounts of styrofoam without any health consequences.
If they eat larger amounts, a blockage of the digestive system may occur, and an operation to unblock it will have to be done.
If guinea pigs often eat styrofoam they risk hearing problems, nerves, infertility, and other health problems.
If you notice any change in their pooping and urinating after eating styrofoam you should take them to the vet immediately to be examined.