While it may be ok to use a puppy pad for puppies, this question is a good one to know as if they are not safe and you do not know this you could risk the life of your chinchilla by using them. I will delve into this subject so that you will know for sure if you should use this item or not.
Are Puppy Pads Safe For Chinchillas? No, they are not safe to use in your chinchilla cage. There are a number of beddings out on the market that different people will say not to use for this reason or that, but that others will say are great items to use. However, from what I have found on the puppy pads they should be avoided.
You will not get an entire list of what is in the puppy pads as they are made in China, and China is not required to list everything. If you really want to know you will have to contact the distributor of the specific pad you are looking at to get it, and most will not send it to you, but rather just read it off.
Why They Are Dangerous?
The packaging says they are non-toxic, however, this isn’t true. The attractant that is used is toxic if inhaled and can cause skin irritation too. This came from a list of side ingredients that China provided the distributor and is not listed on the product packaging.
And as chinchillas are known to be chewers why risk putting something with a plastic backing on it in their cage and risk them ingesting the plastic as well as the other materials. Any approved chinchilla bedding would be better than putting this in your cage.
Is The Gel In Puppy Pads Toxic?
This gel is made up of a polyacrylic polymeric acid hydrogel. If ingested it will cause neurological problems and possible death. Having to be treated with IV, and taking several days to weeks to recover, if they do recover at all. I know that the medical terms can be difficult to understand so that is the best way I could explain them. How very based on what I found found from the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation found to be very helpful in helping determine the answer.
Even if you don’t understand all of the terminologies you will be able to understand the results and know without a doubt that this item should not be used anywhere near your chinchilla. I wouldn’t even use it for a dog.
At this point, I am sure you understand why this was an important topic to cover. And there are a lot of options out there that are much better than risking your chinchillas’ health. I will go over some of them for you.
What To Use In The Cage For Their Bedding
There are many forms of bedding that you can use. I have found some warnings with most of them and someone that will always recommend against one for this reason or that. It mostly comes down to how much your chinchilla chews on the bedding.
Kiln-dried pine or aspen are good and have a proven track record of working well. There are some bedding made of recycled paper.
Avoid cedar or cedar mix shavings, and anything with scents or dyes added. Also any synthetic, cat litters, or corn cob blends.
Some beddings, such as paper and hay bedding will hold onto heat and possibly facilitate your chinchilla overheating as well. Also if your chinchilla is a chewer you will want to avoid paper beddings as they can create a bowel blockage.
It may take a while of trial and error for you to find what is right for you and your chinchilla. Always remember to consult with your vet as to what they recommend. They are usually the best source, as they see chinchillas and how they react to different things.
What Do You Line A Chinchilla Cage With?
The best answer I have found is a fleece liner. It is one of the few things a chinchilla (with a few exceptions) will usually not chew on. The chinchilla poop will stick to the liner and you will have less mess on the floor around the cage. It can be washed and reused, just don’t use any fabric softener when washing it, this will make it less absorbent.
The fleece is good for the chinchillas sensitive feet, Some beddings like wood shavings can cut their feet if they hit the edges just right. You can also make fleece liners to cover the ledges. This will help with any slipping and help keep some of the poo from getting kicked off the ledges onto the floor.
The fleece liners work great but are best if your chinchilla is box trained. Or if you incorporate an absorbent material into or beneath them. Some people make this like a pillowcase and put some absorbent towels paper or other absorbent material inside them. Or use them on top of the wire grid with an absorbent bedding underneath.
What Other Things Should A Chinchilla Not Have Access To?
You will not want to put plastic dishes, toys, exercise wheel, or anything else in your chinchilla cage. Chinchillas chew and the plastic they will ingest can cause fatal blockages in their digestive system. It is best to avoid all plastic items that your chinchilla will have access to.
You will not want to leave a chinchillas dust bath in the cage all the time. To much access to this will cause their skin, especially on their feet and ears to dry out. It can even get so bad that they will crack open and bleed. It is best to give them 10 – 15 minutes time with the bath every day or two depending on the humidity in your area.
Be careful that your chinchilla can not reach through the cage and chew on any electrical cords, or anything else that may be placed close to the cage. They can and usually will chew on anything they can get close enough to do so.
You will want to monitor them closely when they are out for playtime. They can find the small space that you forgot to block and be away before you know it. This will make everything in your house from that antique grandfather clock to your child’s favorite toy up for grabs to them.
And this will include tv cords, cell phones, you wouldn’t believe some of the things that are not safe with a loose chinchilla. As chinchillas can jump six feet in the air you can not put something high enough for it to be safe. You really do need to be very careful to watch closely when your chinchilla is out of its cage.
It is not at all acceptable to use a puppy pad in your chinchilla cage. Even if you were to put it in the tray under the grid bottom, your chinchilla may still reach it and chew it. This is not a safe product to use with any pet in my opinion.
There are many acceptable beddings you can use, You may have to use a few before you find what is right for you. Chinchillas are fairly is to litter box train so this will help with keeping the cage cleaner and make less of a need for anything to absorb the urine. Most chinchilla litter trays also come with a form of urine splash guard to help keep the urine from getting outside of the cage on the wall and floor.