Are Pinecones Safe for Guinea Pigs? [Guide]

Pinecones are generally not safe for guinea pigs. Although they appear harmless they can cause a number of issues for your guinea pig. Pinecones contain high levels of phenols and a number of other toxic chemicals all be it in small quantities are still of a significant level to cause issues.

guinea pig pine cones

Common issues include irritation of the skin and respiratory tract. Pinecones are also difficult for guinea pigs to consume as the sharp points of the pinecone scales can become stuck in the throat or intestines of your poor guinea pigs. This can cause serious injury or even death.

How to Make Pinecones Safe for Guinea Pigs

If you are adamant that you want to give your guineapigs pines cones then ensure you avoid buying ones from stores that have been treated with additional chemicals or coatings. Also, be aware of mold and mildew that are commonly present on pinecones.

To make sure your guinea pig is safe, it’s best to avoid giving them pinecones as toys but if you do decide to give your guinea pig a pinecone you can sterilize it first. You can do this by making them at 200 degrees for around 20-30 minutes using foil to catch any sap drippings. Feel free to watch the youtube video linked below for a full guide on how to do this in detail.

Can Guinea Pigs Digest Pinecones?

Guinea pigs cannot digest pinecones. Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive systems and pinecone bark is extremely hard to digest. This makes it unsafe for guinea pigs to consume as pinecones can cause blockages in their intestines which can be dangerous and even lead to death if not treated correctly. There are many great alternatives to pinecones that are safer and healthier such as hay, grass, gruits, and certain vegetables.

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Are Aromatic Oils Safe for Guinea Pigs?

Aromatic oils are not safe for guinea pigs. Aromatic oils contain volatile compounds that can be toxic or irritating to the skin and respiratory system of your guinea pig. It’s important to remember that essential oils can be absorbed through the skin and do not always need to be consumed for them to have a toxic effect on your guinea pig.

It’s best to avoid giving your guinea pig anything that contains essential oils and sticks with safer alternatives. It’s also important to make sure the items you are giving are free of any chemicals or contaminants.


When it comes to giving pinecones to guineapigs we would not recommend it for a number of different reasons. Pinecones can contain aromatic oils and pine seeds which have the potential to be harmful when ingested. Additionally, because pinecones are spiny and difficult to digest it’s highly unadvisable to feed them to your guinea pig too. Overall it’s best to avoid giving pinecones to your guinea pig whether it be for snacks or toys.

There are many other alternatives that will provide a safer and healthier environment for your guinea pig. If you still decide to give pinecones then make sure you follow the safety guidelines mentioned above.