Safe and Toxic Woods For Degus

Degu
Stanhua / Flickr / CC By 2.0

Degus are rodents that need to chew on things regularly to keep their teeth trimmed and healthy. Wood is a popular and natural choice for degu owners 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 the wood you are offering your degu is safe, free of pesticides, untreated, preferably organic, and free of paint.

Safe Woods (and Wood-Like Substances) for Degus

  • apple
  • arbutus
  • ash
  • bamboo cane
  • blackberrry
  • blackcurrant
  • cholla
  • coconut shell
  • 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 Degus

  • 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, 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 options are available in pet stores for degus. Woods marketed for chinchillas and other rodents are usually ok to offer to your degu, but make sure the type of wood is not on the toxic woods list before putting it in your degus cage.

The same goes for the material that his hide box and cage are made out of (if they are made of wood). Any items in his cage are fair game for his teeth to nibble on so you want to make sure they are safe!

If you think your degu may have eaten a toxic wood, contact your exotics vet as soon as possible.