Safe and Toxic Wood for Pet Mice

When it comes to creating wooden toys for mice, the possibilities are endless. From bridges to ladders to tunnels, everything can be created. You name it and it will be probably available in one of your local pet stores. Mice enjoy playing a lot and the more toys you give them, the happier they become.

Now the only problem with wooden toys is that the type of wood they are made of matters a lot. Some of them can be straight-up toxic to mice and thus cause serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to pick a wooden toy that is made of the right material for your pet.

If you buy the right toys for your pet mouse, you can make his life far more exciting than it was before. It is also healthy because he is going to exercise a lot while playing. They also don’t mind smelling and biting wooden toys, which is why they need to be made of healthy materials.

Why do Pet Mice Need Wood?

Pet mice need wooden toys to entertain themselves. You can only imagine how boring it can be to spend time in a cage that only has bedding, a water bottle and a food bowl. They would get bored really quickly.

Mice are intelligent rodents and they absolutely love to play. Since you can’t play with them all day long, you need to introduce some toys to the cage. For a little mouse, basically, everything that can be moved around or climbed on is considered as a toy.

They always want to have something new to explore or play with. It is also a great way for them to get exhausted so that they can sleep at ease afterward. You can find many cheap toys that are made of wood in the pet store. These toys also offer them a way to sharpen their teeth.

Safe Wood for Pet Mice

There is a wide number of safe woods you can look for when you are about to buy a toy for your pet mouse. The ones we are going to recommend in the upcoming list are all hardwood. In general, the type of woods that we consider acceptable are the ones that produce fruits that us humans can eat.

The ones that are safe for rabbits to consume are also acceptable. Now let’s see what we have here:

  • Birch wood – Mice love the taste of birch even if there is just a twig available for them to play with
  • Apple – This one is also tasty and your mouse will probably chew it all up really fast
  • Cherry, Plum, Peach – These are healthy options yet they don’t taste good. Dried branches of them can be used to create toys
  • Rowan, Whitebeam – These woods can be offered to mice sparingly although they grow relatively small
  • Hazel – If you are looking for wood material that is tasty and long-lasting, this is the one you need
  • Hawthorn – Once the thorns are removed, hawthorn becomes the ideal tasty wood piece for mice
  • Elder – This type of wood provides some additional grip if your mouse wants to climb
  • Willow – The perfect wood to nibble on, given that it is properly dried
  • Buddleia – If you are one of those people who grow buddleia in the garden, you are lucky. You can give the older parts of this wood type to your pet

Toxic Wood for Pet Mice

Woods can be divided into two categories. The ones we talked about above are hardwoods, while here, in the toxic woods section, we are going to list some toxic softwoods. Toys made out of these broadleaf trees should be all avoided when looking for the ideal one to give your mouse:

  • Dogwood
  • Horse chestnut
  • Laurel
  • Box
  • Privet
  • Eucalyptus
  • Laburnum

There are also fast-growing trees with needle-like leaves such as Christmas trees that should be avoided at all costs.

Making Wood Safe for Pet Mice

Wood toys can be very cheap options for mice if you know what to look for. For example, toilet paper or paper towel rolls are outstanding toys for them because they do not contain any harmful chemicals. What you want to look for at home is some untreated wood to give to your pet.

Mice find it fun to play with any small log you can find. They are really not choosy when it comes to toys, it is just that there are many of them in the market that are not suitable for pet mice. Watching your mouse walking through the toilet paper roll or chewing on it is going to be a lot of fun!

Are Pine Wood Toys Safe for Mice?

Pine falls into the category of softwoods and those are not safe for mice to play with. No matter what type of wood you buy, it has to be of outstanding quality. Your mouse is inevitably going to chew on it, which also means that small pieces of it can get into his system.

The problem with pine wood is that it contains an excessive amount of oil. Hardwoods can greatly differ from softwoods. The reason why pine wood has developed in such a way is to defend itself from infection and parasites. Consuming this oil is toxic for mice because it contains phenols.

Once phenols get into their system, it can cause health problems that can’t be cured that easily. In that case, you would need to take your mouse to the veterinarian who can possibly solve the problem.

Is Pressed Wood (MDF) Safe for Pet Mice?

Furniture, chipboard and pressed wood all fall into this category. If you find something similar in your house and want to add it in some shape or form to your mouse cage, then you better forget it. These are not good raw materials to create toys from for pet mice.

Pressed wood contains glue, including all the other parts that we mentioned above. No matter what type of toy you give to your mouse, be it a bridge, a tunnel or any other small toy, he is going to chew on it. Parts of the toy will inevitably get in his system and glue is definitely not something mice should eat.

It is toxic to them and will either cause a mild stomach ache or something more serious. It all depends on how much glue your mouse has eaten. All the things that contain paint, glue or artificial scents are toxic to mice and should be avoided at all costs.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are really just a few things to look out for when looking for some safe wood for you mouse to play with. Once you learn which wood types are considered as hardwood and to identify softwoods, you are pretty much set.

It is also important to note that woods with needle-like leaves should not be considered for them at all. Really good mouse toys are the simple ones more often than not. Before buying one, just check out the material it is made of. If it is healthy, then you can buy it for your mouse based on our article.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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