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Lincoln Logs are a popular toy, used to build small structures like houses and towers. They’ve been around for over 100 years, and still have a reputation as a high-quality product even until today.
Because they are good for building small houses, many people start to wonder if Lincoln Logs are safe for small animals like hamsters and rabbits.
Building a small house for your rabbit or hamster out of Lincoln Logs may seem like a cute project, but it’s important to know that most Lincoln logs are not actually safe for these small critters. The wood from the Lincoln Log could chip off and could damage their mouths or even their intestines but even more dangerous is the wood/stain that’s on them. The chemicals in it could potentially kill your animal!
While you shouldn’t use real Lincoln Logs for your pets, you can use several other types of wood to give them a healthy chew toy that won’t risk injuring them.
As long as the wood is natural to their normal habitat (such as regular untreated twigs or sticks you can cut them to size and easily make a Lincoln Log style house without the toxic chemicals that the Lincoln Logs are treated with.
If you want to find some safer toys for your rabbits and hamsters you can find some popular ones by clicking here.
Why Aren’t Lincoln Logs Safe for Rabbits and Hamsters?
Lincoln logs are made out of wood, not plastic, so they may seem like a safe product for small critters like hamsters and rabbits. However, many types of chemicals used to stain/treat Lincoln Logs are toxic to these animals, so exposing them to Lincoln Logs can cause serious issues for them.
Any wooden toy or product you give to your rabbit or hamster is likely to chewed on or eaten at some point, so it’s important to make sure that they are safe for consumption.
Lincoln Logs are made of a blend of woods, so there is no guarantee that any one batch will not contain a wood that is toxic to your pets let alone a chemical.
For both hamsters and rabbits, you should only buy toys that are made of pure wood, and not a blend. Wood glue and other chemicals used to hold wood together are toxic to most animals, including rabbits and hamsters so that is why it’s best to stay away from giving your pet rabbit or hamster Lincoln Logs to play with.
What Kinds of Wood are Unsafe for Rabbits?
Rabbits have specific needs when it comes to wooden toys. Rabbit teeth never stop growing, so they need chew toys made of things like wood in order to wear them down to a functional length. They also need the mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy.
However, using woods that are high in phenols can cause issues for you rabbits health. Phenols are the chemicals that cause wood to smell the way it does.
Common woods that are toxic to rabbits are cedar, pine, and fruit trees like cherry, peach, apricot, and avocado.
Sometimes, pine chew toys are treated to remove the phenols so that they are safe for rabbits, but most veterinarians still say to avoid them to stay on the safe side.
So, when making or buying wooden toys for your rabbit you will want to make sure that they aren’t any of the wood types mentioned above.
What Kinds of Wood are Unsafe for Hamsters?
Hamsters have a little more variety in the woods they can consume compared to rabbits, but there are still several things you should avoid when buying wooden chew toys/products for your hamster.
Like with rabbits, hamsters should not have cedar or pine wood as the oils in these woods can be poisonous to them.
You should also check any toys you give to them to make sure that they do not have a chemical treatment or any additives. These can be very harmful for hamsters to eat.
Just like rabbits, hamsters need chew toys to keep their teeth at a healthy length so buying your pet chew toys is important but just as important is making sure you buy the right types of toys.
What Woods are Safe for Rabbits and Hamsters?
Many types of wood are toxic to pets like rabbits and hamsters, but there are also several types that are safe for both of them. Since they need chew toys made from things like wood, it’s just as important to know what is safe as it is what is unsafe.
What Wood Is Safe For Rabbits?
Rabbits can eat several types of wood safely.
Willow balls are a very common type of rabbit toy that can be bought online or at a pet supply store. If you have access to a willow tree, you can give your rabbit willow twig bundles to play with as well with the bonus of it being free!
Apple and pear sticks are also a great treat to give your rabbit. Unlike many other fruit trees, apple and pear trees are safe for bunnies. They can also have the leaves as a flavorful treat.
Some woods, like aspen for example, need to be dried out in a kiln before they are safe for rabbits.
What Wood Is Safe For Hamsters?
Generally speaking, hamsters have more options than rabbits when it comes to wooden toys.
If you’re shopping at a pet supply store, balsa wood chew sticks are one of the most popular options. Always check to make sure that they don’t have any additives to make sure they are safe.
Birch is another great option for hamsters. They can have the twigs as chew toys on their own or in a bundle.
Dogwood and cottonwood twigs are also make great chew toys for hamsters.
Some fruit trees can be toxic to hamsters, but blackberry bushes (without the thorns), apple, pear, and mulberry are all non-toxic to hamsters.
Hamsters can also safely eat sycamore wood, willow (as long as it isn’t white willow), and bamboo.
Lincoln logs are a great toy for children to foster fine motor skills, creativity, and imagination. However, they aren’t necessarily safe for pets like rabbits and hamsters since the glues and other chemicals used to treat Lincoln Logs could hurt your pet.
Lincoln Logs are made from a blend of woods, which can contain types that are toxic to small mammals and rodents like rabbits and hamsters.
If you want to build a small house for your rabbit to play in out of something like Lincoln logs, make sure you know exactly what type of wood is in them. This way, you can make sure your pets are staying safe.
Rabbits and hamsters both need wooden toys to stay both physically and mentally healthy, but it’s important to get the right ones for your pet.