Chinchillas belong to the rodent family, and they look like big squirrels. They were hunted down for their thick fur which was deemed to be of very high quality. There are two species of chinchillas, both of which have been considered as “critically endangered” today. These chinchillas originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and are known to be residing primarily in Chile, currently. Chinchillas are connected with the humans in two main ways – as the source of fur and as pets. Caring for a chinchilla is a quite a challenge as its body conditions are quite different from other small animals. In this article, we are going to see what do chinchillas eat and foods that are unsafe for them. This will help you understand the diet styles of your pet chinchillas better.
Are chinchillas good pets?
Before understanding whether chinchillas are good pets or not, you should know whether you have the expertise to care for them. They are not like other small animals. They don’t sweat, and their teeth continue to grow all through their lives. Therefore, you should be fully aware of of chinchilla diet patterns and temperature settings for their bodies to nurture them properly. They are known for a thick growth of fur, which should never get wet. You should ensure that your chinchillas are kept dry always because wet fur attracts fungus and your pets can develop fungal infection easily. You should have a well-prepared chinchilla food list ready with you to feed the correct foods to your pets at the right time.
Diet pattern of chinchillas
What do chinchillas eat? This is the first question that you need to ask yourself before getting one as a pet. Here are some of the important points that you need to keep in mind about chinchilla food.
- Chinchilla diet should be of very high quality and hygienic.
- Grasses, leaves, twigs and hay are the most common chinchilla treats; the right sized hay and grass pellets are important for chinchillas to cater to the needs of their ever-growing teeth
- Hygienic and healthy bottled drinking water is a must for chinchillas as it is good for their digestive system
- Dried fruits and root vegetables should be included to a very minimum extent in the chinchilla diet, as it can cause weight gain and intestinal issues for your pets.
- Monitor these factors – what do you chinchillas eat, how much do they eat, when they do eat normally and how much do they pass as droppings. If you see a change in these factors all of a sudden, it could mean that your pet is suffering from a serious health issue.
- Never introduce any new or drastic changes in the chinchilla food pattern, as it can cause physical disruptions in them.
What do chinchillas eat?
The best chinchilla food is high-quality hay. Grass pellets are also preferred by these small animals. Chinchilla treats like an apple slice, or a raisin can be given once in a while, and you will love to see the animals relishing these foods. Water plays an important role in chinchilla diet. It is important to keep clean water in a bottle next to the foods when you are feeding them. Remember to change the water at least twice a day and clean the bottle every day so that you can avoid bacterial growth. Their teeth keep growing always, and they love to chew; therefore, ensure that the foods are clean and devoid of dust and other pollutants.
Can chinchillas eat rabbit food?
This is the most common question that chinchilla pet owners ask when they plan on preparing chinchilla snacks and other treats. We cannot tell a straightforward “yes” or “no” as an answer to this question. Yes, some fruits, vegetables and hay that rabbits eat can be included in the chinchilla food pattern as well; however, ensure that the quantity is lesser than what rabbits eat. On the contrary, foods like muesli and rabbit pellets are exclusively compatible with the teeth pattern of bunnies, and therefore, chinchillas should not eat them.
Healthy Chinchilla snacks
Chinchilla food, chinchilla snacks and treats for chinchilla are quite different from each other. While food is a part of the regular daily routine, snacks can frequently be given and should be an indulgence (maybe twice or thrice a week). While hay and grass are natural foods for chinchillas, you can also consider buying readymade chinchilla pets. These pellets are considered to be healthy chinchilla snacks as they contain the right amount of nutrients for your pets. Ideally, the best chinchilla food should contain a balanced amount of fibre, protein, carbohydrates, fats, oil, sugar, minerals, moisture, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
Safe chinchilla food items
If you are thinking about what do chinchillas eat and how to care for your pets in the best possible manner, consider the following items:
- Plant protein – While Alfalfa is considered to be the best source of plant proteins ever for chinchillas, you can also consider other sources like bluegrass, timothy, orchard and alpine.
- Fibre – Alfalfa and orchard grass are great sources of fibre. You should never make the mistake of using chinchilla pellets as the main chinchilla food. These are only supplements, and you should always depend on natural plants, grass and hay for your pet’s nutrients. Always restrict to pellets to about 1 or two spoons per day.
- Water – Use only filtered or distilled water for chinchillas. Never make the mistake of using chlorinated water for chinchillas as the chemical can cause havoc in your pet’s digestive system.
- Fruits and nuts – Use these as treats for chinchillas and not as food. You can give these treats two or three times a week as overconsumption of these can cause liver issues for your pets.
- Natural wood – Giving a little amount of natural wood (bamboo, cottonwood, willow, dried pine, mulberry, hazelnut, etc.) for your chinchillas to nibble on every day is a good idea.
Some of the best chinchilla food items
Wondering what do chinchillas eat? You can consider buying the following top-selling pet foods for giving your chinchillas the nutrients, it requires.
- Supreme Petfoods Limited Charlie Chinchilla Food 6lb
Chinchillas require additional care and nurturing from its owners. Keeping this mind, this chinchilla food contains the right amount of nutrients that your pet requires. The ingredients are natural, and there are no processed sugars used to make this food. The highlight of this food is that your pet chinchillas love to nibble on them as they love the taste of this food.
- Oxbow Animal Health Chinchilla Deluxe Fortified Small Animal Feeds, 5-Pound
Are you thinking about what do chinchillas eat? Do you want to give them foods that are rich in natural plant proteins and fibre? This product should be an integral part of your chinchilla diet pattern. It is made from Alfalfa Hay, which is an excellent source of plant protein and fibre – two ingredients that keep chinchillas healthy and active. These feeds are considered to have the perfect balance of many nutrients and are recommended by veterinarians as well. This is considered to be one of the best chinchilla food items ever because it helps to keep the digestive system of the pets in very good condition.
- Carefresh Timothy Hay
Hay is the best chinchilla food ever. Are you looking for high-quality of hay that is natural and rich in nutrients? The Carefresh Timothy Hay is the right product for you. It features excellent quality of hay from Washington that is loaded with an ample amount of nutrients and minerals to keep your pets happy and healthy. The package of this hay is resistant to UV rays; therefore, you can be assured that the natural colour and the nutrients of the hay are lost in package or transit.