What foods do chinchillas eat?
We have all the information you need about chinchilla food. Chinchillas are herbivores and need hay as well as other foods to keep them healthy, so just follow our easy guide.
Here are the food types you need to think about offering your chinchilla:
- Fresh water: essential for life
- Hay: a source for long fibre for dental and digestive health
- Concentrate: needed for nutritional balance and a fibre source
- Fresh vegetables: fresh herb mixes, fibrous leafy greens (kale, radicchio), dandelion leaves
- Fruit: only as an occasional treat
- Snacks or treats: raisins (1 per week), cranberry (1 per week), apple without the pips
Fresh water – must always be available. It can be provided in a bottle or a bowl. Make sure to check the sipper of the water bottle at least daily as they can become clogged. Water bowls should be heavy so they are not knocked over.
Concentrate – chinchilla food concentrates provide the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may be absent or present in variable amounts in other foods.
High fibre foods are recommended to wear down their constantly growing teeth and to keep their gut healthy, so look for this in the concentrate that you choose. Chinchilla food should not have a high fat level as chinchillas can become overweight.
Both complete kibbles and mixes are available. A mix (which can contain cereals and vegetables that might be dried whole or flaked) provides the nutrients that are needed overall in each of the components. It is important when feeding a mix to ensure the bowl is cleared before it is topped up, so that each meal provides all the nutrients your chinchilla needs. A high-quality concentrate or mix will contain natural ingredients that chinchillas like to eat, without the addition of sugary syrups which can result in digestive upset or dental disease.
Fresh food for chinchillas – feed just a handful of leafy green vegetables every day or fresh herbs or dandelions. Make sure that if picking dandelions that you don’t pick from the roadside and that the plant has not been sprayed or treated with chemicals.
Chinchilla treats – hand feeding a treat or snack is an important part of bonding with your chinchilla. When it comes to chinchilla food, dried fruits are a favourite but as they contain sugar, save them only as an occasional treat. Treats like our Selective Naturals are healthy and contain no added sugars.