Cereal is healthy, right?
At least the stuff without frosting, food coloring or other additives.
For us humans, yes.
Plain cereals like Cheerios, shredded wheat, or Corn Flakes are healthy.
But that does not mean they are healthy for chinchillas.
Can chinchillas eat cheerios, or are they just another healthy human food that is bad for these sensitive rodents?
Keep reading to find out. We will cover everything you need to know about feeding your pet chinchilla Cheerios.
Can Chinchillas Eat Cheerios?
Yes, chinchillas can eat Cheerios. But they have high levels of phosphorus, so you need to make sure you only feed a small amount to your chinchilla. It will love Cheerios as an occasional treat, but they should never be more than that.
Let’s take a closer look at Cheerios as a treat for your chinchilla. We especially want to focus on why Cheerios should only be a treat, and never a significant portion of your pet’s diet.
Cheerios As A Chinchilla Treat
Cheerios are a safe treat to feed to your chinchilla. But as is the case with all treats, you need to limit the amount you feed your pet. Cheerios could soon become dangerous, if you start feeding your chinchilla too many.
Just like too many chocolate bars can be unsafe for us, the same goes for Cheerios with your chinchilla. And actually, Cheerios for us, too.
There are no toxic ingredients in Cheerios that will cause your chinchilla any harm. They are just a plain cereal. However, if your chinchilla eats too many, it can cause an imbalance of phosphorus and calcium levels in your chinchilla, which can become dangerous.
If you catch this early, you can treat the imbalance with mineral supplements provided by your vet. To make sure you don’t cause this imbalance, just stick to feeding only a couple of Cheerios to your chinchilla at any one time. And ideally, do so no more than twice a week.
As a wholegrain cereal, Cheerios are packed full of nutrients that are beneficial to your chinchilla. You’ll find oat, corn starch, phosphate and vitamin E included in Cheerios.
The cereal is high in fiber, which is great for your chinchilla’s sensitive digestive system. Again, just make sure you don’t feed your chinchilla too many Cheerios, since even useful nutrients can cause harm, if they are eaten in excess.
What Can I Feed My Chinchilla A Lot Of?
Chinchillas are native to the Andes mountains, so they commonly eat a lot of dried food. The diet staple should be hay. That is what your chinchilla should eat the most.
It will provide your chinchilla with all the nutrients it needs, and the tough texture of hay also helps keep its teeth from overgrowing. Timothy hay is the best and most popular choice and you can pick it up from your local pet store or online.
In addition to a steady supply of hay, it is also a good idea to give your pet pellets once or twice a day. These consist most of hay, too, but they also contain other ingredients that are great for your pet.
You can supplement the hay and pellets with occasional treats, if you like. Cheerios work great for this, as are grains like millet. Other good treat options are dried fruits or flowers. Again, no matter what you choose as a treat, make sure to limit it to small amounts only.
What Cereals Can Chinchillas Eat?
In addition to Cheerios, it is also safe to feed your chinchilla corn flakes. Just make sure you stick to the plain type and save the frosted ones for yourself!
Like Cheerios, you should still only feed small amounts of cornflakes to your chinchilla. Feed them only as an occasional treat. I would suggest a couple of flakes at one time and only once or twice a week.
Another great cereal to feed your chinchilla is shredded wheat. Again, just the plain kind! And you should also only keep it to small amounts. You don’t want to make your chinchilla sick. I recommend half a shredded wheat cube.
Is Bread Safe?
Chinchillas can eat bread. Just make sure to feed it to your pet in small quantities and only feed it to your chinchilla if it is dry.
Feeding large amounts to your chinchilla can cause your pet to become sick. It may start to experience stomach pains and bloating.
Chinchillas have sensitive digestive systems so feeding them a lot of anything other than hay can wreak havoc on their systems. I would recommend feeding your chinchilla no more than a pinky finger tip’s worth of bread at any one time.
You should also refrain from it them any sugary or processed bread. The additives in these can also cause your chinchilla to become sick.
All of the same goes for similar human snacks or foods, like crackers. Chinchillas can eat crackers, but only in small amounts. And the plainer the cracker is, the better.
Can Chinchillas Have Cheerios: Final Thoughts
Yes, chinchillas can eat Cheerios, along with other cereals made from grains with no additives or excess sugar. But, as with all foods that are not hay or pellets, it should never be more than an occasional treat.
You can feed a Cheerio or two once or twice a week. But do not feed your chinchilla more than that. It should be eating primarily Timothy hay and pellets, nothing else.