Can Chinchillas Eat Cheese[Avoid and Use Other Options]

Understanding every potential item or food choice that you can feed your new chinchilla, and understanding which foods are safe for chinchillas can seem like a daunting task.

Especially in the early days after the adoption.

That’s one of the reasons I wanted to throw this post together for you and knock out one of the potential items you may be curious about.

Can chinchillas eat cheese?

After owning a chinchilla for nearly 4 years now, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, can a chinchilla eat cheese? No, a chinchilla can’t eat cheese. Cheese contains animal ingredients. Cheese and other dairy products can be dangerous to your chinchilla’s digestive tract. Cheese and other dairy products such as milk, ice cream, and eggs could cause illness and become fatal for a chinchilla.

That’s right, fellow chinchilla owners.

Cheese is one of those foods and belongs to one of those food groups that we must be extra mindful of before offering to our chinchillas.

While the answer provided above gives you a brief explanation, I also wanted to dive into this topic slightly more in-depth.

I want you to have a full understanding of the harm, as well as other potential pitfalls to avoid.

I’ve also created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about:


Here is what is on the lesson plan for today:

Lastly, before jumping in, I wanted you to be aware that I have a full guide/PDF eBook that you can learn more about here.

This guide will have 100 pages of value and give you a full-scope overview and show you the ins and outs of adopting a new pet chinchilla.

Now, let’s jump into the details.

Can Chinchillas Eat Cheese?

Alright, before diving into the details too deep, let’s re-emphasize the most essential part of this blog post.

Chinchillas can’t eat cheese under any circumstances.

Cheese and dairy products that contain animal ingredients wreak havoc on chinchillas’ small digestive systems.

It’s not only cheese that can cause this issue for our new furry friends, either.

Many foods that include dairy, fresh fruits, and even fresh vegetables can cause these same undesirable health impacts for our chinchillas if we are not careful.

That’s why it’s always imperative never to feed your chinchilla any foods that you aren’t 100% sure of.

Rely on blogs such as Planet Chinchilla and other trusted sources such as contacting your vet that’s certified to work with chinchillas if you are ever unsure.

For now, cheese is one food you can remove from your list and feel confident that you will never need to offer your chinchilla and never should offer your chinchilla.

Why Chinchillas Can’t Eat Cheese

Like stated previously, chinchillas eating cheese can have a significant impact and can certainly cause some discomfort for your chinchilla.

Chinchillas need a very routine and balanced diet consisting of hay and pellets (we will touch on this more later)

Straying outside of these foods is rarely a good idea unless it’s a treat or option that you are sure is safe such as dried oats, among others.

Cheese and dairy cause bloating, digestive tract issues, upset stomachs, and illnesses that can progress into something much worse and even become fatal.

Cheese should always be avoided.

Period, end of the story.

Other Dairy Products to Avoid

Okay, friends, another important thing to keep in mind is that cheese is not your only danger that presents itself when it comes to dairy products that you could potentially offer by mistake to your chinchilla.

Milk, eggs, ice cream, and other dairy products are going to have these same adverse outcomes for your chinchilla and need to be avoided.

Not doing so will cause the same stomach and digestive issues that your chinchilla will experience if they consume any form of cheese/dairy products.

Yogurt Is Also Off Limits

I think this is self-explanatory and trust that you are smart enough to connect the dots by now.

Yogurt is clearly another dairy product and another item on the potential foods list that your chinchilla can’t have.

No yogurt.

Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

Grab those yogurts, all other dairy products, and stick a nice post-it note on them, reminding the entire family that your chinchilla can never have because they can all potentially cause the same issues for your new pet.

A Quick Reminder on Other Dietary Needs

Now that we understand that cheese and other dairy products are clearly off-limits for your new chinchilla let’s recap and discuss briefly what the best approach will always be with your chinchilla.

Sticking to the basics.

That’s right.

Don’t get overly fancy or too excited about treats and items that aren’t proven safe for a chinchilla.

Stick to your timothy hay and chinchilla formulated pellets.

If you need more information about using the best hay possible for your chinchilla, you can view my post here.

You can also view my post here discussing the pellets that should be used.

Lastly, I have a post you can read here about ensuring you use the best chinchilla treats possible for your chinchilla to keep them happy and healthy.

Outside of these recommendations, I wouldn’t be offering much else to your chinchilla very often.

Some dried fruits, dried oats, and other items are certainly okay to offer your chinchilla from time to time, but in general, it’s best to stick to a healthy balanced diet and only provide your chinchilla a treat every now and then.

That’s what I want to touch on last and have you on your way.

Ensuring treats are only offered in moderation.

Always Limit Treats in General

Treats in general for chinchilla’s need to be limited.

It’s just the way it needs to be to ensure your chinchilla is remaining at peak health.

This is the case even if you never offer dairy products to your chinchilla.

Keep treats designed to be exactly what they are.

A treat and nothing more.

Sure, it’s okay to show some love and offer yummy treats, but it doesn’t need to be every day or multiple times per day.

Final Thoughts

Although we love cheese as a society and perhaps our chinchilla may even love the taste, it’s something that can’t be offered to our friends, unfortunately.

Ensuring that you avoid options like cheese for your chinchillas’ diet is the best way to ensure you are always providing great care for your new family pet.

Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think to avoid these issues and tempting options to offer your chinchilla.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchillas.

Share Your Thoughts on This Topic

Do you feel I left out any pertinent information that other chinchilla owners could benefit from on this topic?

Do you have any stories to share that relate to feeding a chinchilla cheese or other dairy products?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and will catch you next time.



Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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