Chinchillas have difficulty digesting many types of food.
Even foods you’d think are healthy, like fruits and vegetable, are often bad for these furry little critters.
As chinchilla owners, it is our responsibility to know which foods are safe for chinchillas and which we need to avoid.
This can seem like a daunting task.
But it doesn’t have to be. Just stick to Timothy hay and food pellets. That’s all chinchillas need.
If you want to feed the occasional treat, only give foods of which you are 100% certain they are fine for chinchillas.
As for cheese, keep reading to learn whether chinchillas can eat cheese, along with more information on which foods are safe to offer as treats.
Can Chinchillas Eat Cheese?
No, chinchillas can’t eat cheese. Cheese contains animal proteins, making it, and other dairy products, potentially dangerous to your chinchilla’s digestive tract.
Cheese and other dairy products such as milk, ice cream, and eggs could cause illness and even 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) of which you must be extra mindful. Do not feed chinchillas this human food.
And it’s far from alone. Chinchillas have issues with many foods. Those include dairy, fresh fruits, and even fresh vegetables. All can cause similar digestive issues, and can potentially be fatal.
That’s why it’s imperative to never feed your chinchilla any foods of which you aren’t 100% sure.
Rely on blogs like Planet Chinchilla and other trusted sources, like a vet who is certified to work with chinchillas, if you are ever unsure.
As for cheese, that is one food you can remove from your list. In fact, animal products are one food you’re best off avoiding completely.
Despite being omnivores and occasionally eating insects or eggs in the wild, it is best to completely avoid any type of animal product, especially cheese. For your chinchilla. You can keep eating all the cheese you want.
Why Chinchillas Can’t Eat Cheese
AS stated previously, chinchillas eating cheese can have a significant impact. At the very least, it can cause discomfort for your chinchilla. At worst, your pet could die.
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.
It is best to just avoid cheese altogether.
Other Dairy Products To Avoid
Okay, friends, another important thing to keep in mind is that cheese is not the only danger that presents itself when it comes to dairy products.
Milk, ice cream, and other dairy products are going to have the same adverse outcome for your chinchilla. Avoid them all.
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.
Some foods that are made with dairy products are fine, however. For example, chinchillas can eat bread, but only in small quantities.
Can chinchillas eat eggs, since they sometimes eat bird eggs in the wild? They can, but also only in small quantities. A dime sized piece of egg once or twice a week is good.
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 a dairy product and another item on the list of foods that your chinchilla should not 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 them, because they can all potentially cause the same issues for your pet.
Quick Reminder On Other Dietary Needs
Now that we understand that cheese and other dairy products are clearly off-limits for your chinchilla, let’s recap and discuss briefly what the best approach is with your chinchilla, when it comes to its dietary needs.
Stick to the basics.
That’s right. Don’t get overly fancy or too excited about treats and food items that aren’t proven safe for a chinchilla.
Stick to your timothy hay and chinchilla formulated pellets.
If you need more information about the best hay possible for your chinchilla, read that post.
Outside of these recommendations, I wouldn’t offer much else to your chinchilla. They don’t need anything else and giving them new food is always risky.
That said, 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.
Always Limit Treats In General
Limit treats your give your chinchilla. It’s just the way it needs to be to ensure your chinchilla remains at peak health.
This is the case even if you never offer dairy products to your chinchilla. All types of treats should be just that. Treats.
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. Just do it occasionally.
Chinchillas Eating Cheese: Final Thoughts
Although we love cheese as a society and perhaps our chinchilla may even love the taste, it’s something that our furry friends can’t enjoy, unfortunately.
Ensuring that you avoid options like cheese for your chinchillas’ diet is the best way to make sure you always provide great care for your new family pet.
Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think to avoid these issues. Just stick to the standard foods, with the occasional safe treat, and you’ll be fine.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla.
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.