If you are getting ready to purchase a chinchilla or possibly already did, you are likely curious about some best practices when it comes to feeding your chinchilla and offering treats. No worries, this is extremely common. One of the most frequent questions chinchilla owners ask revolves around chinchilla food and what chinchillas eat. More specifically than that, you have fruits and vegetables. Can chinchillas eat fruit? Here’s what I know on this topic.
So, can chinchillas eat fruit? Yes, chinchillas can eat fruit. Chinchillas can eat specific fruits such as strawberries, pears, and apples in small quantities. Chinchillas have sensitive stomachs, so fruit needs to be offered seldomly and in very small quantities and broken down into small bites.
Providing your chinchilla with the wrong fruits or the wrong quantities can cause some significant stomach issues including diarrhea, constipation and potentially cause your chinchilla to become ill.
In this post, I will detail the most common fruits that chinchillas’ owners often ask about.
By the end of the post, you should have a good idea of what you can offer your chinchilla on rare occasions to keep them happy and feeling healthy.
Let’s dive into those details and get this party started.
Why Can Chinchillas Only Have Certain Fruits?
Like I stated previously, chinchillas have very sensitive stomachs. This means we need to be educated and careful about what we decide to place in our chinchillas’ bellies. No worries, this isn’t a huge deal and we can work around it.
Before diving any deeper, you need to realize that offering fruit to your chinchilla should be a rare and seldom occurrence. Timothy hay, chinchilla formulated pellets and fresh water should be your chinchillas’ primary diet.
It’s always been like this and for a good reason so stick to it.
Fruit, on the other hand, can be offered but should be viewed as a luxury or treat to your chinchilla. Plain and simple.
These Fruits Will Not Cause Any Harm to Your Chinchilla in Moderation
Referring to my opening statement, we are aware that chinchillas can eat strawberries, pears, and apples. However, this must be very seldom. Some chinchilla owners prefer never to feed their chinchilla fruit.
This isn’t necessarily because it will cause harm. It’s strictly because all of us chinchilla owners understand how sensitive and small a chinchilla’s stomach really is.
I’m right in the middle. Some owners state that 3-4 treat per week is the max. I probably offer my chinchilla these fruits once a week. Twice at the absolute max. In fact, I rarely use them unless I’m struggling to get her back into her cage.
This is rare as well, but I do have times where she insists on running away from me non-stop. This can be annoying but it’s certainly true. This is when I’ll bust out the heavy artillery. A tiny piece of fruit. It works like magic if you play your cards right.
You also need to ensure you are following my opening statement about the best practices to implement when offering your chinchilla any fruit.
Always ensure you are following these three tips at a bare minimum.
Tip #1- Always Have Small Bite Sized Fruit Only (The Size of a Raisin or Smaller or 1 CM by 1 CM)
Tip #2- No More Than 3-4 Times Per Week (This is 3-4 Bite Size Pieces of Fruit Per Week)
Tip #3- Do Not Feed Your Chinchilla Other Fruits That May Cause Harm (We Will Cover This Shortly)
Following these tips is a great start but we still have more ground to cover. Let’s break down each of the 29 examples of fruits chinchilla owners often ask about 1 by 1 to ensure we all have healthy chinchillas with no stomach issues.
Spoiler Alert- I’m going to break down each and every one of these fruits in a question and answer format to keep things easy, 100% transparency and easy to follow, so no questions are left unanswered in this post.
29 Examples of Fruits Chinchilla Owners Inquire About. The Full Breakdown
Below you will notice that I phrase every fruit as a question and attempt to answer the question about the fruits in the most direct manner possible. I hope this style of post works and helps all of you understand what you can and can’t feed your chinchilla.
You will also notice a common trend with the fruits that chinchillas can eat and the fruits that chinchillas can’t eat. The common ingredients that are presented in fruits that could be damaging to your chinchilla and your chinchilla’s stomach include the following.
- High Acidity
- High Sugar Content
- High Calcium Content
- High Phosphorus Content
- High-Fat Content
If certain fruits have much higher levels than other fruits in the above-mentioned categories, they always need to be avoided and never fed to your chinchilla. Here is a closer look at all the 29 fruits as promised.
Can Chinchillas Eat Bananas?
No. Chinchillas cannot eat bananas. Bananas are high in phosphorus. Bananas are also considered acidic and have high sugar, fat and potassium content. Your chinchilla may experience stomach pain or constipation consuming bananas. If bananas are offered, they must be at extremely low quantities.
Can Chinchillas Eat Pears?
Yes, chinchillas can eat pears. If you offer your chinchillas pears it needs to be in small raisin size bites. 1 CM by 1 CM is the recommended size for fruit when offered to a chinchilla. A pear in very small quantities and not offered to frequently to your chinchilla will not harm them.
Can Chinchillas Eat Apples?
Yes. Chinchillas can eat apples. Apples are a fruit that if offered to a chinchilla in small quantities, small bites and not very often will not cause harm to your chinchillas’ stomach. Apples will not cause your chinchilla to get sick unless they consume too much or consume apples to often.
Can Chinchillas Eat Green Apples?
Yes. Chinchillas can eat green apples. Chinchillas can eat green apples in the same manner chinchillas can eat red apples. You can only offer your chinchilla green apples 1-3 times per week. Additionally, you can only offer them 1 treat or green apple per day and it needs to be a very small serving. 1 cm by 1cm.
Can Chinchillas Eat Apple Sauce?
No. A chinchilla should not eat apple sauce. Apple sauce contains even more sugar than apples. Additionally, apple sauce is a soft food which isn’t recommended for chinchillas. Apple sauce may cause an upset stomach, illness, or even digestive tract issues with your chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Apricots?
Yes, chinchillas can eat apricots. If you feed your chinchilla apricots, it needs to be dried apricots. You also need to ensure you only feed your chinchilla a very small amount of dried apricots and don’t feed your chinchilla dried apricots often. 1-3 times per week at max. Chinchillas love dried apricots.
Can Chinchillas Eat Avocado?
No, chinchilla can’t eat avocados. Feeding your chinchilla avocados can cause digestive tract issues and stomach pain for your chinchilla. Avocados do not contain nutrients that are safe for your chinchilla to ingest and should be avoided.
Can Chinchillas Eat Cantaloupe?
No, chinchillas can’t eat cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is too high in sugar and will cause stomach and digestive tract issues for your chinchilla. Additionally, cantaloupe can cause diarrhea in your chinchilla and can cause further illnesses to occur. Avoid feeding your chinchilla cantaloupe.
Can Chinchillas Eat Citrus?
No, chinchillas can’t eat citrus. Citrus is primarily contained in oranges. Oranges are too high in phosphorus, calcium, and sugar and are also considered highly acidic. You should avoid allowing your chinchilla to consume citrus to avoid stomach and digestive tract issues with your chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Clementine’s?
No, chinchillas can’t eat clementines. Clementine’s are a fruit too high in acidic content. Additionally, clementine’s contain a high sugar content which can be damaging to your chinchilla’s health. Consider apples or dried apricots instead. Clementine’s need to be avoided and never fed to your chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Grapes?
No, chinchillas can’t eat grapes. Grapes are considered a water-based fruit. Chinchillas can’t consume any fruit that’s considered a water-based fruit. Water-based fruits often have too high of an acidic content and sugar content for a chinchilla’s stomach and digestive systems. Chinchillas should never eat grapes.
Can Chinchillas Eat Lemons?
No, chinchillas can’t eat fruits that contain high acidic content. Additionally, lemons contain a high amount of fat, phosphorous, sugar and calcium. All these nutrients can cause major illnesses and stomach issues for your chinchilla in addition to constipation or loose poop. Chinchillas should never eat lemons.
Can Chinchillas Eat Kiwi?
No, chinchillas can’t eat kiwi. Kiwi is very high in acidic content and is also very sweet. Kiwi is always a fruit to avoid and never offer to your chinchilla. Offering your chinchilla kiwi could result in illness, stomach pain and digestive issues. Feed your chinchilla an alternative safe fruit opposed to kiwi.
Can Chinchillas Eat Mango?
No, chinchillas can’t mango. Mango is too high in sugar and contains other dangerous ingredients such as phosphorus and calcium that could upset your chinchillas’ stomach and potentially cause illness if given in too high of quantities. Mangos are always a fruit to avoid feeding your chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Mandarin Oranges?
No, chinchillas can’t eat mandarin oranges. Oranges and mandarin oranges are very high in acidic content. Additionally, mandarin oranges contain phosphorus and too much sugar to be offered to your chinchilla. Avoid feeding your chinchilla mandarin oranges at all cost to avoid stomach pain and illness.
Can Chinchillas Eat Oranges?
No, chinchillas can’t eat oranges. Like mandarin oranges, oranges contain a high acidic level, too much sugar, and too much phosphorus. If you feed your chinchilla oranges, your likely to cause digestive issues, stomach pain or other illnesses that may result in a vet visit. Avoid feeding your chinchilla oranges.
Can Chinchillas Eat Orange Peels?
No, chinchillas can’t eat orange peels. While tempting, orange peels are too acidic to offer to your chinchilla. Offering your chinchilla orange peels will likely cause your chinchilla to fall ill, have stomach pains or further complications. Always avoid oranges, mandarin oranges, and orange peels.
Can Chinchillas Eat Honeydew melons?
No, chinchillas can’t eat honeydew melons. Honeydew melons are a water-based fruit. Chinchilla’s can’t eat any water-based fruit. This is due to high sugar contents, high acidity levels, and often high phosphorus. Avoid honeydew melon and water-based fruits to keep your chinchilla healthy.
Can Chinchillas Eat Melons?
No, chinchillas can’t melons. Chinchilla’s can’t eat melons of any kind due to being water-based. Water-based fruits are dangerous for chinchillas due to the nutrients contained within them. Feeding your chinchilla melons will result in stomach pain and other potential health issues. Avoid melons at all cost.
Can Chinchillas Eat Pineapples?
No, chinchillas can’t eat pineapples. Pineapples are a water-based fruit. Water-based fruits are off limits and not advised to ever feed to your chinchilla. Doing so will cause digestive issues, stomach pain, and even other potential illnesses. Pineapples and other water-based fruits should always be avoided.
Can Chinchillas Eat Watermelon?
No, chinchillas can’t eat watermelon. Watermelon is considered a water-based fruit. Watermelon will contain to much sugar, high phosphorus and high acidity that can harm your chinchillas’ stomach and digestive system. Do not feed your chinchilla watermelon to avoid health complications.
Can Chinchillas Eat Tangerines?
No, chinchilla’s cant eats tangerines. Tangerines are extremely sweet and highly acidic. Highly acidic and sweet fruits can damage your chinchillas’ stomach and digestive system. This can cause soft stool, illness and potential constipation. Always avoid tangerines and offer your chinchilla an alternative safe fruit.
Can Chinchillas Eat Plums?
No, chinchillas can’t eat plums. Plums are a water-based fruit. Additionally, plums contain fat, phosphorus, high calcium and will cause bloating if your chinchilla eats them. Avoid plums and offer your chinchilla fruit such as 1 cm by 1cm piece of an apple instead. Plums are not safe for chinchillas.
Can Chinchillas Eat Blueberries?
No, chinchillas can’t eat blueberries. While blueberries are nearly safe for chinchillas, they still contain much too much sugar for your chinchillas’ stomachs to handle. Feeding your chinchilla blueberries will cause illness, digestive issues and stomach pain for your chinchilla. Do not feed your chinchilla blueberries.
Can Chinchillas Eat Raisins?
Yes, chinchillas can eat raisins. However, raisins should only be offered to chinchillas in small quantities. If you feed your chinchilla raisins, it needs to only be 1-2 raisins per day about 1 CM by 1 CM to be safe. Don’t offer your chinchilla raisins each day. Only pellets and timothy hay should be consumed by your chinchilla daily.
Can Chinchillas Eat Almonds?
Yes, chinchillas can eat almonds. However, much like other foods outside of pellets and hay, almonds need to only be offered on rare occasions in small quantities. Almonds still have a high amount of fat and would not be considered healthy for a chinchilla. Although chinchillas love almonds, they still need to be avoided most of the time and offered as a treat, not a dietary replacement or substitute.
Can Chinchillas Eat Dried Fruit?
Yes, chinchillas can some dried fruit. Chinchillas should only eat dried fruit in very small amounts. This is due to high sugar and fat content. While some dried fruit is safe and won’t cause harm to your chinchilla, you should only offer dried fruit as a treat and not in large amounts to keep your chinchilla healthy.
Can Chinchillas Eat Cheerios?
Yes, chinchillas can eat cheerios. Cheerios can be consumed by your chinchilla but only in very small quantities and not very often. Although Cheerios are safe to offer to your chinchilla, they would not be considered healthy for a chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Eat Cranberries?
No, chinchillas can’t eat cranberries. Cranberries are too high in sugar, fat and phosphorous. Feeding your chinchilla cranberries is likely to cause stomach pain and other illnesses. Always avoid cranberries for your chinchilla. Feeding them cranberries will not be healthy and make your chinchilla feel sick.
Now that we have broken down the 29 fruits and food possibilities that chinchilla owners often inquire about, let’s touch on some of the last few tips I have for you to ensure your chinchilla is always feeling top notch and ready to have a blast.
Don’t Place Fruit in Your Chinchilla’s Cage or Food Bowl, It Will Go Bad
Here’s another big tip. Don’t ever place dried fruit or plain fruit in your chinchilla’s food bowl or cage. Your chinchilla doesn’t necessarily eat everything offered to them instantly as a dog might.
Leaving even safe fruit in your chinchilla’s cage can result in the fruit going bad before they consume it.
If this happens, by the time your chinchilla does decide to consume the fruit, it could be dangerous or spoiled. If you are going to feed your chinchilla fruit, you should be present, only offering the fruit in very small bite sizes and not doing it very often.
This is the best practice and I highly recommend following it for safety and to avoid expensive vet bills in the future.
Don’t Make It A Habit to Reward Your Chinchilla Fruit for No Reason
My chinchilla loves some of the chinchilla safe fruit we have discussed during this post today. However, I highly recommend using this to your advantage and not offering the fruit that is safe for your chinchilla very often and for no reason.
I only offer my chinchilla fruit if I need her to get back in her cage and she’s trying to jump around me or navigate away from me.
Additionally, I’ll offer my chinchilla a tiny piece of a safe fruit from time to time just to show love, but this is perhaps once a week and not very often.
The only additional treat I usually let my chinchilla have every other day and sometimes every day is dried oats. Outside of the dried oats, pellets and hay, my chinchilla doesn’t get offered much else. It’s not that I’m trying to be cruel or strict.
I Enjoy Having A Healthy and Happy Chinchilla, You Should Enjoy It as Well
I simply enjoy having a healthy chinchilla that feels good each day. Considering this is something that’s completely in my control, I try my best to remain ethical and not too lenient or generous with the treats I offer my chinchilla when I have her out for playtime.
Trust me, playtime, interaction and some bonding time with you as the owner is plenty enough to make your chinchilla happy. Offering fruit isn’t going to get you that many brownie points like you may believe.
Sugar Can Wreak Havoc on Your Chinchilla Over Time.
If you haven’t noticed by the 29 fruits we went over above, sugar is the silent stomach killer for chinchillas. Yes, other ingredients can also cause issues such as high acidity, phosphorus, and fat but sugar is a big no-no for chinchillas. Always keep sugar at a minimum.
Providing your chinchilla with too much sugar is bound to cause an issue sooner or later but it’s easy to avoid. Better safe than sorry in these situations. Chinchilla’s can be expensive enough the first few weeks of owning them.
Trust me, you won’t want a vet bill being added to that list of expenses. Relax, after the initial cost, chinchillas are very cheap and extremely easy to care for. Just get settled in and it all gets easier each day. Not to mention more fun.
Consider Other Alternatives Instead of Fruit Such as Oats
You may have noticed what I mentioned previously about considering other alternatives instead of fruits for your chinchilla. I love offering my chinchilla a few dried oats instead of fruits or even dried fruits.
In all honesty, sticking to timothy hay and pellets is perfectly fine as well but we know that’s no fun.
For safety, just keep fruit at small amounts and consider other safe alternatives that aren’t so high in sugar and that don’t have such a high chance of causing stomach issues with your chinchilla.
Again, being safe is always better than being sorry. Remember that.
Never Make Sudden Changes to Your Chinchilla’s Diet
Another key tip is to treat your chinchilla like you would treat your dog. Dog’s are known to get sick easily and their bellies get upset when you switch foods to quickly. Treat your chinchilla the same way. Never change your chinchillas’ diet randomly. Stick to the basics.
Timothy hay and pellets and you will be just fine.
Changing your chinchillas’ diet is very likely to make them sick, cause them not to eat or cause further health concerns. Pick your chinchillas diet and preferences and stick to it to ensure your chinchilla remains at peak health.
Keep an Eye on Your Chinchilla and Pay Attention to Their Poop and Behavior
They may be one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you in this entire long post. If you do decide to offer your chinchilla some of the safe fruits, we have discussed then you need to be paying attention.
Do not just offer them fruit, leave it in the cage and go about your day. Don’t offer them fruit and then leave for several days or for the weekend.
Keep tabs on the situation. Make sure they are still pooping normal and at the normal high frequencies. Make sure that their poop is still hard.
This is the best way to always protect your chinchilla. Simply keep an eye on them and check in to ensure your chinchilla isn’t having a bad reaction to any of the fruit you have provided them. This way, you can act quickly if something was off or causing your chinchilla any discomfort.
Never Feed A Sick or Ill Chinchilla Fruit, Stick to The Basics
In addition to keeping tabs on your chinchilla before an illness ever takes place, also ensure that you never get too cute or try and get fancy if you believe your chinchilla is ill. Fruit will not cure your chinchilla if they don’t feel good.
The only thing that can help your chinchilla in this situation is calling a vet and getting your chinchilla professional attention. Additionally, if you ever think your chinchilla is sick, you need to ensure they remain cool and at the correct and cool temperatures to avoid overheating.
See a vet as soon as possible and always act quickly with a chinchilla. In most circumstances, when a chinchilla falls ill, it can progress quickly so get into the vet and get the problem taken care of and get back to your everyday life.
Don’t worry, with proper care, chinchillas don’t get sick often.
Understand What to Do If Your Chinchilla Doesn’t React Well to Fruit
This plays back to my previous point. If you do decide to get a bit risky with your fruit selection or maybe your chinchilla even reacts badly to a safe fruit, don’t sit on your thumbs. It’s easy to notice if your chinchilla is not reacting well to a portion of a particular food.
They may become bloated, lethargic, lack of pooping or not drinking their water. If this happens, suck it up and let a vet step in and help you. Make sure it’s a chinchilla qualified vet and let them remedy the situation and advise on the next best steps. Don’t try and handle these situations yourself.
Once again, better safe than sorry.
Final Word, Certain Fruit Is Okay in Moderation but Don’t Overdo It.
Hopefully, this post helped clear the air some and give you an idea on what fruits your chinchilla can have and what fruits your chinchilla can’t have. With proper care and some basic common sense, chinchillas can make one of the most fantastic pets you can own.
Clearly, avoid the fruits we advised against in this post and if you ever have any doubts about what is safe or unsafe for your chinchilla, be sure to consult your vet. They will know best and it’s always nice to have a professional opinion in some circumstances.
I’d love your feedback on this topic as well. Do you have any other fruits you are curious about? Have you ever had your chinchilla react poorly to a fruit that’s on our list? Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below. As always, I appreciate you stopping by and so does “Chili”. See you next time.