Are you having trouble finding chinchilla food?
Or do you have both a hamster and a chinchilla and you’re hoping to save money by having them share a bag of food?
If it’s the first, no problem. You can get chinchilla food from any online pet store. Or from Amazon.
If it’s the second, I have some bad news for you.
You should not feed your chinchilla hamster food. At least not on a regular basis.
If it’s just a little bit in an emergency, that’s no problem. But not too much and not on a permanent basis.
Why? Keep reading to find out. We’ll cover everything you need to know about feeding a chinchilla hamster food. We’ll also touch on food meant for other similar animals.
Can Chinchillas Eat Hamster Food?
Chinchillas can eat hamster food, but they should not do so regularly. Even though the two animals have quite a few similarities, their nutritional needs differ. Hamster food does not have the right nutritional makeup to keep your chinchilla healthy.
If you keep both animals as pets, you might have a chinchilla and hamster that get along great, that like to share food with each other, and more. But you want to make sure you get both pets food that is specialized for their needs. Let’s find out exactly why that is necessary.
Is Hamster Food Toxic?
Hamster food isn’t toxic for chinchillas and it won’t be fatal, unless they eat too much in one go. The only problem with hamster food is that can be unhealthy for your chinchilla in the long run. It does not contain the right mix of nutrients, which can lead to future health conditions.
Hamsters and chinchillas require different nutrients to keep them going. Hamsters need more fatty foods such as nuts and seeds. This is what can cause the biggest problem for your chinchilla, if you regularly give it hamster food.
Chinchillas do not need as much fat in their diet as hamsters. If a chinchilla subsists on hamster food, it can lead to weight gain, digestive issues and even heart conditions. It also means a lack of nutrients that chinchillas do need.
What Should I Feed My Chinchilla?
Your chinchilla’s diet consist entirely, or almost entirely (at least 90%) of Timothy hay and pellets. These two foods will give it enough nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Not only does your chinchilla get all of the nutrients it needs from a diet of hay and pellets, but chewing on the hay also helps to wear down its ever-growing teeth. This is necessary to prevent dental conditions that can result from overgrown teeth.
Technically, you could feed your pet only hay, but the pellets help add some variety to your chinchilla’s diet. Most pellets also contain primarily Timothy hay, but they have additional ingredients that provide the perfect mix of nutrients for a chinchilla.
Moreover, they make your pet’s diet a bit more exciting with that extra bit of crunch. You can easily pick up hay and pellets from your local pet or superstore, or from online pet stores or marketplaces like Amazon. This article lists the best pellets for chinchillas and this one lists the best hay you can buy.
What Foods Should I Not Feed My Chinchilla?
Along with hamster food, there are a few human foods that you should also avoid feeding your chinchilla. Foods that are well known for being toxic to your chinchilla are asparagus, avocado, cabbage, and chocolate.
Feeding your chinchilla any of these foods could be fatal for your little pet. I recommend keeping any of these foods locked away in your kitchen cupboards, so your curious friend won’t find them and cause itself harm. I mean, who can resist chocolate?
Is Food For Gerbils Safe?
You should not feed your chinchilla gerbil food. It could cause your pet to become very sick. Gerbil food includes more of a mix than chinchilla food. You’ll find gerbil food to include more nuts, seeds and dried fruits, which should not be included in your chinchilla’s regular diet.
Chinchillas have sensitive digestive systems and feeding them foods high in fat and sugar can cause bloating, diarrhea and sickness. It can also cause excessive weight gain, which can lead to numerous other health conditions, particularly with the heart.
If you keep both a gerbil and a chinchilla, you should forget the idea of saving some money by having them share things. Gerbils and chinchillas should not use the same dust (with some exceptions) or eat the same food.
Can Chinchillas Eat Rat Food?
Similar to gerbil and hamster food, you cannot feed your chinchilla rat food. It also lacks the correct nutrients to keep your chinchilla healthy. Rat food is similar to gerbil food. It contains more fat than chinchilla food. As a result, continued use can cause health conditions affecting your chinchilla’s heart and already sensitive digestive system.
Is Rabbit Feed Safe?
I would also suggest you avoid feeding your chinchilla rabbit food. They might be similar animals, but they are still different in many ways. One of those differences is that they have different dietary requirements.
Rabbit food does not contain all of the necessary nutrients for your chinchilla, and vice versa. To give your chinchilla the best possible diet, you simply need to feed it hay and pellets.
That is enough to keep it fit and healthy. Try to avoid feeding it any food meant for another animal, no matter what similarities the animals may have.
Is Hamster Food Safe For Chinchillas: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas can eat hamster food. If you ran out of chinchilla food and all you have is food for your hamster, go ahead and feed it to your chin. But buy new chinchilla food as soon as possible. That means Timothy hay and pellets.
Hamster food does not contain all of the nutrients a chinchilla needs and it contains too much fat. If you feed it to your chinchilla on a regular basis, it will quickly begin to suffer health issues. The two rodents are simply too different. See our article comparing chinchillas vs hamsters for more.