A proper diet is one of the most critical items to ensure you offer your new pet chinchilla.
It can also be challenging to find reliable information and to understand which foods a chinchilla can have safely.
It’s one of the reasons I took the time to write Planet Chinchilla’s eBook and complete care guide for new chinchilla owners that you can see here.
I understand the struggles and know that it can be tough in the early phases to provide the best care possible for your new chinchilla.
Especially when it comes to proper diets, fruits, and vegetables.
It’s also why I wanted to create this dedicated post to discuss this topic further for you.
The question I see time and time again is always the same when it comes to the proper chinchilla diet.
Can chinchillas eat vegetables?
After 4 years of owning a chinchilla, here is the information I can provide you on this topic.
Yes, a chinchilla can eat some vegetables. Chinchillas are herbivores, which means they primarily consume plants as the majority and bulk of their diet. Chinchillas can have some vegetables in small amounts and moderation. Not all vegetables are safe for chinchillas and need to be avoided.
I’m sure that this answer probably leaves you with plenty of follow up questions.
I was the exact same way.
To ensure that we cover this topic as thoroughly as possible, I’ve started this post with a table that breaks down 53 common vegetables that chinchillas’ owners often ask about.
The table will give you a simple yes or no answer if that vegetable is safe to provide your chinchilla.
Following the table, we will dive into more of the specifics and answer more frequently asked questions.
Breakdown of 53 Vegetables That Chinchillas Can or Can’t Have
53 Vegetables For Chinchillas
|Can My Chinchilla Eat This Vegetable?||Vegetable||Yes or No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Celery||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Carrot||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Kale||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Chard||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Parsley||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Pumpkin||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Red leaved lettuce||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Squash||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Sweet Potato||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Potato||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Alfalfa||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Lettuce||Yes (Some)|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Cucumbers||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Asparagus||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Cabbage||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Broccoli||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Peas||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Brussels sprouts||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Tomatoes||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Apples||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Pistachios||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Crackers||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Arugula||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Acorns||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Apricots||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Aloe vera||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Applesauce||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Alfalfa cubes||Yes|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Avocados||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Beets||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Basil||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Butternut squash||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Brazil nuts||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Corn||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Cauliflower||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Chamomile||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Dates||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Dandelion||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Dill||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Dandelion Greens||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Meal worms||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Edamame||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Eggplant||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Figs||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Granola||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Grape Vines||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Stems||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Lavender||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Limes||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Spinach||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Tyme||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Zucchini||No|
|Can A Chinchilla Eat...||Green Beans||No|
Now that we have the table breakdown behind us let’s dive into the important aspects and frequently asked questions chinchilla owners often ask when it comes to providing their new chinchillas with vegetables.
I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to navigate to any part of this post that you desire to learn more about.
Here are the questions and topics I plan to cover in today’s post:
- Can Chinchillas Eat Vegetables Recap?
- Understanding What Chinchillas Eat in The Wild
- Always Have Plenty of Water Available to Your Chinchilla
- A Basic Chinchilla Diet Is Always Best
- Treats Are Good, but Moderation Is Key
- Recapping Healthy Vegetables for Chinchillas
- Recapping Dangerous Vegetables for Chinchillas
- Don’t Forget About Safe Chew Items for Your Chinchilla
- Final Thoughts
- Share Your Thoughts
As I mentioned previously, feel free to use any of the links directly above to navigate to a specific section of this post that you need information on.
For all the new chinchilla owners reading today, let’s start diving into the specifics and cover this topic in 2-3 minutes total and have you moving on with your day.
Here are the details to understand.
Can Chinchillas Eat Vegetables Recap?
Okay, friends, this is honestly probably one of the most frequently asked questions on google when it comes to owning a chinchilla.
I know this for several reasons.
First, I asked variations of these questions hundreds of times in the first months of having my new chinchilla 4 years ago.
Anytime, a vegetable would come to mind, I’d immediately think to myself…
Can my chinchilla have that?
To my surprise, this is when I began understanding that chinchillas have very sensitive stomachs and that you need to be very careful with what you offer your chinchilla.
It’s also the hardest part of owning a chinchilla and common to make a mistake from time to time.
With chinchillas being herbivores, it’s a common trend and thought to believe that they can have any kind of vegetable and not have issues from it.
As you can see from the table, the opposite is true.
The number of vegetables a chinchilla can have is minimal.
Vegetables can cause upset stomachs, excessive gas, digestive tract issues or worse symptoms and illnesses with your chinchilla if you offer to much of one vegetable or a vegetable that should not be offered in the first place.
For those reasons alone, you need to be sure you aren’t offering your chinchillas the vegetables on the table that are listed as “no” and that you only offer vegetables in moderation and small serving sizes.
Understanding What Chinchillas Eat in The Wild
This section isn’t necessarily about discussing all the food a chinchilla eats in the wild but giving a brief overview of how they consume food compared to other rodents.
Chinchillas typically consume most of their diet in the early mornings or later at night due to being crepuscular.
Crepuscular simply means that a chinchilla is most active with natural light cycles at dusk and dawn.
Chinchillas also consume food very slowly.
Keep this in mind when offering any permitted vegetables such as certain greens like lettuce.
It’s best to monitor these food items as they eat for reasons we will discuss later in this post.
Always Have Plenty of Water Available to Your Chinchilla
Time for some more fun facts.
If you weren’t already aware, vomiting is not a strength of a chinchilla.
In fact, they can’t vomit at all.
This simply means that when you offer your chinchilla food items outside of the basic timothy hay or pellets, it’s important to be around in case your chinchilla struggles to swallow their food.
This can cause other issues if this happens, such as the following:
- Lack of Appetite
- Difficulty Breathing
Clearly, none of us want to see our chinchilla’s go through this issue, so always keep tabs on the situation offering new treats or even vegetables to your chinchilla and ensure they have plenty of fresh, clean water at their disposal when they need it.
I personally use two water bottles that always remain full of purified water.
While this may be somewhat overkill, it makes me feel relieved that she has plenty of water at all times and that if I have a slip in memory one day to fill or top off one water bottle, she still has a backup water bottle to drink from if need be.
If you want to read more about the best water bottles you can use for your chinchilla, you can view my post here.
A Basic Chinchilla Diet Is Always Best
The next topic is something I often discuss and in many of my posts on this website.
Sticking to the basics is always the best for your chinchilla.
This consists of hay and pellets.
This is what your chinchilla primarily needs to live long and healthy lives.
Use a reliable hay feeder and the correctly formulated chinchilla pellets and keep the rest of the items you can offer your chinchilla at minimums, and your chinchilla will be in good shape and healthy.
If you need to learn more about the best hay you can get your chinchilla, you can view my post here.
You can also catch up and read about chinchilla pellets here.
Treats Are Good, but Moderation Is Key
I know this is hard because it almost feels like you are being a lousy chinchilla owner and parent when you don’t offer treats in large amounts.
I know the feeling, and it can be tempting.
However, I’ve learned that this is simply the best method to keep your chinchilla happy and healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, treats for your chinchilla are certainly okay to offer if they fall into the category of safe fruits or vegetables but not offering too often, or too many in one sitting is your best approach.
Plain and simple.
Recapping Healthy Vegetables for Chinchillas
I’m always worried that I may have new chinchilla owners on the site that scrolled a bit too fast past the important information and may still need the critical information.
Due to this, I wanted to provide a quick recap of some of the safe vegetables that you are clear to offer your chinchilla.
Here is that quick list of vegetables that your chinchilla can have one more time:
- Alfalfa Cubes
- Sweet Potato
- Lettuce (Some Greens)
- Red Leaved Lettuce
Recapping Dangerous Vegetables for Chinchillas
The same applies to ensure that you get a brief recap of the vegetables that your chinchilla should not have.
Here is that quick list of vegetables that we discussed previously that your chinchilla can’t have or should never have:
- Brussel sprouts
- Aloe vera
- Butternut squash
- Brazil nuts
- Dandelion greens
Don’t Forget About Safe Chew Items for Your Chinchilla
The last topic I want to cover and have you on your way is the topic of chinchillas ever-growing teeth and their need to file and grind their teeth down to remain healthy and infection-free.
I have a post that discusses all the woods that are safe for a chinchilla to chew that you can see here.
Ensure that this is also something you keep in mind when you adopt a chinchilla in order to keep your chinchilla at peak health.
At the end of the day, this post probably went into a deeper dive than necessary.
Overall, chinchillas are very easy to care for.
Chinchillas also make excellent family pets.
It just takes some due diligence at the beginning and reliable resources that you can trust for the information.
Vegetables are a food group that you can offer your chinchilla, but you always need to be educated and careful when doing so.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and your journey ahead of you.
Share Your Thoughts
As always, I enjoy it when other chinchilla owners can help educate the readers even further.
What vegetables do you offer your chinchilla and which vegetables do you avoid?
Do you have any recommendations or tips that the readers can implement with their new chinchillas?
Be sure to share your stories, thoughts, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.
We thank you again and wish you the best of luck. See you next time.