If you recently adopted a chinchilla, you are probably curious about what foods a chinchilla can eat and how to provide a proper diet.
This is normal and part of providing ethical and proper care to your new chinchilla.
I’ve been in the same spot as you and was also clueless about what options were safe and which methods may be best.
I’ve owned a chinchilla now for several years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
So, what can I give my chinchilla as treats? Chinchillas need to be offered treats in small quantities and not every day. You can provide your chinchilla treats that consist of raisins, cheerios, oats, dried herbs, and some dried fruits. Chinchillas primarily need to be offered unlimited access to timothy hay and formulated pellets.
That’s the short answer to the question.
The rest of this post is designed to break down what you need to know on this topic.
More importantly, I also want to remind you that a diet is critical for a chinchilla.
Ensure you use my other links throughout this post to read other related topics on the subject to help further your understanding.
Especially for all the new chinchilla owners reading.
Additionally, I’ve 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.
Feel free to skip around.
Here’s what I intend on breaking down for in today’s brief 4-minute post.
- Understanding What Treats to Give Chinchillas
- Quick List of 5 Popular Treats for Chinchillas
- 2 Kinds of Treats Chinchilla Owners Often Purchase
- Low Quantities and Not Every Day is Best
- Ensure Other Nutritional Needs Are Met
- Other Recommendations
- Final Thoughts
- Share Your Thoughts
- Related Topics You May Enjoy
As mentioned previously, if you are in a hurry or have a good understanding of which chinchilla treats, you should be offering your new pet, feel free to skim or skip around.
Otherwise, you can check out the full details on this topic directly below.
Understanding What Treats to Give Chinchillas and Why
Okay, let’s start diving into this topic in depth.
It’s a topic that’s probably underserved on the internet and honestly, one of the most significant considerations you have during your time owning a chinchilla.
Chinchillas have susceptible digestive systems and stomachs.
Too much sugar or even treats high in acidity can cause issues for your chinchilla if you’re not careful with serving sizes or the specific treat/food being offered.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons that I have a post dedicated to breaking down more than 50 fruits that are safe for chinchillas that you can see here.
In that post, I specifically make a table that gives you a simple yes or no answer to the fruit you may be considering offering your chinchilla, and below that table, I discuss why it could be harmful.
The same goes for treats.
Some are going to be just fine, and some are going to be more harmful to your chinchilla’s overall health and well-being.
Quick List of 5 Popular Treats for Chinchillas
Here are 5 options that I use for chinchilla treats with the most frequency:
- Apple Wood Sticks (Link to Amazon)
- Mountain Ash Berries (Link to Amazon)
- Marigold Flowers (Link to Amazon)
- Organic Red Clover Leaves (Link to Amazon)
- Organic Nettle Leaves (Link to Amazon)
The above five options, I believe, are much better than choosing to purchase other bags of treats advertised online as potentially safe or desired by chinchillas.
Some of these other forms of treats may have too much sugar or not be intended for chinchillas in general.
It’s also important to understand another critical component that comes with offering treats to your chinchilla.
Two primary kinds of treats are most popularly offered to chinchillas.
Let’s discuss that next.
2 Kinds of Treats Chinchilla Owners Often Purchase
When it comes to offering the best treats to chinchillas, owners often either purchase treats in one of the following 2 manners.
- Pet Store and Online Purchased Treats for Chinchillas
- Store-Bought and Natural Treats for Chinchillas
This is key to understand because neither of these is necessarily better than the alternative.
Manufacturing companies and online sales are crucial for businesses to thrive.
Because of this, you often find treats that seem safe for chinchillas simply because the packaging includes an image of a chinchilla on it.
This is not true and not how you should be providing treats for your chinchilla.
The same can be said about store-bought or natural foods you could be offering your chinchilla.
This leaves room for error simply because chinchilla owners may not understand what’s safe to offer as a treat and what’s not safe to offer as a treat.
To help get you up to speed on this topic, you can also check out my post about what a chinchilla can and can’t eat in general.
It’s more of a comprehensive guide that can help give you a base foundation to ensure you understand the general guidelines of a chinchilla’s diet.
You can see that post here.
Low Quantities and Not Every Day is Best
Once you understand which treats are safe and which treats to steer clear of, the next important thing to understand is that you want to limit treats.
Treats for chinchillas do not need to be an everyday occurrence.
When they are offered, they don’t need to be provided in large quantities.
Typically, the one-piece is all it takes for your chinchilla to show some affection and love.
And sure, feel free to let your chinchilla have a few pinches of oats from time to time. Chinchillas can eat oats without issues, as long as you give them oats in moderation (no more than 2 or 3 oats once or twice a week.
However, when you get into some of the other treats such as certain dried fruits and even herbs, you need to be leery of how much you are offering.
A small amount and not every day is the best bet for a happy and healthy chinchilla.
Some great, and healthy options are rose hips and bee pollen. Both are superfoods, but need to be given in small amounts. Read “Can Chinchillas Eat Rose Hips?” for more on bee pollen, or this article on giving bee pollen to your chinchilla.
Ensure Other Nutritional Needs Are Met
This is more common sense than anything but don’t get carried away with alternative options for what your chinchilla can eat.
At all times, it’s imperative that a chinchilla’s diet consists of timothy hay, chinchilla formulated pellets, and unlimited access to water.
If you need further information on any of those primary nutritional needs discussed above, you can see some of my other posts below.
To learn more about the best chinchilla hay options you have, you can view my post here.
You can also learn more about choosing the correct pellets for your chinchilla here.
Outside of what we have discussed thus far, my only other tip is to keep an eye on your chinchilla if you ever introduce a new food or treat regardless of if it’s deemed safe.
You want to make sure your chinchilla is pooping regularly or not showing any signs of illness.
It’s not something to be overly worried about, but it is something to have in the back of your mind when offering up various treats to your new chinchilla.
Chinchillas are one of the best pets you can choose to adopt.
While this post may have you feeling nervous or overwhelmed, trust me, it’s much easier than you think.
Chinchillas are not difficult to care for in any fashion.
Just be sure to provide the best diet possible and yes, offer a healthy and advised treat from time to time.
I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla!
Share Your Thoughts
What treats do you offer your chinchilla regularly? Have I left out any crucial information in this post?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.
Thanks again, and we will see you next time.
Related Topics You May Enjoy
Below is a quick list I’ve put together for you of post that I have on this blog that is strictly related to this topic.
Simply use the blue links below to read and educate yourself further on the topic.