Chinchillas are small and they have sensitive digestive systems.
As a result, they can’t handle many treats, including many that seem healthy like certain fruits and vegetables.
You also need to limit how many treats you give. Only small quantities and not every day.
Your chinchilla should eat primarily Timothy hay and pellets.
Treats should be just that: a treat. Something you offer in very limited amounts.
And, of course, only treats that chinchillas can handle.
So what are the best treats for chinchillas? Keep reading to find out.
Chinchilla Treats: What To Give Your Pet
Chinchillas have susceptible digestive systems and stomachs.
Too much sugar, or 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. You can see that here.
In that post, you’ll find 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, we discuss why each fruit could be harmful.
The same goes for treats.
Some are just fine, and some are going to be more harmful to your chinchilla’s overall health and well-being. Let’s look at the best treats to give your pet.
Best Treats For Chinchillas
These are our 5 favorite options for chinchilla treats:
The above five options are much better than simply buying bags of treats advertised online specifically as chinchilla treats.
Most of those are fine too (though they often cost more), but some can actually be harmful. That’s usually because they contain too much sugar, or some other ingredient that is not ideal for chinchillas.
In general, chinchilla treats fall into two primary kinds. Let’s take a look at those now.
Two Primary Kinds Of Treats For Chinchillas
When it comes to offering the best treats to chinchillas, owners usually purchase treats in one of the following two manners.
- Treats specifically for chinchillas bought at a pet store or online
- Store-bought and natural treats not specifically made for chinchillas
What’s important to understand is that neither of these is necessarily better than the other. Here’s why.
You often find treats that seem safe for chinchillas simply because the packaging includes an image of a chinchilla on it.
But often, this is just marketing. They could be the same treats as ones for other types of animals, just stuffed in packaging that features a chinchilla.
You end up paying far more for something that you could get for a lot less if you just bought the same ingredients on their own.
For example, buying generic apple wood sticks, instead of a package of apple wood sticks that are advertised as being specifically for chinchillas.
On the other hand, if you want to buy some type of natural food as a treat for your chinchilla, you need to be certain that whatever you buy is not harmful to your pet.
This leaves room for error simply because chinchilla owners may not understand what’s safe to offer as a treat and what isn’t.
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.
Always Limit Treats
Once you understand which treats are safe and which treats to steer clear of, the next important thing to understand is that you need to limit treats.
Treats for chinchillas should not be an everyday occurrence. And when you do give treats, you need to do so in small quantities.
Typically, a single 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 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 your 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 rose hips, 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.
What is most important is that your chinchilla’s diet consists primarily 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 on the topic.
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.
Best Chinchilla Treats: Final Thoughts
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 safe 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.