Every chinchilla owner wants the best for their pet, which involves good food and a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to keep your chinchilla active, you should know which are healthy alternatives to feed it.
In this article, we bring you the best food for chinchillas which includes chinchilla treats and healthy feeding alternatives and with so many options, you can choose the best for your needs.
Chinchillas As Pets
If you love fury and small animals, a chinchilla is a perfect pet. They are well-known for extremely soft fur in grey colour, big ears and ornate tail. Chinchillas are very active and need toys or company to keep them mentally active and healthy. They need to live in a clean environment, so don`t choose them if you don`t have time for regular cleaning. Don`t be afraid about the cage and equipment. If you ever had any other rodent, you will easily adapt. Their equipment is similar to things needed for a hamster. Other specific behaviours, like do chinchillas like to be held, depends on from to another and you will learn it after some time. In natural environment, chinchillas will find food easily and eat everything from berries to roots. But how to feed them as pets?
Why Feed Them Healthy
Chinchillas are very active and spend most of their energy playing all day round, but you still need to feed them healthy to avoid obesity and problems with digestion. Optimal food is high in fibre and ensures dry poop. It is interesting that their teeth are constantly growing, so they need hard and abrasive food to tear teeth down. They are mostly active during the evening and night, so ensure them enough food in the period you are probably sleeping. They can be trained to have meals during the day, but be sure that it doesn`t exceed the recommended daily food dose.
How Much Do Chinchillas Eat
It depends on each chinchilla how much will they eat, but generally, they won`t overeat and know their limits. In general, they will eat two tablespoons of pellets per day, but you still need to give them supplements high in fibre. Avoid food rich in sugar and fat, because they have very sensitive digestion. Be sure that they always have plenty of fresh grass hay.
Best Food For Chinchillas
Several food producers are suitable for chinchillas. The main goal isn`t to promote them, but to distinguish which is better for their digestion. It is important that, before buying one, you check ingredients and nutrition to be sure it fits their daily needs. For a grown-up chinchilla, it should be around 18-20% of fibre, 16-28% of protein, and 2-5% of fat. Also, check how the food is processed and that it consists of mostly natural ingredients. We bring you the most important food that will suit their needs.
The most important part of chinchillas diet is grass hay. It contains a lot of fibre which is good for their digestion. Also, it is hard and abrasive which helps them shorten teeth. The most available hay which they prefer is timothy and orchard grass which is easily available in most pet shops. Usually, it comes as harden sticks or pellets. If you want to be sure your chinchilla has proper teeth treatment, think about organic wood which you will hide under it.
It is a very good idea to include leafy greens in the chinchilla diet. Yet, you have to be sure that it is completely natural and isn`t treated with pesticides. You can buy it on the organic market or find it in nature but on clean spots. It is recommended to use it up to 10% since fresh greens increase water intake. The best solutions are kale, arugula, romaine, spinach, cilantro and fresh alfalfa. Some greens are rich in oxalate mineral which can cause urinary tract problems. Greens rich with it are beet greens, spinach and swiss chard. avoid giving it at all.
Fresh Vegetables And Fruits
Fresh vegetables and fruits can be a smaller part of a chinchilla`s diet. They are usually high in sugars, so be sure that you use them in small amounts daily. Some of the best vegetables for the chinchilla to enrich their diet are sweet potato, squash, potato and celery. It is recommended to use them raw. For fruit, choose raw apple, blueberry and grape. This should be only part of their daily diet, so don`t give them more than a teaspoon of any vegetable or fruit. You can also use it as a treat.
Best Chinchillas Treats
If you want to train your chinchilla, then you should provide them with occasional treats. You should make your treats or treat them with raw fruit and vegetables, like a carrot than buying artificial treats. Also, be sure that you are aware of the sugar level in it. This should be once a day or even once in a few days. The intake shouldn`t be larger than a tablespoon. Also, try to avoid dried fruits and candies. We bring you some creative ideas on how you can treat your chinchilla.
Even though it is recommended to avoid dried fruits, rosehip can be consumed as a treat. Unlike other sugary fruit, it is high in fibre and loaded with vitamin C. It would be ideal if you can use an organic dried rosehip. You can give them up to three dried rosehips per day.
Dried or fresh, dandelion is the ultimate treat for your chinchilla. It is harder to find it on the market, so you can always find it in nature. This is a very resistant plant and you can pick it fresh from the beginning of the spring until late summer. It is recommended to dry them before giving them as a snack because leaves are high in oxalate minerals. Give them a teaspoon of it once a week.
As chamomile flowers are very healthy and used in human medicine a lot, it is undeniable that they are the ideal treat for your beloved pet. It is ideal to find organic dried flowers you give to your pet daily by a teaspoon. As they have a relaxing effect on humans, they will soother chinchilla, too. It is especially effective if you have an overactive chinchilla and want to calm.
Even though chinchillas love berries, they don`t usually prefer cranberry. But, a great treat for them is dried cranberries. Unlike other dried fruit, these are low on sugar and safe for consumption. Still, you should give them only once a week. They are great for the urinary tract, especially if your pet is consuming a lot of fresh greens.
Best Pelletes For Chinchillas
Pellets are one more type of the best food for chinchillas. They are the most often used ready and quick meals for chinchillas. There are many types on the market and that many producers. Some may differ in colour and shape, but the most important is to check what are they made of. The pellets differ for younger and older chinchillas, so you have to inform yourself about the product before buying. We bring you some of the most popular pellet combinations and how to choose the best!
Pellets are a combination of dried grass and seeds that are hard on the outside and ideal for teeth, but also very nutritious. A balanced combination of fat and fibre ensures them a lot of energy during the day and good digestion. Avoid those pellets with oily seeds, like sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Usually, they have a lot of fat which can cause obesity. Also, pellets with dried fruit are full of sugar and in high amounts can be dangerous for your chinchilla. The best pellets are made of hay with a moderate amount of seed. You can make your pellets at home and control nutritious intake. Recommended daily dose is around 2 tablespoons, but it differs based on sex, year and weight of the chinchilla.
Water Intake Is Important
Another very important thing worth mentioning is water intake. You should secure a bowl of fresh water constantly in the cage you keep your pet. Intake can vary from the season and type of food. Generally, they will drink more water during the hot weather and after activities. Also, you may notice lower intake after eating fresh grass or greens. Change water daily and don`t worry – they will take enough water when they need it.
To Sum Up
Chinchillas are very sociable and active pets, but they are extremely popular due to their soft fur. To ensure a long and active life, you should take care of their diet so provide them with the best food for chinchillas. It is important to feed them moderately and use organic food. Most of their diet should be based on hay grass. Yet, if you want to train them, you can give them small amounts of organic treats. mixing good food with an active lifestyle will ensure long life and soft and shiny fur. Because a healthy and happy chinchilla makes the owner happy!