Chinchillas are herbivores, meaning their entire diet is plant based. They do not eat any meat. The chinchilla’s diet may appeal to pet owners who are vegetarians themselves, or dislike feeding meat based foods to their pets.
Chinchilla’s require a high fiber diet and they eat a variety of foods.
Chinchilla Pellets are one of the main sources of food. These pellets include the protein, fiber, fats, vitamins, and minerals that are vital for your chinchilla. In the image below you can see what the pellets look like. For gerowing chinchillas under 1 year old it is okay to provide unlimited pellets, but check the packaging to learn what amount to feed a mature chinchilla.
Oxbow Chinchilla Deluxe Food is a highly recommended brand on petsmart.com (There are many different brands available!)
Grass Hay or Timothy Hay is another main food source for your chinchilla. This hay provides additional fiber, protein, and fats. This hay should be available to your chinchilla at all times.
Grass Hay or Timothy Hay is recommended over Alfalfa because Alfalfa can be too rich for a chinchilla’s digestive system. Alfalfa may be given as a treat, but should not be the primary source of hay.
Sun Seed Sweet Grass Timothy Hay is a highly rated brand at petsmart.com (There are lots of brands to choose from!) You can see what the hay will look like in this image.
Fruits and Veggies are a good addition to a chinchilla’s diet, but should be given as treats rather than as a main food source. 10% or less of your chinchilla’s diet should be made up on fruits and veggies. Produce should always be fresh when given to your chinchilla. You should remove produce after 24 hours, or after it stops looking fresh.
Wood chews are necessary for your chinchilla because chewing on wood files down the chinchilla’s constantly growing teeth. There is a variety of wood chews available, including this Ware brand Bag-O-Chews which are cut into shapes and dyed, or these Nutriphase® Natural Nibblers™ Bark Chew for Small Pets, which are cut natural wood.
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!