Best Chinchilla Food

What do chinchillas eat?

If you are considering adopting a chinchilla, you might find yourself asking this question. It is important to know what to feed your new furry friend.

In this post, we will take a deep dive into everything you need to know about chinchilla food. We will cover what they eat, how much you should feed them, and so much more. Plus, we will look at some reviews of the best chinchilla food on the market. By the end of this post, we hope you feel confident about selecting the best food for your chinchilla.

Chinchilla Food- What Should You Feed Them?

When you adopt a chinchilla, make sure you know what to feed these creatures. They originated from the Andes Mountains in South America and are used to eating a very specific diet.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to forage for their perfect food. There is plenty of chinchilla food available online and in pet stores.

Before we discuss the reviews, let’s spend some time looking at the diet of a chinchilla. This will help you get a better understanding of what to look for in the best chinchilla food.

Chinchillas are Herbivores

Chinchillas are herbivores, which means their diet is made up of plants. Wild chinchillas feast on a diet of grass and tree bark.

Their diet should be high in fiber and protein. They have a unique digestive tract that makes it hard for them to deal with fat and high-moisture foods.

If a chinchilla consumes food with too much moisture, they can become very ill. So, stick low moisture and high-fiber plants for your chinchilla.

Chinchillas Eat Their Poop

Yes, you read that correctly.

Chinchillas, like some other animals, use a process called coprophagy to extract additional nutrients from their food. Although chinchillas need high-fiber foods, these can be hard for them to digest. So, chinchillas will eat their poop and digest the food again to get all of the nutrients out of their food.

So, if you see your chinchilla eating their poop, don’t be alarmed. You don’t need to rush to the vet. This is a natural process that helps chinchillas stay healthy.

Types of Chinchilla Food

There are a few different options of chinchilla food on the market. You can use pellets, loose food, or hay to keep your pet well-fed.

  • Pellets- Pellets are recommended because they contain all of the nutrients your chinchilla needs to grow and thrive. When selecting a pelleted food, make sure to select one that is high in fiber and low in fat.
  • Loose Food- Some people choose to feed their chinchilla loose food, but this isn’t recommended as a daily option. Chinchillas can easily eat around the foods they don’t like, meaning they will miss some essential nutrients. You could use loose food as an option to treat your chinchilla occasionally.
  • Hay- Hay can be an important part of your chinchilla’s diet. Hay can help wear down a chinchilla’s growing teeth and can also support a healthy digestive system. There are a few popular varieties of hay including Timothy and Alfalfa. Timothy is most commonly used for chinchillas as it has the essential nutrients they need.

Chinchilla Treats

You might be tempted to give your chinchilla a treat. Occasionally, it is fine to reward your chinchilla with a treat. But if you give them too many, it could upset their digestive system.

If you decide to give your chinchilla a treat, pick one of the following fruits or vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Potato
  • Kale
  • Alfalfa
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries

Again, make sure you only give treats in moderation. Even though we think of fruits and vegetables as a healthy option, these don’t always work well with a chinchilla’s stomach. Keep them healthy by limiting the number of treats they eat.

Chinchilla Supplements

If your chinchilla has access to enough food, hay, and water, they won’t need any additional supplements. They can get all of the nutrients they need from this simple diet.

But, if your chinchilla seems ill or unhealthy, you may need to speak to a vet about supplements. Some vets will recommend a salt block or Vitamin C drops. It is important to only offer these supplements after speaking to a vet. If a healthy chinchilla has access to a salt block, they might develop a serious illness.

Water

Chinchillas need regular access to drinking water. There should be a water bottle attached to their cage that is always filled with fresh, clean water. Some people have two water bottles so their chinchilla always has access to water, even when they need to clean one of the water bottles.

Since the typical chinchilla diet is made of hay and pellets, they don’t get enough water from their food. They need to drink water to stay healthy and hydrated.

Foods to Avoid

As we discussed earlier, a chinchilla’s diet should consist of hay, pellets, and water. Sometimes you can give your chinchilla a fresh fruit or vegetable treat.

It is also important to know that there are some foods that your chinchilla should never eat.

Certain high-fat and high-moisture foods can be damaging to your chinchilla’s health. They can’t digest these foods easily. Some foods can also hurt their growing teeth.

Never feed your chinchilla:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Certain leafy greens (cabbage, spinach, lettuce)
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Asparagus

How Often to Feed a Chinchilla

You know what foods your chinchilla can eat. But how often should you feed them?

Most chinchillas don’t have an issue with overeating. In general, they should eat about 1-2 TBSP of pellets each day. You can choose to leave this food in their bowl all day or give a scoop in the morning and another in the evening.

Chinchillas should always have hay available. You can leave this in their cage for them to eat at their own pace.

If you notice your chinchilla stops eating or eats more than normal, you may want to discuss these behaviors with your vet.

Now you know more about the typical chinchilla diet. So, let’s look at some of the best chinchilla food on the market.

Quick Reference

#1 Oxbow Essentials – Chinchilla

#2 Vitakraft Vitanature Chinchilla Food

#3 Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Chinchilla Food Mix

#4 Vitakraft High Fiber Timothy Formula Chinchilla Food

#5 Supreme Petfoods Science Selective Chinchilla Food

#6 Mazuri Chinchilla Diet

#7 Tropical Carnival F.M. Brown’s Natural Chinchilla Food

#8 ZuPREEM 230020 Nature’s Promise Chinchilla Pellets Food for Pets

#9 Vitakraft Chinchilla Cocktail

#10 Kaytee Timothy Complete Fiber Diet Chinchilla Food

Best Chinchilla Food

#1 Oxbow Essentials – Chinchilla

The Oxbow Essentials chinchilla food is a pellet-only formula. This helps prevent selective eating, which can keep your chinchilla from receiving all the nutrients they need. It is a high-fiber Alfalfa Hay-based formula that supports a healthy digestive system.

This product contains the vitamins and minerals your chinchilla needs to stay healthy. Compared to other foods on the market, this product is very high in fiber and low in moisture.

This product doesn’t contain any added fruits or other treats that your chinchilla doesn’t need. It is a balanced formula that supports their overall health. It already contains hay, but you should still give your chinchilla access to hay to promote digestive function.

PROS:

  • High-fiber Alfalfa Hay-based food
  • Pellet-only formula which prevents selective eating
  • Doesn’t contain added treats

CONS:

  • Doesn’t support foraging
  • Although it contains hay, you still need to supplement their diet with hay
  • Can be challenging to transition to a pellet-only food if they are used to treats

Learn More

#2 Vitakraft Vitanature Chinchilla Food

Vitakraft also offers a VitaNature chinchilla food formula. This is a pellet food that also contains loose hay, berries, flowers, and grains. Although some people don’t recommend offering loose food to chinchillas, it can help encourage their natural foraging behaviors. Pay attention to your chinchilla’s food bowl to make sure they eventually eat all of the food. This will ensure they receive all of the nutrients from this product.

VitaNature includes natural antioxidants which help promote a healthy immune system. It is also high in long-strand fiber which helps keep their digestive system functioning properly. This product doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

If your chinchilla is avoiding a traditional pelleted food, this can be a great option. The colors and textures in this product give your chinchilla plenty of variety. But, this wouldn’t be the best option for picky chinchilla who eat around certain food products.

PROS:

  • High-fiber and high-antioxidant food
  • Includes pellets and loose foods to encourage foraging
  • Doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

CONS:

  • Contains loose food which isn’t a good option for picky eaters
  • Contains pine cones which some chinchillas don’t like
  • Pellets can easily become crushed during shipping

Learn More

#3 Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Chinchilla Food Mix

Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend contains assorted fruits, vegetables, and pre-cooked legumes which are intended to encourage foraging. It also includes Alfalfa hay, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

This loose food blend is made with real, natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The food was specifically designed with chinchillas in mind. It includes the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and thrive. It naturally includes DHA Omega-3s, which play an important part in keeping your chinchilla healthy. This formula is also made with protected probiotics which help support digestive health.

The downside of this product is that it contains a high amount of fruit and vegetables. Chinchillas are only supposed to receive these as treats. If your chinchilla eats this food on a regular basis, they might develop stomach issues. If you choose this food, you should supplement it with pellets and plenty of hay.

PROS:

  • Encourages foraging with the loose ingredients
  • Made with Alfalfa Hay
  • Doesn’t include any artificial ingredients

CONS:

  • Includes a high amount of fruits and vegetables, which should only be given as treats
  • Picky chinchillas can avoid certain ingredients in loose foods
  • Contains a relatively high moisture content

Learn More

#4 Vitakraft High Fiber Timothy Formula Chinchilla Food

The Vitakraft VitaSmart chinchilla food is a fortified pellet food that provides plenty of vitamins and nutrients to keep your chinchilla healthy. This food is specifically made with Timothy meal, a hay-based product, that supports proper digestion. It is also fortified with Vitamins A, C, D, and E.

This pellet food also includes Omega 3s, flax seed, and natural oils which all work to keep your chinchilla’s fur coat shiny and healthy. It also includes antioxidants which can help promote your chinchilla’s healthy immune system.

This is a high-fiber food, which is crucial for a healthy chinchilla. The only downside of this food is that there are a few different items mixed in with the pellets, like pieces of hay, which a picky chinchilla might eat around. If you notice that your chinchilla doesn’t eat all of this food, they might not be receiving all of the nutrients available from this product.

PROS:

  • High-fiber pellet
  • Fortified with Vitamins A, C, D, E, and Omega 3s
  • Includes Timothy hay, an important component of a chinchilla’s diet

CONS:

  • Includes pieces of hay and other components that a chinchilla could eat around
  • Contains a slightly elevated moisture concentration
  • Contains corn which is not recommended for most chinchillas to consume regularly

Learn More

#5 Supreme Petfoods Science Selective Chinchilla Food

The Supreme Petfoods Science Selective Chinchilla Food is a nutritionally balanced and high-fiber pellet-based food. The high-fiber levels help support your chinchilla’s digestive system. It also contains nutrients that naturally support a shiny and healthy coat.

This product doesn’t contain any added sugar. Some other foods on the market include fruit or added sugar. If your chinchilla consumes too much sugar, they can become overweight or develop stomach issues.

It is also made with all natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about feeding your chinchilla any artificial colors or flavors. Since it is a pellet-based food, your chinchilla won’t be able to eat selectively. This makes sure that your chinchilla receives all of the health benefits from this food.

PROS:

  • Pellet-only formula which prevents selective eating
  • Doesn’t contain added sugar
  • High-fiber food which supports a healthy digestive system

CONS:

  • Doesn’t encourage foraging
  • Some picky chinchilla might not like the shape or flavor of the pellets
  • Can be challenging to transition to a pellet-only food if they are used to treats

Learn More

#6 Mazuri Chinchilla Diet

Mazuri Chinchilla Diet is a pellet-only food made with Timothy Hay and flaxseed. It is specifically designed to support the health of a chinchilla throughout every stage of their life. This is a very palatable food that smells sweet, so most chinchillas enjoy eating this food.

This product contains Omega 3s and probiotics which help support a healthy digestive system. In addition to Timothy Hay, it also includes other fiber sources, which are very important for chinchillas. This is a balanced food that contains Vitamin C and other important nutrients, so you don’t need to provide supplements with this food.

Since it is a pellet-only formula, it doesn’t encourage foraging. But, it also doesn’t contain treats or added fruits which can be unhealthy for chinchillas. This comes at a slightly higher price point than some of the other foods on the market.

PROS:

  • High-fiber food made with Timothy Hay and flaxseed
  • Contains Omega-3s, probiotics, and Vitamin C
  • Pellet-only food to prevent selective eating

CONS:

  • Doesn’t encourage foraging
  • Higher price point than some foods on the market
  • Can be challenging to transition to a pellet-only food if they are used to treats

Learn More

#7 Tropical Carnival F.M. Brown’s Natural Chinchilla Food

The Tropical Carnival Gourmet Food is a mixture of pellets, hay, and loose food to encourage foraging. Some picky chinchillas might be tempted to eat around the foods they don’t like. Keep an eye out for this. If you notice this, you might need to choose a different food for your pet.

This formula is made with Alfalfa and Timothy Hay pellets, raisins, corn, rose petals, and wheat. If you remember, it is not recommended to feed your chinchilla corn or sunflower seeds and you should only offer raisins sparingly. So, this might be a better option to use as a treat than as a regular food option.

The ingredients in this food were specifically chosen to promote healthy digestion and immune health. This product contains Vitamin C, antioxidants, and beneficial bacteria to support gut health.

PROS:

  • Encourages foraging
  • Includes Alfalfa and Timothy Hay pellets
  • High in fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C

CONS:

  • Includes corn and sunflower seeds
  • Includes raisins, which are high in sugar
  • Shouldn’t be used as a regular food source for most chinchillas, but could work as a treat

Learn More

#8 ZuPREEM 230020 Nature’s Promise Chinchilla Pellets Food for Pets

The ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Chinchilla Pellets are a high-fiber food source designed for adult chinchillas. This product contains added vitamins and minerals to promote the health of your chinchilla. It is a natural product that doesn’t contain any pesticides.

This product includes flax seeds which are used to help keep your chinchilla’s coat shiny and healthy. This is a very simple and clean product that doesn’t include any added treats, like sunflower seeds or fruit.

The ZuPreem pellets are shorter than other varieties on the market. This can help prevent mouth injuries that sometimes occur with longer pellets. Of course, if you choose this product, you still need to give your chinchilla regular access to hay to help them keep an overall healthy diet.

PROS:

  • Pellet-based food to limit selective eating
  • Doesn’t contain any pesticides or added treats
  • Smaller pellets to prevent mouth injuries

CONS:

  • Doesn’t support foraging
  • Not recommended for young chinchillas
  • Can be challenging to transition to a pellet-only food if they are used to treats

Learn More

#9 Vitakraft Chinchilla Cocktail

The Vitakraft Chinchilla Cocktail is a loose food that should only be used as a treat. This blend contains rose hips, carob pods, oats, Timothy pellets, and berries. It is a corn-free food. Chinchillas really enjoy the taste of this product.

The Chinchilla Cocktail is made with real fruit and doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors. It can be used to support the overall health of your chinchilla if it is used with pellets and hay. This food is easy to digest, which is important since chinchillas have a sensitive gastrointestinal system.

It is important to only give this food in moderation. Since it does contain sugar, it can lead to weight gain or stomach problems in some chinchillas. Overall this can be a good option if you want a natural option to feed your chinchilla on occasion.

PROS:

  • Contains real fruit and no artificial colors or flavors
  • Encourages natural foraging behaviors
  • Corn-free product

CONS:

  • Should not be used as the main food source
  • Can cause gastrointestinal issues if eaten in excess
  • Contains sugar

Learn More

#10 Kaytee Timothy Complete Fiber Diet Chinchilla Food

The Kaytee Timothy Complete Chinchilla food is an all-natural pellet food made from a combination of Timothy and Alfalfa Hay. This high-fiber food promotes a healthy digestive system and helps keep their teeth at a manageable level. There are no artificial colors or flavors included in this product.

This product is low in calcium and protein compared to other options on the market. This helps reduce the risk for older chinchillas developing urinary tract infections or obesity. The balanced nutrients in this product help promote a healthy immune system and keep your chinchilla thriving.

This is a very palatable food that is easy for your chinchilla to eat. Since it is a pellet-only food, you don’t have to worry about selective eating.

PROS:

  • High-fiber pellet-only food
  • Low in calcium and protein
  • Includes a combination of Timothy and Alfalfa Hay

CONS:

  • Processed in a facility that uses tree nuts and peanuts
  • Can be challenging to transition to a pellet-only food if they are used to treats
  • Doesn’t promote foraging behaviors

Learn More

Best Chinchilla Food Round-Up

We’ve covered a lot of information about chinchilla food. Before we mention our pick and you make your final decision, let’s quickly review all of the foods we just discussed.

Vitakraft High Fiber Timothy Formula Chinchilla Food

  • High-fiber pellet and hay food
  • Contains corn
  • Fortified with Vitamins A, C, D, E, and Omega 3s
  • $

Vitakraft Vitanature Chinchilla Food

  • Pellet and loose food formula
  • Doesn’t contain artificial ingredients
  • High-fiber and high-antioxidant content
  • $

Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Chinchilla Food Mix

  • Loose food
  • Made with Alfalfa Hay
  • Contains fruit  
  • $

Oxbow Essentials – Chinchilla

  • Pellet-only food
  • Made with Alfalfa Hay
  • High-fiber and low moisture
  • $$

Supreme Petfoods Science Selective Chinchilla Food

  • Pellet-only
  • No added sugar
  • High-fiber
  • $

Mazuri Chinchilla Diet

  • Pellet-only
  • Includes Timothy Hay and Flaxseed
  • Contains Omega-3s and Vitamin C
  • $$

Tropical Carnival F.M. Brown’s Natural Chinchilla Food

  • Loose food
  • High-fiber
  • Contains fruit and flowers  
  • $

ZuPREEM 230020 Nature’s Promise Chinchilla Pellets Food for Pets

  • Small pellet-only food
  • Doesn’t include pesticides
  • Specifically designed for adult chinchillas
  • $$

Vitakraft Chinchilla Cocktail

  • Loose food
  • Should be limited or used as a treat
  • Contains real fruit  
  • $

Kaytee Timothy Complete Fiber Diet Chinchilla Food

  • Pellet-only food
  • Low in calcium and protein
  • Made from Timothy and Alfalfa Hay
  • $

Final Thoughts

If you are planning to adopt a chinchilla, it is important to provide them with high-quality food. Now you know that a healthy chinchilla diet should be made up of hay, pellets, and water.

Occasionally, you can feed your chinchilla treats. These are an important part of training your pet. But, you should only offer these in moderation. Most treats are made with carbs, which can cause digestive issues if consumed too often.

When selecting the right food for your chinchilla, pay attention to the fruit content. Some foods contain a high-level of loose fruit, which should not be given to your chinchilla on a regular basis.

The best chinchilla food should be a nutritionally balanced pellet-only product. This will prevent selective eating and guarantee that your chinchilla gets all of the vitamins and minerals they need to grow and thrive.

After reviewing the best chinchilla foods on the market, our pick is the Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food. This product is a pellet-based formula that is made from hay. It is a high-fiber and low-moisture product that promotes a healthy digestive system.

All of the foods we reviewed are high-quality foods. But, make sure to pay attention to the loose foods. If you choose one of these, make sure your chinchilla is not being a selective eater. Remember, if you notice that your chinchilla is avoiding certain items in their food or seems to be experiencing digestive issues, you might need to switch to a pellet-only food.

We hope this post was helpful as you select the best chinchilla food for your pet. Please feel free to share your experiences with purchasing chinchilla food in the comments below!

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