The short answer to this question is no – tomatoes are too acidic for chinchilla tummies. Tomatoes contain sugar and phosphorus. Too much of these aren’t suitable for your chinchilla. Chinchillas must have a one to one ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Too much phosphorus can cause neurological problems and brittle bones.
What is a Tomato?
Tomatoes are fruit rather than a vegetable. They are in the nightshade family, which makes the plant poisonous. So, even the plant leaves are unsuitable for your chinchilla.
Nutritional Information on Tomato
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 74 kJ (18 kcal)
Carbohydrates 3.9 g
Sugars 2.6 g
Dietary fiber 1.2 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 0.9 g
Vitamin A equiv.
lutein zeaxanthin (5%) 42 μg
(4%) 449 μg
Thiamine (B1) (3%) 0.037 mg
Niacin (B3) (4%) 0.594 mg
Vitamin B6 (6%) 0.08 mg
Vitamin C (17%) 14 mg
Vitamin E (4%) 0.54 mg
Vitamin K (8%) 7.9 μg
Magnesium (3%) 11 mg
Manganese (5%) 0.114 mg
Phosphorus (3%) 24 mg
Potassium (5%) 237 mg
Water 94.5 g
Lycopene 2573 µg
Can My Chinchilla Eat Other Fruits?
Chinchillas should rarely (or never) have fruits, the higher the water content in the fruit the worse it is. Fruits can cause diarrhea or constipation and mess with their stomachs, which can make your chinchilla deathly ill. The wrong fruit or the incorrect quantity can be deadly. If you are in doubt about anything you give to your chinchilla contact your exotic vet and they should be able to help you.
There is light in that dark tunnel, though. Chinchillas can have some produce in moderate amounts. Most veggies are ok for your chinchilla if you give them just a small piece as a treat, especially the root ones like sweet potato or squash. If you really want to give fruit I would recommend dry fruit, however make sure it is pure fruit you are feeding! Many packaged dry fruits (including ones marketed for small animals) have sugar added to them which would be bad for your chinchilla.
Even if the fruit is pure and dried fruit, it should only be given as a rare treat. The only fruit I ever give my chinchillas is dried papaya once or twice a month. Papaya has really good digestive enzymes that will benefit your chinchilla, and they go nuts for it. I actually use it as my “emergency recall” – for if they are out playing and I need to get them back quickly. I have an old pill bottle that I put the small papaya chunks in, and if I shake it they will come running. Since it is a unique sound to them, they associate it with the tastiest of treats and will do just about anything to get their little hands on some.
Now you know that your chinchilla can’t eat tomatoes. You also now know that chinchillas can have other produce. Veggies and dried fruit aren’t the best treats you can give your chinchilla, but you should be fine if you feed them sparingly.
What do you think of this article? Do you have a fruit you feed your chinchilla? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
2 thoughts on “Can Chinchillas Eat Tomatoes?”
Can my chinchilla have pineapple or sweets?
No, both won’t be any good for your chinchilla. Stick to chinchilla food only.