Chinchillas do not require treats in order to live a healthy, happy life. Treats are used more for the satisfaction of the owner than for the chinchilla. All a chinchilla really needs is fresh water, a good pelletted food and hay, either loose or cubed. If the decision is made to give treats, they should not be more than 10 % of the chinchilla’sdiet. A good rule of thumb is one to two treats per week (this is the total of all the treats, not one or two of each treat per week).
For those who would like to give the occasional treat, here is a list of safe treats.
One Unsweetened, Plain Cheerio
A Pinch of Uncooked, Old Fashioned, Rolled Oats (not the instant or the quick cooking types)
Half a Plain Shredded Mini Wheat Square
An Organic Rose Hip
A Variety of Hays (brome, orchard grass, oat grass, botanical hay)
Other items that chinchillas enjoy as treats in unlimited quantities are:
Wooden Sticks or Chews (see safe woods list) – pesticide free, scrubbed, boiled and dried
Lava or Pumice Blocks
Grape Vines – treated the same way as wood
Loofa Chews (do not use the kind that has been bleached and dyed for human bathing)
Avoid giving any of the following:
Fresh or Dried Fruits (contain too much sugar and can cause diarrhea, bloat and possibly even death)
Fresh or Dried Vegetables (can cause diarrhea, bloat and possibly even death)
Nuts and Seeds (contain too much fat, will cause liver problems and a shortened life)
People Food (contains too much sugar, fat, salt, etc.)
Trail Mix (contains many items that are unhealthy for chinchillas, additionally can cause obesity)
Note: Do not add treats to chinchilla’s pellets. This causes chinchillas to dig through their food, discarding the pellets in search of treats. This is known as pellet digging and can cost a lot of money in wasted feed. Also, when a chinchilla pellet digs, they will eat only the treats and leave the healthy pelletted food uneaten.