delicious but deadly

Your Chinchilla may go crazy over dried raisins, but so will its tummy. Unlike their hardy rat relatives, these little furballs can’t "eat everything". In fact, some of the most commonly fed "treats" are actually toxic, and may prove potentially fatal to them.
By Pets Team
Published on Tuesday, 12 July 2016

While the Internet is flooded with cute images of Chinchillas holding raisins, nuts, and other typical "critter treats", these are in fact the most dangerous foods of the lot. Here is a list of deadly "treats":

Sure, they are tasty and guaranteed to send your furkid into a frenzied state, but Chinchillas should never be given any kind of fruit—including raisins, apples, pears, bananas, and more (dehydrated or not). Fruits are sweet and high in sugar, which Chinchillas lack the enzymes to break down. Like an uncontrolled diabetic, blood sugar spikes can cause seizures and death in Chinchillas. Fruits can also cause diarrhoea and thus, dehydration.

Chinchillas are strict herbivores, so any biscuit or treat that contains meat should be thrown in the trash as your Chinchilla simply cannot digest it. Eating it can lead to gastrointestinal blockages, which can be fatal.

All nuts and seeds—like the commonly given almond nut and sunflower seed—are high in fat, which Chinchillas cannot break down either. Long-term exposure to such foods will end in fatty liver disease.

While eating greens keeps us healthy, it does the exact opposite for Chinchillas. As vegetables ferment (the step before digestion), they release gas. Most animals can burp to release the pressure, but Chinchillas can't. The build-up causes bloat, and can lead to gastrointestinal stasis, which can be fatal. As with fruits, the high water content of veggies can lead to diarrhoea and dehydration as well.

For the full article on how to select quality food for your Chinchilla and more, flip to Pet Bowl of our Jun-Jul 2016 issue!