Some Good Options for Chinchilla Treats
Chinchilla treats are a topic of concern for those who have chosen to raise the domestic version of these rodents. It is important for pet owners to have an understanding of the natural habitat and diet of this breed to make an educated choice in terms of the treats they can give their pet chinchillas.
Chinchillas are natives of the South American Andes Mountains. Wild chinchillas typically eat plants, seeds, small insects and fruits. They are primarily herbivorous and it is best to retain this balance in a domestic chinchilla’s diet also. Experts are insistent that domestic chinchillas need a predominance of hay in their diet. Chinchillas are effective in processing desert grasses but have difficulty digesting high protein foods, fatty foods or even increased amounts of green plants. Chinchillas do well when fed hay-based pellets and when they have a steady supply of loose hay as part of their regular diet. Given the sensitive nature of this animal’s digestive system, it is safe to stick to this diet but it is also nice to have an idea of the chinchilla treats that can be used to bribe or reward your pet.
Raisins are a highly recommended chinchilla treat. Chinchillas also love peanuts and sunflower seeds. Chinchillas do love their treats and in fact it is recommended that it is best to avoid chinchilla mixtures as their regular feed because they have a tendency to pick out the treats such as the raisins and the seeds and leave behind the high-fiber pellets. While these treats are okay in small doses, it is important to make sure that the animal does not over load on any of them. Peanuts and sunflower seeds can be fatty and even the raisin intake needs to be rationed as it, along with other dried fruits, in excess can lead to diarrhea.
As chinchillas eat in small amounts, there is the very real danger of over-feeding. It is a temptation to keep topping off their plates and this is to be avoided at all cost. The gastrointestinal system of the chinchilla will find it hard to process excessive food and there are serious health consequences that can arise from over-eating.
It is best to have a strict measure of the food and the treats that you dole out to your chinchilla. It is recommended that chinchilla treats should ideally be the size of a small sugar cube and that and it should be limited to one a day. It will be ideal to keep the high fiber and low fat requirement in mind when picking the treats also. Carrots, banana chips, rolled oats, dried whole wheat bread, dried fruits such as pineapple, papaya, apples, pears and cranberries, cereals such as shredded wheat and Cherrios are among the other Chinchilla treats recommended by those have experience with these animals. It is a good idea to not introduce too many wet fruits or nuts into their treat expectations.
In monitoring Chinchilla diet and treat, note that high fat can lead to liver disease and high sugar can cause tooth decay. So use your quota of treats wisely and effectively to encourage your chinchilla to respond to your instructions. You can pick things such as branches of apple, pear or mulberry trees to chew as these can serve the double purpose of giving them something to gnaw as well as allowing them to enjoy a different taste or flavor than their usual pellet food. If you are picking things from your garden, it will help to make sure that you rinse things off to avoid handing something with chemicals to your pet. Ideally choose things which have not been treated with any pesticides or fungicides.
Imaginative and creative options are available for those who seek to find healthy snacks or treats for their chinchillas. While it may not always be available with pre-packaged convenience, remember that the choices you make will have long-term health implications for your pet.