Strawberries are naturally sweet and healthy fruits that have many health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol, and helping protect against cancer. But do they hold the same nutritional value for chinchillas as they do for us humans?

Chinchillas can eat strawberries, but only sparingly as special treats. For the most part, it’s better to avoid giving your chinchilla strawberries or any other kinds of fruits, just to be on the safe side. Read to explore why.

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What Do Chinchillas Eat?

Chinchillas are herbivores and eat mostly roughage. They have sensitive digestive systems, and feeding them the right food is crucial for their overall health. Fresh hay is a good option, along with high-quality chinchilla food. Chinchillas require a high-fiber diet, and they only need about 1 to 2 tablespoons of pellet food daily. They can also enjoy kale, celery, and alfalfa.

Most of a chinchilla’s diet should consist of hay and grass made explicitly for chinchillas. These are good for your chinchilla’s teeth too, as their teeth continually grow throughout their lifetime. When in doubt about your pet’s diet or health, always consult with your veterinarian.

Chinchillia Eating
Image by: Luniaka Maria, Shutterstock

Why Can Chinchillas Only Have Strawberries Sparingly?

While strawberries contain a high dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, they do contain a lot of sugar, which can wreak havoc on your chinchilla’s little digestive system. If you decide to give the occasional strawberry to your pet chinchilla, make sure to cut it into little pieces and feed it sparingly. By this, we mean a 1 x 1 cm portion maybe once a week. Be sure to check for signs of digestive discomfort afterward. If your chinchilla develops signs of diarrhea, bloat, or vomiting, stop giving them strawberries and contact your veterinarian.  

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How to Feed Strawberries to a Chinchilla

Before you give a strawberry to your chinchilla, make sure you thoroughly wash it to remove any pesticides it may contain. The best bet is to serve organic strawberries, though you should still wash them, just in case. Remember to feed strawberries sparingly. Special treats should never take the place of a chinchilla’s required diet, which is preferably grass hay or Timothy hay.

Can Chinchillas Eat Strawberry Leaves?

Yes, they can but only in small amounts. The leaves contain anti-inflammatory agents and serve as a natural digestive aid. Your chinchillas will love them, but sticking to a small amount is key.

Can Chinchillas Eat Strawberry Plants?

Yep, they sure can, though only in small amounts. Since chinchillas are herbivores, strawberry plants are something they will enjoy. Remember, give them only occasionally as treats.

garden grown strawberries
Image by: oli2020, Pixabay

Can Chinchillas Eat Dried Strawberries?

Unfortunately, they cannot eat dried strawberries, or any dried fruit, for that matter. Dried fruit is way too sweet for them to consume, and it would surely cause tummy upset. What may look like a small piece of dried fruit is actually one big piece, which will contain a lot of sugar. To be safe, always avoid giving dried fruit to your little chinchilla.

Can Chinchillas Eat Frozen Strawberries?

Not only can chinchillas not eat freeze-dried strawberries, but they also cannot eat any frozen food of any kind. Chinchillas certainly don’t eat anything frozen in the wild, and the same goes for domesticated chinchillas.

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What Other Fruits Can a Chinchilla Eat?

Chinchilla eating cereal flakes
Image by: Lyona, Shutterstock

In addition to the occasional strawberry, your chinchilla can have apples, pears, and bananas. Apples (and all fruit, for that matter) should be diced up in small amounts and given maybe once a week. Apples have a little calcium, but they are high in sugar, so limit them to occasional treats. Overall, fruits are high in natural sugar, which is something your chinchilla doesn’t need. You can always purchase safe treats specially formulated for chinchillas for assurance and avoid fruit altogether if you’re in doubt.divider-chinchilla

Final Thoughts

A chinchilla needs hay and grass primarily to maintain optimal health. But the occasional treat can be offered, as long as it doesn’t harm your chinchilla. Chinchillas’ digestive systems are sensitive, so it’s important to feed them the necessary food recommendations.

As long as you feed them safe fruits in small amounts and sparingly, your chinchilla should be just fine. Always remember to monitor your chinchilla after they consume any kind of fruit, and when in doubt, contact your veterinarian before giving your little chin anything you’re not sure of.

The post Can Chinchillas Eat Strawberries? What You Need to Know appeared first on Pet Keen.

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