Can Chinchillas Eat Apples?

Chinchillas are small animals that should follow a fairly strict diet to keep them healthy and happy. If you own a chinchilla or are thinking about getting one, knowing what foods to feed your furry friend will make caring for them much easier.

Getting the diet right is perhaps the biggest thing you should worry about when it comes to owning a chinchilla. Too much of the wrong food, or not enough of the right food, will make them sick and can even kill them. No one wants that!

One thing people always ask about is whether chinchillas can eat fruit. The truth is, chinchillas love to eat fruit. To them, it’s like eating candy.

Can chinchillas eat apples? Chinchillas can eat apples easily but they should be fed them only in strict moderation because of their high sugar content.


Fruit typically has a lot of sugar compared to the food these animals typically eat. Knowing this, it’s important to only use fruit as an occasional treat for your chinchilla. It shouldn’t constitute a big part of their diet.

Here’s some more information on chinchilla diets, what you can do to keep them healthy, and how to feed them apples if you do decide to give them some fruit.

Keep Fruit Treats to a Minimum

Chinchillas are often low-energy animals. They spend a lot of their days munching on their feed or cleaning their fur. They don’t usually do any sort of tricks or make laps around their cages.

People get excited about feeding chinchillas fruit because it elicits a more active response from their animal than they usually see. The chinchilla sees the fruit and immediately perks up! You would too if someone offered you a candy bar unexpectedly.

Chinchillas can easily take down apples and other fruits with their long, sharp teeth. Most people feed their chinchilla apple slices, but their teeth are equipped to take decent chomps out of a full-sized apple too if you put one in their cage.

Humans may think of fruit like an apple as a healthy treat. Sure it is, compared to ice cream, popsicles, cookies, and other high-sugar foods we eat.

The problem is that chinchillas don’t typically get as much exercise as humans. They spend their days sleeping and resting in small spaces. The added sugar and calories of fruit like apples can make them unhealthy.

apple on the tree

Are Apples Poisonous to Chinchillas?

No, feeding your chinchilla apples won’t poison them or make them sick as long as you do it sparingly. They don’t have any sort of adverse reaction to apples.

There are some nutrients in apples like fiber, but they have a higher calorie count when you consider the limited vitamins and minerals they provide. Chinchillas are better off getting their fiber from their normal feed.

How Often Can You Feed Your Chinchilla Apples?

There’s no hard and fast rule around feeding apples to your chinchilla pet. However, limiting it to something like once a week will spread it out enough, so it’s not too much. If you want to feed your chinchilla treats more frequently, you should choose healthier treats that are lower in sugar.

Chinchillas love flower petals, high-water content vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumbers, and other snacks. They’ll still get excited, and watching them eat something that you know they enjoy is always super fun.

eating chinchilla

What Do Chinchillas Usually Eat?

Sticking to your chinchilla’s natural diet is the best way to guarantee they stay healthy for longer.

Even though they are cute animals, chinchillas are rodents. They eat diets similar to mice, rats, hamsters, and squirrels. That means they traditionally eat high-fiber grass, hay, and other rough vegetation.

These foods should be the main thing chinchillas eat. In fact, you can leave as much hay or grass in their cage as you like. Your chinchilla will never overeat. They’ll consume enough to keep their digestive systems working smoothly.

You can also buy chinchilla pet food at the store or online. It usually comes in small pellets. Give your chinchilla pellets daily.

You never want to leave an unending supply in their cage. They’ll never stop eating pellets and will soon become overweight and possibly get sick.

Keep pellet feeding to just a couple of tablespoons per day. The hay and grass will provide the rest of their nutrients.

These furry, adorable animals eat most of their food in the morning or late at night. They’re shy, so don’t stress out if you don’t see them actively eating while you’re around.

Just check to make sure food is disappearing gradually and that there is a healthy supply of droppings inside their cage between cleanings.

chinchilla who drinks water

Keep Giving Them Fresh Water

Don’t let the water get stale in your chinchilla cage. Chinchillas can be picky eaters, and that applies to their drinking water as well. You should refresh the water daily and anytime you see food or droppings or anything else in the water bowl.

Ensuring they have constant access to clean drinking water is a big part of keeping your chinchilla healthy.

Help Your Chinchilla’s Teeth Stay in Check

Chinchillas evolved out in fields eating hard, thick grass. Their teeth grow surprisingly quickly, and if you don’t stay ahead of them, it’s going to affect how your chinchilla eats.

They need to have enough roughage to keep their teeth as short as they should be. You can also buy special stones meant for teeth grinding.

If your chinchilla’s teeth are growing too long, or you see them biting on the cage bars or other structures inside of their enclosure, it could be that their teeth are too long. They could be letting you know that they are uncomfortable with their long teeth.

If the condition gets too bad, it can affect their dental roots and become quite painful. To fix their teeth, you may have to restrict their diet to soft foods and take them to the vet.


Owning a chinchilla is a lot of fun. They’re great pets that can keep you entertained for hours.

They make a great addition to your family. Just make sure you keep their treats to a minimum and feed them a healthy diet to keep them happy.


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