Have you been wondering if your furry little chinchilla can safely eat bananas? Well, we’re about to find out.
Chinchillas like sweet foods, and many pet owners give bananas to their pet chinchillas because of their nutritional value.
But can chinchillas safely eat bananas?
Chinchillas should not eat bananas, as bananas are actually unhealthy for them.
If you give chinchillas bananas, they will eat them because they like sweet foods. However, their delicate digestive system won’t tolerate foods with a high concentration of sugar like bananas.
Why Can’t Chinchillas Eat Bananas?
Are Bananas Poisonous to Chinchillas?
No, they aren’t poisonous in general. Bananas are a highly nutritious food containing calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, and other good nutrients.
But for our shy furry little friends, they’re incredibly unhealthy because of a specific element—sugar.
Even in small servings, a banana has too much sugar in it. This is why giving your chinchilla even small bits of banana as a treat is a big no.
The sensitive gut of a chinchilla cannot handle sugar, which makes them bloated. Even though chinchillas like sweet treats, we mustn’t give them bananas. Instead, we can provide them with sweet hay.
The Nutrient Chart of Banana
The nutritional value of bananas can vary according to the size of their servings. Per 100gm servings of bananas contain the following:
- Calories: 89
- Water: 75%
- Protein: 1.1g
- Carbohydrate: 23g
- Sugar: 12g
- Fiber: 2.6g
- Fat: 0.3g
If you are a responsible chinchilla owner, you can already guess why bananas are not suitable for your chinchilla.
75-80% of their diet should be grass hay, as they get all the required nutrients from hay.
Chinchillas need 16-20% protein, 2-5% fat, 15-35% fiber, and 2 ounces of water daily.
Though banana has a high amount of water, it has too much carbohydrate and sugar and significantly less fiber, so bananas are not a potent food for your chinchilla.
Vitamins and Minerals Found In Bananas
Bananas are rich in several vitamins and minerals. But will your chinchilla actually reap any benefits from these vitamins and minerals?
No, because as stated before, grass hay alone can give them the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Let us take a look at the vitamins and minerals we get from per 100g servings of banana:
- Calcium: 5g
- Iron: 0.26g
- Potassium: 358g
- Vitamin A: 3mcg
- Vitamin B6: 0.367g
- Vitamin C: 8.7g
- Vitamin K: 0.5mcg
Seizures can occur in chinchillas because of a vitamin or nutrient deficiency.
Though vitamin B and calcium prevent seizures in our furry little friends, the amount of sugar and carbohydrate that bananas have is hazardous for chinchillas. Owners should avoid feeding them bananas at all costs.
Now, if you consider bananas as a good source of vitamin C for your chinchilla, you might want to reconsider that. The body of a chinchilla can produce vitamin C on its own.
Ailments Chinchillas Can Suffer By Consuming Bananas:
Yes, you read that right. The nutrients that bananas contain are a threat to our sensitive little pets.
Chinchillas have a sensitive digestive system. If their diet has a high amount of calories and protein but doesn’t have sufficient roughage, then your chinchilla might suffer from constipation.
Symptoms of constipation:
- Difficulty in defecation
- Fecal pellets decrease and sometimes may become blood-stained
Bananas, being high in calories and low in fiber, are not a good option for your chinchilla.
This is another illness a chinchilla may suffer from due to having too many fruits and vegetables. Lactating female chinchillas are more prone to suffer bloating.
Symptoms of bloating:
- Pain in the abdomen
In the worst-case scenario, death may be inevitable. Thus, sugary fruits like bananas are best to avoid feeding to your chinchilla.
The ideal weight of a chinchilla is around 400-600 grams. If your chinchilla weighs over 700 grams, it might be obese.
The leading food of a chinchilla, which is hay, consists of 200 calories per 100gram serving. Besides maintaining a healthy weight, a chinchilla will only eat 5% of its body weight per day. (source)
For example, if your chinchilla weighs about 600 grams and eats only 5% of its body weight, it will consume only 30g of hay per day. There will be approximately 50-60 calories in 30g of timothy hay.
But bananas are very high in calories. Even the smallest serving of bananas has a lot of calories. 30g banana contains 27-30 calories.
Are Chinchillas Fond of Bananas?
Chinchillas are indeed fond of sweet fruits. But sweet fruits like bananas are not suitable for their little guts.
If your pet chinchilla likes sweet treats, you can give them sweet hay. Sweet hay is a healthy substitute for your sweet-loving chinchilla.
Can I Give My Chinchilla Dried Bananas?
Dried fruits have extremely high concentrations of sugar and no water. Therefore, dried bananas aren’t a good treat for your little chinchilla.
To keep your beloved chinchilla healthy, you must avoid bananas. Instead of bananas, there are many healthy, leafy, fresh vegetables and herbs to give them.
It is okay to occasionally give your sweet-loving chinchilla treats, but those should be fruits and vegetables with a minimal amount of sugar.
However, you should altogether avoid giving them bananas if you don’t want them to become sick.
If you unknowingly feed your chinchilla bananas for an extended period, then you should consult a veterinarian.
Should you notice your chinchilla has complications like bloating, diarrhea, or constipation after ingesting bananas or other sugary foods, stop giving them those foods and take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.