If you’re a new chinchilla owner, or if you’re planning to bring one into your home, it is important that you know what foods are safe and not safe for chinchillas to eat.
Since they have different dietary patterns compared to the more common house pets, such as dogs and cats, feeding them with the usual treats may not be the best option.
For this post, we’re going to talk about whether chinchillas can eat nutritious broccoli.
While it is very healthy for us to consume, will broccoli be beneficial for chinchillas as well?
Can chinchillas eat broccoli?
Chinchillas can, but should not eat broccoli. Their teeth will not have a problem chewing both raw and cooked broccoli.
However, broccoli’s nutritional content does not match the chinchilla’s nutritional needs. It can cause digestive problems, and in more severe cases, it can cause bloating which may eventually lead to their death.
What are the effects of broccoli on chinchillas?
Although broccoli is beneficial to our bodies, that is not the case for chinchillas.
Broccoli is low in fiber, protein, and fat contents. It only has 2.6 percent fiber per 100g, which is far different from chinchilla’s fiber needs at about 15-23 percent.
In addition, broccoli also has high water, phosphorus, and calcium content.
If they are fed regularly with such snacks, this can be seriously harmful to them.
Because broccoli has a lower calorie content compared to other fruits and vegetables, it is not as bad as other treats, although it still doesn’t make broccoli a healthy snack for them.
Moreover, too many vitamins and minerals can be as bad as too few. Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C, which can be bad for chinchillas because they are already capable of forming vitamin C inside their bodies.
In addition, the heavy amounts of calcium in broccoli can cause bladder problems or kidney stones.
Do chinchillas like broccoli?
Like other fruits and vegetables, chinchillas will happily eat broccoli. They may even find it enjoyable to chew it because it is fibrous and tough.
Will chinchillas be poisoned from eating broccoli?
Broccoli is not poisonous for chinchillas, and they will not instantly die from eating it.
The problem is that their stomach is not designed to digest foods that are low in fiber, but high in water and sugar. It can only give gas to your pet, and in the long run, can cause bloating.
What will happen if chinchillas eat broccoli?
As mentioned, the chinchilla’s stomach is set up to digest fibrous hay. The nutritional content of hay is very different from broccoli, therefore making it hard for chinchillas to digest broccolis effectively.
Moreover, a gas is formed inside their stomach while digesting broccoli and other foods similar to this.
Unfortunately, chinchillas are not good at passing gas. Once all the gas accumulates, it can be very painful for chinchillas.
In more severe cases, it can rupture your pet’s gut and intestines which will result in their death.
If you notice that your chinchilla stops eating or going to the toilet, has a hard, bloated stomach, grinds its teeth, or holds back its ear in pain after eating broccoli or other fruits and vegetables, then you should take it to the vet right away.
How much broccoli can chinchillas eat?
It is not suggested to feed any amount of broccoli to your chinchilla.
Every chinchilla may have a different reaction from eating broccoli. Some may not show effects, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe for them to eat it.
Others may present digestive problems even after eating small amounts of broccoli.
If, for some reason, you insist on feeding your pet broccoli, limit it to a very tiny amount.
How often can chinchillas eat broccoli?
As mentioned, it is not recommended to feed broccoli to your chinchilla. So, the answer would be ‘never.’
If you insist on doing so, the maximum frequency is once a week. Feeding them regularly even in small amounts can cause gas to gradually build up in their stomach.
Chinchillas should not eat broccoli because the nutrients present in this vegetable do not match the chinchilla’s nutritional needs. What’s healthy for us humans is not always healthy for our pets.
Instead of feeding them human foods, there are other healthier choices, which they will enjoy and will not bring any adverse effects, such as sweet hay, dried rose hips, dried herbs, applewood sticks, and more.
They will enjoy these treats as much as they enjoy fruits and vegetables, and it also meets their nutritional needs.