Cheerios are a delicious and nutritious family treat that can be found in every convenience store. Be it for breakfast or just for treats, this brand of cereals captures the hearts of many people all around the world.
Aside from humans, Cheerios can also be fed to animals such as chinchillas.
Chinchillas can eat Cheerios and they will love them. These cereals are totally safe for your furry pets if fed in moderation. This is due to the high amount of phosphorus in Cheerios that can create a calcium-phosphorus imbalance in the Chinchillas’ diet.
The best ratio for their diet should be around a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This ratio can’t be achieved by eating Cheerios that only have 1 to 1.
This table from the USDA National Nutrient Database shows every nutrient that can be found in Cheerios.
Not all of these nutrients are healthy if eaten in large quantities by Chinchillas.
|Amount Per Serving||Amount|
|Saturated Fat (0.5g)||3%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.5 g|
|Monosaturated Fat||0.5 g|
|Calories From Fat||15|
|Total Fat (2g)||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate (20g)||7%|
|Dietary Fiber (3g)||11%|
|Soluble Fiber||1 g|
|Other Carbohydrate||16 g|
|Sodium (140 mg)||6%|
|Potassium (180 mg)||5%|
From the nutritional data, Cheerios contain a high percentage of calcium and phosphorus, which could lead to the imbalance of these two nutrients in the Chinchillas’ diet. Aside from that, Cheerios do provide many nutrients that are beneficial to Chinchillas.
What types of Cheerios can chinchillas eat?
Cheerios come in different types and flavors. Choosing the one that won’t affect Chinchillas’ health is always the best option.
So, we will take a look at these 6 most popular varieties and make a comparison as to which is the healthiest and least harmful to your pets.
This table only includes essential macronutrients that are needed by Chinchillas:
|Varieties||Original Cheerios||Protein Cheerios||Frosted Cheerios||Fruity Cheerios||Chocolate Cheerios||Multigrain Cheerios|
|Carbohydrate||9.4 g||76.19 g||79.8 g||84.19 g||82.5 g||81.4 g|
|Protein||12.09 g||12.26 g||9 g||5.8 g||5.8 g||8.3 g|
|Fiber||9.4 g||7.1 g||7.5 g||5.2 g||6.2 g||8.7 g|
|Phosphorus||481 mg||413 mg||296 mg||222 mg||222 mg||276 mg|
|Calcium||401 mg||343 mg||370 mg||370 mg||370 mg||345 mg|
|Sugar||4.36 g||29.43 g||32 g||32.2 g||34.09 g||21.2 g|
|Fat||6.73 g||5.08 g||4.69 g||4.59 g||5.09 g||4.09 g|
|Water||5.13 g||3.49 g||2.2 g||2.2 g||2.2 g||2.5 g|
|Energy||376 kcal||378 kcal||376 kcal||381 kcal||380 kcal||370 kcal|
Based on the data above, we can’t conclude that all of these varieties are truly healthy for Chinchillas. But the healthiest one would be the Original Cheerios.
This is because the original variety contains the highest amount of protein and fiber with the least amount of sugar, which is 4.36g per 100g.
However, this doesn’t mean your Chinchillas can eat as much Original Cheerios as they want. You still have to feed these cereals to them in moderation due to the unbalanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
Keeping a low amount of sugar in Chinchillas’ diet is quite important to ensure that they don’t become overweight. Foods that are high in sugar can also cause some dental issues in Chinchillas.
Although Chinchillas can safely eat Cheerios, their diet should still consist of a large portion of foods that are high in fiber.
Their digestive system can’t work really well when they are being fed low-fiber foods.
Rest assured, there is definitely no harm in feeding Cheerios as occasional treats.