Because of its high availability in the market, oranges are one of the most popular fruits out there aside from apples. Since most of us have oranges at our home, you might be thinking if this citrus fruit is also safe for chinchillas to eat.
Will an orange provide them great benefits, or is it the other way around? Let’s talk about it in this post.
Are oranges safe for chinchillas?
Chinchillas can, but should not eat oranges. In fact, it is not recommended to give them oranges even as a snack. The reason for this is because the nutrients present in oranges do not match the chinchilla’s nutritional needs.
Oranges contain high levels of sugar and water. In addition, they are also very acidic. Such food can cause severe digestive problems and bloating to chinchillas.
Do chinchillas like oranges?
The problem is chinchillas will enjoy eating oranges as well as other fruits and vegetables.
For new owners, they might think that eating such fruits will not bring any negative effects to chinchillas. However, although chinchillas like eating oranges, it is not recommended to feed them these fruits.
Can chinchillas be poisoned from eating oranges?
Oranges are not poisonous for chinchillas, but it is also not highly suitable for them to eat because of the adverse effect it will bring to their digestive system.
What happens if chinchillas eat oranges?
Below are some of the effects of eating oranges to chinchillas:
- Diarrhea and bloating. High water content, high level of fructose, highly acidic, and low fiber content. All these high and lows of oranges contribute to bloating, as well as soft, runny stools that may result in diarrhea.
- Obesity, digestive problems, and tooth and gum diseases. The high amounts of sugar that are present in oranges can result in these various health issues. This is because the chinchilla’s stomach is designed to digest fibrous foods, and not large amounts of sugar.
- Moreover, eating too much sugary foods will result in an expensive visit to the veterinarian because of tooth and gum problems. Over time, it will also cause obesity.
- In a more severe case, it can actually kill them. Chinchillas struggle at digesting food that is rich in sugar and water. For this reason, foods are left unprocessed for a long time. Once the food ferments in their body, it can cause formation of gas.
Once the gas accumulates in their stomach, it may result in extreme abdominal pain. In more severe cases, it can rupture the chinchilla’s stomach or gut and will cause internal bleeding.
Although a small piece of orange will not instantly kill your chinchilla, it is better to always be on the safe side especially if it includes the risk of your pet’s life.
Can chinchillas eat orange seeds?
Like all other fruit seeds, orange seeds contain cyanide. Cyanide is a potentially deadly poison if consumed in large amounts.
Although the amount of cyanide present in orange seeds is not enough to kill a human, it can actually be lethal to your chinchilla.
Chinchillas are much smaller than we are so it takes a less amount of the substance to affect their bodies.
Therefore, it is not recommended to feed orange seeds to chinchillas.
Can chinchillas eat orange peel?
Although orange peels contain more fiber and less sugar than orange slices, it is still not recommended to feed orange peels to chinchillas.
This is because orange peel still has high amounts of water. Another reason is that the fiber found in orange peel is different from the fiber that is found in hay. And as we all know, the chinchilla’s stomach is capable of digesting the fiber that is found in hay.
Not to mention that the bitter taste of orange peel will not be appetizing for chinchillas.
How much orange can chinchillas eat?
Because of the adverse effects it may cause to a chinchilla’s health, it is suggested not to feed them oranges at all.
If, for some reason, you still insist on giving them oranges, make sure to limit the portion.
Although a minimal amount of orange won’t instantly cause severe effects, your chinchilla may still display digestive problems.
How often can chinchillas eat oranges?
Again, it is highly recommended not to feed oranges to chinchillas. After all, they can live without eating oranges their entire life. But if you still insist on doing so, limit the frequency to a maximum of once a week.
Keep in mind that if you regularly feed them oranges, even in small portions, the gas formed will accumulate over time and can be fatal for your chinchilla.
Because of the health issues mentioned earlier, it is clear that oranges are not suitable for chinchillas to eat.
Instead of experimenting and having them try various treats, it is better to stick to foods that meet their nutritional needs, such as rose hips, sweet hay, and herbs.
They will enjoy these snacks as much as they enjoy fruits and vegetables. The only difference is that it won’t bring any serious health problems.