Peanuts are a nutritious food that most people give to their pets as treats. However, not all animals can safely eat them.
Can Chinchillas eat peanuts? Chinchillas cannot eat peanuts. This is not because of their inability to chew them but because peanuts are generally bad for their health. Their content of phosphorus and fat is too high for a chinchillas sensitive digestive system.
This table from the USDA National Nutrient Database shows every nutrient that can be found in peanuts. Some of them are too high for Chinchillas.
Based on the nutritional data, the amount, the amount of phosphorus and fat are quite high in peanuts. These nutrients can make Chinchillas unhealthy, even when they eat in just a small amount.
What Makes Peanuts Bad For Chinchillas?
Peanuts can be a choking hazard if Chinchillas don’t chew on them properly. However, in most cases, they are able to chew them off with their big and strong teeth. The main issue with peanuts is the amount of fats they offer.
Chinchillas are prone to suffer from obesity when they eat peanuts because of the amount of fat in peanuts that contain more calories than other nutrients like carbohydrates and protein.
The amount of fat in peanuts is approximately three times more than the amount that Chinchillas should have in their meal.
Furthermore, peanuts don’t have a significant amount of fiber. Fiber is one of the vital components that should be incorporated into Chinchillas’ meals. They need around 30g to 100g of fiber to facilitate the digestion process.
The less fiber they eat, the higher the chance that their stools would become porous and soft.
Do Peanuts Cause Digestive Problems In Chinchillas?
Not only do peanuts contain too much fat that makes Chinchillas overweight, but they can also cause digestive problems in Chinchillas. But this can happen silently and take a longer time than other health issues.
Chinchillas’ digestive systems are biologically adapted to churn and digest rough fibers that can be found in other food like fresh hay and vegetables.
When they eat peanuts, most of the fiber-loving gut bacteria and enzymes in their digestive system have to work twice the amount that they usually do just to break them down.
In turn, when Chinchillas’ guts have to digest something that is low in fiber, this can cause fermentation to occur. Fermentation can produce a lot of gas leading to unwanted gut issues like irritable bowel and bloating.
Chinchillas don’t have the ability to pass gas easily. So this is another reason why shouldn’t feed peanut to Chinchillas.
Other Treats That Chinchillas Can’t Eat
Aside from peanuts, there are other foods that shouldn’t be fed to Chinchillas as treats. For instance:
- Chocolate – Chocolate is rich in sugar and fat. It can harm Chinchillas’ digestive tract which leads to other issues in their nervous system.
- Acidic fruits – Fruits that are highly acidic like oranges, pineapples, grapefruits, and lemons are unhealthy for Chinchillas. Feeding them these fruits can cause many gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and damage to the lining of their intestines.
- Seeds – Like peanuts, seeds also contain too much fat and protein. This can cause calcium deficiency in Chinchillas and worse, damage to their liver.
- Bananas – Bananas are one fruit that can’t be fed to Chinchillas. Although they are highly nutritious, bananas contain too much sugar and have a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio.
There are lots of other foods you can feed to your Chinchillas that are healthier and more nutritious than peanuts.
Although peanuts do offer some nutrients that can’t be found in other foods, they aren’t essentially important to Chinchillas.
They can definitely live healthily without eating a single bite of peanuts in their whole life.