Chinchilla owners only want to give the best treats to their pets. Although the sweet and juicy strawberries are safe for humans to consume, can chinchillas safely eat them?
Chinchillas can, but should NOT eat strawberries. Strawberries contain high amounts of water and sugar, but they lack fiber. Strawberries can cause loose stools, and in a more severe case, bloating. Therefore, although chinchillas will eat strawberries, it is a bad choice for a treat.
Will chinchillas enjoy eating strawberries?
Like other sweet fruits and vegetables, chinchillas will love to eat strawberries. Although they will happily eat them, strawberries won’t bring any good to their bodies.
Strawberries are unhealthy snacks, at least for chinchillas, that can cause negative effects to their stomach and gut. In the worst scenario, this can even lead to death.
Why are strawberries bad for chinchillas?
Most new chinchilla owners assume that feeding any fruits and vegetables is safe for chinchillas, especially when they see their pets enjoying the treat.
However, strawberries are not one of those beneficial snacks for them.
To help you understand better, let’s take a look at the nutrients present in strawberries, and compare it to the chinchilla’s nutritional needs.
- Carbohydrates. Chinchillas need carbohydrates as a source of their energy. In every 100g of food, they will need about 35g of carbohydrates. However, only 7.7g of carbohydrates is present in every 100g of strawberries.
- Fat. In every 100g of strawberries, only .3g of fat is present on it. This is far from chinchilla’s fat requirement at about 2 to 4g per 100g of food.
- Protein. The amount of protein in strawberries is also very lacking compared to the chinchilla’s protein requirements. In every 100g of strawberries, only .7g is composed of protein, which is far from the chinchilla’s 16 to 21g of protein needs.
- Fiber. A chinchilla’s diet is composed of tough, fibrous grasses, which a strawberry does not give. With a fiber requirement of 30g per 100g amount of food, strawberries can only provide 2g of fiber.
- Calories. The calories in strawberries are also not enough to suffice the chinchilla’s calorie requirement. Strawberries can only provide 32g of calories, which is far from chinchilla’s calorie requirement of 200g.
- Water. The water content in strawberries is too much for a chinchilla’s body to handle. Chinchillas should only need about 10 to 15g of water in every 100g of food, but strawberries contain 90.95g of water. This causes soft and runny stools.
Are strawberries poisonous for chinchillas?
Strawberries are not poisonous for chinchillas, but they will cause adverse effects, such as bloating. The fructose in strawberries can produce a huge amount of gas after it is broken down in their gut.
Chinchillas find it hard to pass gas. Once the gas fills up their stomach, it can rupture their stomach and gut lining, which can cause internal bleeding and infections.
Can chinchillas eat dried strawberries?
Although dried strawberries contain less water and more fiber than fresh strawberries, it is still not advisable for chinchillas to eat them.
Dried strawberries contain 65.5g of sugar per 100g of dried strawberries. This is way too much compared to the amount of sugar in fresh strawberries, which is about 4.89 per 100g.
Chinchilla’s digestive system is not designed to handle and digest too much sugar, therefore feeding them dried strawberries can make them ill.
How many strawberries can chinchillas eat?
It is not recommended for chinchillas to eat strawberries. However, if you still plan on feeding them strawberries, make sure to limit the amount you are going to give them.
Cut the strawberry to about the size of your pinky fingernail. This won’t cause serious health problems to your chinchilla, although in some cases, you may observe some minor effects.
How often can chinchillas eat strawberries?
If you insist on giving strawberries to your chinchillas, make sure that you’re only giving it as a rare and occasional treat.
Once a week is enough for them to consume these tasty treats without having negative effects.
Keep in mind that although you’re feeding them small portions of strawberries, you should not still give it on a regular basis.
Gas can slowly build up over time, and can cause bloating after a long time of regularly feeding them strawberries. This scenario applies to other fruits as well.
By feeding them strawberries once a week, you’re giving the chinchillas a chance to pass the pent up gas before they eat another snack.
There are other alternative snacks that are safer and more nutritious for chinchillas, such as rose hips, sweet hay, and shredded wheat.
In fact, chinchillas do not need fruits and vegetables to live. They simply need regular hay and chinchilla pellets to meet their daily nutritional diet.