Knowing what to feed your chinchilla is essential for them to live long and healthy lives. Chinchillas are herbivores, and they have sensitive and complicated digestive systems so they require a specific kind of diet for their digestive systems to function correctly.
Can chinchillas eat tomatoes? Chinchillas cannot eat tomatoes. The high acid content of tomatoes makes them unsafe for their sensitive digestive system. Tomatoes also contain phosphorous and sugar, and too much of these can make chinchillas ill.
You can offer your chinchillas some dried fruits, but you should not feed them any water-based fruits like tomatoes.
If you feed your chinchilla tomatoes, it can result in constipation or diarrhea, or other illnesses that are even deadlier.
In the rest of this article, we examine the safety of tomatoes in the diet of chinchillas and offer safer alternatives to tomatoes.
Can Chinchillas Eat Tomato Leaves?
Besides not being able to eat tomatoes, chinchillas should also not consume the leaves of a tomato plant. The leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous to a chinchilla and can harm them severely when fed to them.
Can Chinchillas Eat Tomato Vine?
Like most parts of a tomato plant, the vines are not suitable for consumption by a chinchilla. They are poisonous and can cause severe harm to your chinchilla.
Dangers of Tomatoes to Chinchillas
As we already mentioned in this article, the digestive system of a chinchilla is quite sensitive. Tomatoes contain phosphorous, sugar, and a hint of fat which can be unhealthy for your chinchilla when fed in excess amounts.
Here we will take a look at some of the dangers these nutrients pose to your chinchilla when you feed them tomatoes:
Due to the sensitivity of the digestive system of chinchillas, giving them sugar even in moderate quantities is harmful. Sugar can cause issues like tooth rot, diarrhea, gas, and obesity.
The digestive tract of a chinchilla cannot process the large amounts of sugar tomatoes contain. This means the sugar will be left to ferment, and this can cause gas.
When gas forms in the intestinal tract of a chinchilla, you have more to worry about. Chinchillas cannot pass gas, so gas formation will cause severe pain for them.
Before you offer your chinchilla any food containing sugar, ensure you seek the opinion of your vet just to be safe.
Phosphorous is another aspect of a chinchilla’s diet that you should not overlook. Too much phosphorous in a chinchillas diet can affect its health negatively. Some of these problems include brittle bones and neurological issues.
Feeding your chinchillas tomatoes will result in excess phosphorous in their diet and not enough calcium to balance it out. To resolve any issue with excess phosphorous, ensure your chinchilla has a moderate calcium diet.
For fat to be considered healthy for chinchillas, it needs to be given to them in small amounts.
Chinchillas require about 3-5% of fat, which is already present in their base diet. Offering chinchillas tomatoes that also contain fat can result in digestive problems.
Other Treats Chinchillas Cannot Eat
Here is a list of other foods you should not feed your chinchillas:
- Rhubarb leaves
- Sunflower Seeds
Treats Chinchillas Can Eat
Here is a list of safe treats for your chinchilla:
- Dried rose hips
- Raisins and dried cranberries
Due to their acidity, sugar content, fat content, and phosphorus content, tomatoes are not suitable for chinchillas. Chinchillas have very sensitive digestive tracts, and as a result, should not be fed any water-based fruit.
Better still, before you offer any fruit to your chinchilla as a treat, ensure you check with your vet to ensure it is safe.