Best Chinchilla Food: What Chinchilla Food Should I Get?

by Morgan Mulac
Best Chinchilla Food: What Chinchilla Food Should I Get?


Charming, fluffy, and increasingly popular, chinchillas are becoming the favorite pets of many people worldwide. In fact, their popularity has reached the point where you have numerous rescue groups and breeders operating nationwide. Pet shops offer these lovable rodents, too, and the lowest chinchilla cost may start from $150.

As a chinchilla owner, you have much to think about, from the ideal cage to the perfect chinchilla toys. But the most important aspect is nutrition. The food they eat will directly affect your chinchilla's lifespan, so it’s crucial to find the right balance.

So, what do chinchillas eat? For instance, can chinchillas eat carrots, apples, and other fruit and veggies? What about bird eggs? We’ll explore such questions in the article below. For now, let’s say that chinchillas require finely balanced nutrition. Adult animals should be fed a mix of grass- and vegetable-based food, with small amounts of pellet feed.

Luckily, there are several chinchilla pellet foods that provide the necessary nutrients. In this article, we’ll search for the best chinchilla food, outline what do chinchillas eat, and explain the most important aspects of the chinchilla diet.


Oxbow Chinchilla Food
  • Best overall: Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Deluxe Chinchilla Food
  • Tiny Friends Farm Charlie Chinchilla Food
  • Science Selective Chinchilla Food
  • Modesto Milling Organic Non-GMO Rabbit Food
  • Oxbow Garden Select Chinchilla Food

The Best Chinchilla Foods: An Overview

Best Overall: Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Deluxe Chinchilla Food

1. Nutritional content

These pellets are based on alfalfa hay and feature vitamins A, E, and B12. They are rich in essential nutrients that will keep your young chinchilla healthy and vital.

2. Price per pound

Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Deluxe Chinchilla Food costs $9.30 per pound.

3. Pros and cons


  • High in fiber
  • Additional calcium


  • No notable cons

Tiny Friends Farm Charlie Chinchilla Food

1. Nutritional content

With no additional sugar and a careful blend of nutrients, the Charlie Chinchilla pellets contain Timothy Hay, oats, carrot, peas, wheat, and maize. There are also additional vitamins and linseed in the mix.

2. Price per pound

A pound of Tiny Friends Farm Charlie Chinchilla Food costs $11.23.

3. Pros and cons


  • Supports the chinchilla’s natural foraging habits
  • Suitable for chinchillas of all ages


  • Somewhat pricier than some other foods

Science Selective Chinchilla Food

1. Nutritional content

This powdered chinchilla food is based on an alfalfa meal. It contains soy, locust beans, wheat, linseed, and dried plantain, and parsley. Plus, the powder has added calcium, salt, monocalcium phosphate, and vitamins A and D3.

2. Price per pound

One pound of Science Selective Chinchilla Food is priced at $9.3.

3. Pros and cons


  • Ideally balanced food mix
  • No additional sugar


  • Only suitable for adult chinchillas

Mazuri Chinchilla Food

1. Nutritional content

Pellets of this food contain alfalfa meal, Timothy hay, soybean, oats, wheat, flaxseed, and extracts of several dried herbs. Also added are vitamins A, B12, C, D3, and E supplements, as well as minerals like calcium, zinc, and copper.

2. Price per pound

The price of Mazuri Chinchilla Food is $9.6 per pound.

3. Pros and cons


  • A complete nutritional solution
  • Very palatable


  • No notable cons

Oxbow Garden Select Chinchilla Food

1. Nutritional content

These pellets contain a selection of hay, including Timothy, orchard grass, and oat grass. It also has barley, oat, flaxseed, tomato pomace, and yellow peas.

2. Price per pound

The Oxbow Garden Select Chinchilla Food costs about $6.60 per pound.

3. Pros and cons


  • Entirely natural ingredients
  • Very affordable


  • No notable cons

Other Noteworthy Chinchilla Foods

  1. Kaytee Fiesta Gourmet Variety Diet Chinchilla Food: Coming in the standard pellet form, this food is a blend of grains, seeds, veggies, and fruit.
  2. Modesto Milling Organic Non-GMO Rabbit Food: This is an organic product designed primarily for rabbits. However, it’s perfectly suitable for chinchillas.
  3. Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Chinchilla Food: The pellets are rich in probiotics and helpful omega-3 fatty acids. The food also features added minerals and vitamins.
  4. Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Chinchilla Food: These pellets are suitable for chinchillas of all life stages. They abound in antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics.
  5. Vitakraft VitaSmart Fortified Nutrition Chinchilla Food: The Timothy hay pellets offer a balanced nutritional solution. They’re listed as being particularly useful in training.
  6. Sunseed Vita Prima Chinchilla Food: While this food offers complete nutrition, it comes in seed form. This means it’s best suited for use as a treat than regular food.
  7. Supreme Petfoods Chinchilla Food: The nutritionally balanced pellets are fit for use with chinchillas of all ages. It boosts skin and fur health.
  8. F.M. Brown’s Tropical Carnival Chinchilla Food: This fortified daily feeding solution consists of a selection of hay and seeds. It’s ideal for weight control.

Understanding Chinchillas’ Natural Diet

In their natural Andean habitat, wild chinchillas adapted to the type of diet dictated by the specific environment. As herbivores, the fat content in their diet was always very limited. Furthermore, the slopes of the Andes don’t offer enough fruits and chinchillas can’t compete with other species for what fruit is there.

As a result, fiber-based protein represents a staple of chinchilla nutrition. The animal’s digestive tracts developed to process such food types the best. The feeding guidelines for pet chinchillas today reflect these natural tendencies: The rodents are best fed with high-fiber, low-fat, and low-sugar foods.

Chinchilla with food dish

The Significance of High Fiber

Fiber promotes good digestion and overall healthy development. While this is true of many species, fiber plays a particularly important role with chinchillas. The fiber content in chinchilla food should be relatively high, although never as high as possible – ideally about 30%. The reason for this limitation is protein, which fiber-rich foods often contain but chinchillas can digest only to a certain amount.

Still, the diet must contain plenty of fiber due to its digestive benefits. If chinchillas are left without enough fiber, they could fall prey to health issues like gastrointestinal stasis. Due to the rodent’s delicate build, these problems could even be life-threatening.

The Importance of Protein and Fat Levels

Chinchilla with circle treats

Although it’s crucial not to go overboard with protein in chinchilla food, a certain amount of this nutrient class will be necessary. Plant protein boosts fur health in terms of production, quality, and strength. The optimal amount of protein in the chinchilla diet should be about 15%. It can go up to 20%, although this may already be risky for individual pets.

Fats and oils are essential for vitamin absorption. As these nutrients aren’t readily available in chinchilla’s natural environment, their part in overall nutrition should be limited, between 3% and 4% of the daily meals.

The Debate Around Fruits and Vegetables in a Chinchilla’s Diet

Since chinchillas are herbivore rodents, people tend to think that animals can eat any plant-based food. However, this is far from the truth. Fruit may contain excessive amounts of sugar, which is detrimental for chinchillas. On the other hand, certain veggies have components that can be straight-up dangerous for your pet.

Some foods can be very hard on the chinchilla’s stomach, while the compounds in others can be toxic. To play it safe, limit your pet’s veggies to carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley, broccoli, and cucumbers. However, most of these foods are either somewhat acidic or contain plenty of water, so intake should be limited and controlled.

The Ideal Chinchilla Diet: What to Include

Two chinchillas eating hay
  • Hay: The staple of chinchilla food, hay provides sufficient fiber while promoting dental health. Of the different hay types, Timothy is the most suitable for daily use. You can find an excellent choice of quality Timothy hay cubes on Quality Cage. Hay constitutes about 80% of an adult chinchilla’s diet.
  • Pellets: Rather than the primary food source, pellets are supplemental, adding nutrients that may not be present in hay. Giving your chinchilla too many pellets could lead to health issues like obesity, so you should limit intake to one to two tablespoons daily. Quality Cage offers expertly made balanced pellets.
  • Treats: Although chinchillas enjoy treats, their bodies won’t respond kindly to increased sugar intake. That’s why chinchilla treat selection should be limited both in quantity and type. Best choices include dried foods like herbs, fruit, and cranberries, all of which you can find with Quality Cage – we even have dehydrated goji berries.
  • Water: Unsurprisingly, water is crucial for chinchillas and should be readily available and kept fresh. A water drip bottle will be the preferred choice since it’s easier to refill and keep clean. Without sufficient water, chinchillas can dehydrate, leading to dangerous health complications requiring professional help.

Quality Cage: Your Partner in Chinchilla Nutrition

Chinchillas have delicate needs, and Quality Cage is devoted to providing only the best for these adorable, fluffy pets. To that end, our store deals only in the finest chinchilla supplies, including food, accessories, and cages.

You can find practically everything you need for your chinchillas on Quality Cage. There are, of course, premium cages and cage supplies, as well as food dishes, water bottles, and litter boxes, to name a few. Quality Cage offers different toys, too, to keep your furry pet active and engaged.

In line with our primary topic, the online store has chinchilla food from select manufacturers. Quality treats like various dried herbs are also readily available. Feel free to visit our chinchilla supplies page and discover the best products for your tiny companions.

Ensuring Your Chinchilla’s Dietary Delight and Health

Chinchilla with small blue food dish

If you keep chinchillas as pets, proper feeding is crucial. With the right selection of ingredients, you’ll keep the furball healthy and happy. More importantly, your pet won’t be at risk of various health issues caused by an inappropriate diet.

To that end, Quality Cage will be your ideal supplier of all chinchilla needs. The products on our offer represent the best on the market. Check out how you can make your pet’s life better with Quality Cage.


Can rabbits eat chinchilla food?

It’s safe for a rabbit to eat chinchilla food, but only sporadically. Chinchilla food isn’t safe for rabbits in the long term because it lacks sufficient protein.

What should you not feed chinchillas?

Chinchillas have a relatively simple diet – all they need are pellets and, more importantly, hay. You should avoid giving your chinchilla cat or dog food, dairy, bread, rice, and corn.

What pellets are best for chinchillas?

Our choice of the overall best chinchilla pellets is Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Deluxe Chinchilla Food. These pellets offer the ideal blend of fiber and essential vitamins.

Which cut of Timothy hay is best for chinchilla?

Since chinchillas have the risk of becoming obese, it would be ideal to choose a cut with moderate or lower protein, i.e., fiber content. To that end, 2nd or 3rd cut will be best.


Have Questions About Chinchilla Diets Or Chinchillas?

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Author Bio: Morgan Mulac
Morgan has been a professional copywriter for over five years. Morgan also happens to be a chinchilla owner for many years. Now she is merging her two passions to create chinchilla expert care guides to help other chinchilla owners.
Morgan loves all things artistic and enjoys making others happy through her art and stories.

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