Homemade Chinchilla Food

Chinchillas are a fun and relatively easy exotic pet to take care of in general. Their eating habits, however, are a different story. Their digestive tracts are extra sensitive and their sweet tooth can get them into a lot of trouble if they are presented with the wrong kind of food. Preparing some homemade food using the right ingredients can be a nice occasional treat for your pet chinchilla for special occasions or just to brighten the little one's day.

Ingredients

Chinchillas' digestive systems are designed for high-fiber diets. A large quantity of grass, alfalfa or hay is key for a healthy chinchilla and can thus be included abundantly in any homemade chinchilla food recipe you choose to create. Also, although not a pure ingredient to begin with, you can also use the specially designed pellets or treats that are a part of a chinchilla's daily diet for your recipe. This is particularly smart because switching foods suddenly may cause life-threatening diarrhea or kidney failure in the chinchilla. Other ingredients that chinchillas adore are rosehips, rolled oats, raisins, fresh fruit and almonds, but all of these should be kept to the bare minimum so that it doesn't disagree with your pet. You may also use daily dietary supplements such as vitamin C if you wish.

Sample Recipe

Following the guideline for the ingredients above, you can mix, mash and combine them as you wish. Avid chinchilla owners love to create chinchilla cookies for their furry critters. One such recipe uses pellets, oats, rosehips, alfalfa and a couple of very thin slices of apple. You may substitute the apple with your pet's personal favorite treat. When gathering all of the ingredients, keep the pellets as the main ingredient. Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender or by grinding them with a rolling pin. Add water to the powder and mix it to make it dough-like. Mold or roll the dough into the desired cookie shape pieces and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in your oven at the lowest temperature the oven will permit and bake for about two hours to create a crispy but not caramelized cookie. Allow the cookie to cool completely and then give it to your chinchilla to enjoy!

Warning

As mentioned earlier, chinchillas have an extremely sensitive digestive system. You should keep the amount of homemade food and treats to a bare minimum and frequency. Once a week is an ideal time span for such treats. Another rule to keep in mind is to keep the fiber content of the overall recipe high, which may help neutralize the effects of the other contents. Ideally, this should be about 80 percent of the total ingredients.

Author

Dyna Whiting has been writing and editing health, science and technology related material for nine years. A lot of her experience was established in producing articles and business documents for organizations that are not proficient in English. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a pre-medical background.