A lot of the pellet selections sold at the pet store are not "quality pellets". In fact, they're junk food riddled with fruit, nuts, fillers, and treats. How can you have a healthy pet if you serve treats with every meal?
Things you'll want to avoid in your pellet choice are:
- Fillers such as Corn or Soy
- Vegetables or Vegetable products, dried or fresh.
- Fruit, dried or fresh.
A good rule of thumb, if it's bright and shaped funny.. it's a treat.
What type of hay does a Chinchilla eat?
Chinchillas can be offered a variety of hay.
The most common hay is Timothy hay. Timothy hay comes in 3 cuts. It should be green.
- First cut, which is very coarse stemmed and has a lot of heads. This cut is full of fiber!
- Second cut, Which is a mix of softer and firm, leafy hay ( most popular & common )
- Third cut, is very soft and leafy and best for picky eaters.
There is also Alfalfa Hay which is sweeter and rich in nutrients. It's best for young / growing animals, or for malnourished animals. It can be offered occasionally to adults as a treat, but should not be their staple hay. It is bright green and fresh smelling.
Orchard Grass is a high fiber, leafy hay. Sometimes a mix of Timothy, Garrison, and Alfalfa. It's a good alternative to Timothy. Green and bright in color.
Oat Hay is a hard, stem filled hay that is tough and yellow/pale in color. It comes with Oat heads, so should be fed sparingly.
Blue Grass Hay is another leafy hay option.
Botanical Hay is generally Timothy hay with herbs mixed in.
** Please avoid purchasing and serving any hays that are sold mixed with fruits or vegetables. **
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We always love spoiling our pets, and while it can be nice to treat our pets, something important to understand is that it's mostly for us. Of course our pets enjoy the bits of delicious goodness, but we derive joy from what we perceive as making our pets happy. It's our jobs as caretakers to know when enough is enough. Moderation is a VERY important thing here!
Common healthy treats that you can purchase at the grocery store Rosehips, Old fashion rolled oats, dried hibiscus flowers and an array of chinchilla safe herbs ( you can also find all of this at www.tjschinchillasupplies.com or www.rondaschins.com. )
Treats you can give every other day are non-frosted Shredded Wheaties. It's a favorite around here.
An occasional treat for chins is 1 goji berry every now and then in place of a usual treat. Goji berries are a fruit, BUT they are low in sugar and provide nutritional benefits. Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. They are low in calories, low in sugar, fat-free, a good source of fiber and a high in antioxidants. They also promote skin, hair, and eye health. Always be sure to buy organic dried berries. If they are soft and sticky - They are not dried enough! They need to be rock hard. Sticky treats will stick to the teeth!