Do Chinchillas Chew? Understanding Chinchilla Chewing Habits

Chinchillas, those adorable, fluffy creatures, are known for their unique behaviors and charming personalities. One common question that chinchilla owners or enthusiasts often ask is, “Do chinchillas chew?” The short answer is yes, chinchillas do chew, and it’s an essential aspect of their lives. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into why chinchillas chew, what they chew on, and how you can ensure their chewing habits are healthy and safe.

Do Chinchillas Chew?

Understanding the Natural Instinct to Chew

Chewing is a fundamental behavior for chinchillas. In the wild, chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains in South America, where they primarily feed on vegetation. Their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and chewing helps keep their teeth at an appropriate length. Chinchillas have open-rooted teeth, meaning they grow continuously, around 2-3 inches per year. Chewing is a way for them to grind down their teeth and prevent overgrowth, which can lead to serious health issues.

The Never-Ending Teeth

Chinchilla teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. This phenomenon is a unique adaptation that serves a specific purpose. In their natural habitat, chinchillas primarily consume a diet of tough, fibrous vegetation. The constant growth of their teeth allows them to wear down naturally as they chew on these coarse food items.

What Do Chinchillas Chew?

Chinchillas are not particularly picky when it comes to chewing. They will chew on a variety of items, both in their natural habitat and in captivity. Here are some common things that chinchillas chew on:

1. Hay and Grasses:

In the wild, chinchillas primarily feed on grasses and hay. These fibrous materials are not only a source of nutrition but also serve as excellent natural chew toys for them.

2. Wooden Toys:

In captivity, providing chinchillas with wooden toys or blocks is a great way to satisfy their chewing instincts. Make sure the wood is safe and untreated.

3. Mineral Blocks:

Chinchillas also need to gnaw on mineral blocks, which provide essential nutrients and help keep their teeth healthy.

4. Cardboard and Paper:

Chinchillas enjoy chewing on cardboard and paper items, such as toilet paper rolls and cardboard boxes. These can make inexpensive and entertaining chew toys.

5. Chew Sticks:

Special chinchilla chew sticks made from safe materials are available in pet stores. These are designed to promote dental health.

6. Cage Bars and Wire Mesh:

Chinchillas often chew on their cage bars and wire mesh. While this is natural behavior, it’s essential to ensure that the materials are non-toxic and safe.

Ensuring Safe Chewing for Your Chinchilla

While chinchillas have a natural instinct to chew, it’s crucial to provide them with safe options and monitor their chewing habits to prevent potential issues. Here are some tips to ensure safe chewing for your chinchilla:

Ensuring Safe Chewing for Your Chinchilla

1. Safe Chewing Materials:

Only provide materials that are safe for chinchillas to chew on. Avoid items treated with chemicals, paints, or varnishes that could be harmful if ingested.

2. Regular Dental Check-ups:

Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian experienced in chinchilla care to monitor your pet’s dental health.

3. Variety in Chewing Options:

Offer a variety of chewing materials to keep your chinchilla mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.

4. Supervise Playtime:

When allowing your chinchilla to explore outside its cage, supervise playtime to ensure it doesn’t chew on unsafe objects.

5. Maintain Proper Diet:

Ensure your chinchilla’s diet includes high-quality hay and a balanced pellet food to support its dental health.


In conclusion, chinchillas are avid chewers by nature, and it’s a vital part of their daily lives. Understanding their chewing habits and providing them with safe and appropriate materials to chew on is essential for their overall well-being. By following these guidelines and being attentive to your chinchilla’s needs, you can ensure that they enjoy a happy and healthy life full of satisfying chewing experiences.

About Sharmin Koli

She is a passionate publisher who has recently joined the team at Rodents Info. With a background in National University, Koli brings a unique perspective to the world of rodents. She is excited to contribute to a website that offers valuable information on topics ranging from rodent control to pet care. Koli has a deep love and appreciation for rodents and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others who share this passion. We are thrilled to have Koli as a part of our team and are excited to see the valuable contributions she will make to our website.

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