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Transitioning your Chinchilla to New Food

You might need to change your chin’s food for many reasons. For example, your chin could have reached adulthood, or you might have allergies to the hay variety he is eating. No matter the reason, it's essential to make the change slowly. We'll explain why slower is better and give tips for transitioning your chinchilla to new food.

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Don’t Rush Diet Changes

When you change your chinny’s diet, it's important to remember how sensitive their gastrointestinal (GI) systems are. Transitioning too quickly may lead to GI Stasis or another health issue. As a result, the general rule of paw is to implement the changes over two weeks. However, before transitioning your chinchilla to new food, check with your trusted exotic vet first. Don’t have an exotic vet? Check out our helpful blog to help you find one.

Chinchilla relaxing

Transitioning Food 101

A well-rounded chin diet includes hay and pelleted food. If you're unfamiliar with these categories, click here for more chinchilla diet info.

Pelleted Food

  • Feed a small amount of the new food on the first day, mixed into their current food. 
  • Gradually increase the new food and reduce the old food daily until you are done transitioning your chinchilla to new food.


  • If you are introducing hay for the first time, it might take them some time to start eating it but keep persevering –it's well worth it for your chinny’s long-term health. 
  • Offer fresh hay daily and try different types of hay for chinchillas.
Hay for chinchillas

Watch for...

The process for transitioning your chinchilla to new food might not be going smoothly if you see any of these symptoms. Please contact your vet immediately if you do. 

  • Bloated abdomen

  • Change in mood or activity level

  • Decrease in food consumption or not eating

  • Smaller poop or not pooping

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Do you have any other suggestions to help transtioning your chinchilla to new food? We’d love to hear about them from you. Please comment on our socials or email us.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

VETERINARY DISCLAIMER: We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.  If your pet is acting unwell, you have concerns for their well being, or before adding any new product, please contact your veterinarian immediately.  

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