Bananas are a fruit that are common in most households across the world. The fact they are so tasty and easy to prepare makes them a go-to snack of choice for owners to give to their pets such as chinchillas.
But the question is, can chinchillas safely eat bananas? Or should you be keeping your chinchilla well away from this fruit at all costs?
In this post, we will take a close look at the facts and nutritional data of bananas and discover if they are a good fit for chinchillas or not.
So can chinchillas eat bananas? Chinchillas can eat bananas in small portions and on rare occasions. Having said this, it’s not advised to offer your chinchilla banana as it’s high in sugar and has a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio. Overall bananas don’t make a healthy food choice for chinchillas.
Read on to learn…
Bananas | Nutritional Data
To help you better understand if bananas are a good choice of food to offer to your chinchilla, we have included the nutritional data for bananas in a handy table.
Don’t worry if you are unsure of what nutrients to take note of, during this post we will take a closer look at the nutrients that are beneficial to your chinchilla as well as the ones that aren’t.
Check out the nutritional data for bananas here…
Nutritional Information (Bananas)
Can Chinchillas Eat Bananas? (More Info)
As we mentioned at the top of this post, technically bananas are safe for chinchillas to eat.
With this being said, we don’t recommend feeding your chinchilla banana due to the high amounts of sugar and unbalanced calcium and phosphorus ratio (more on these shortly)
If you do offer your chin bananas then it solid be in small portions and only as a treat from time to time.
Chinchillas don’t actually need treats and are quite happy eating a plain diet consisting of hay and chinchilla pellets for the most part.
Adding a small number of leafy greens is recommended but high sugar fruits can be harmful to your chinchilla’s digestive system and overall health if they are overfed.
With all things considered, it’s a good idea to steer clear of bananas altogether but if you do want to feed them to your chin, then they should be offered only as a treat.
You can head over to our free guide here…that lists all the common foods that your chinchilla can eat as well as the foods that they need to avoid.
The guide also gives you a full understanding of your chinchilla’s dietary needs and how to keep them both happy and healthy with good quality hay, pellets and more…
Can Chinchillas Eat Dried Banana?
Dried banana is often a go-to choice of snack food for many pet owners but is it actually something that you should be offering your chinchilla?
The short answer is that dried banana isn’t a healthy choice of food to offer your chinchilla due to the fact that it provides unhealthy nutrients in concentrated quantities.
While the dried version of the banana does contain higher amounts of fibre, which is essential for the health of chinchillas, it also contains excessive amounts of sugar.
As you can see from the table we have provided below, dried banana contains 35.34g of sugar per 100g as opposed to regular bananas that contain 12.23g of sugar per 100g, which is still considered high.
The fact of the matter is that a chinchillas digestive system is very sensitive and can’t handle large amounts of sugar.
Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to stomach upsets and diarrhoea not to mention poor oral health and obesity. Source:
Nutritional Information (Dried Banana)
Are There Any Health Concerns For Chinchillas Eating Bananas?
Unfortunately, there are some health concerns when chinchillas eat bananas too often and in large portions.
The main things to be aware of are…
- Sugar Levels
- Calcium & Phosphorus Ratio
Let’s now take a closer look at these two nutrients and why consistently offering unbalanced amounts of these nutrients to your chinchilla can be harmful to their health.
Bananas Are High In Sugar
High amounts of sugar can pose your chinchilla lots of digestive and overall health problems.
In the wild, chinchillas eat a very basic diet that consists of extremely low water/moisture as well as other nutrients such as sugar.
This means that over years of evolution chinchillas have adapted to this kind of basic and plain diet and their digestive system doesn’t handle rich foods very well.
Adding foods that are high in sugar can cause digestive issues and diarrhoea. Source:
Taking a look at the nutritional table we provided, you can see that bananas contain 12.23g of sugar per 100g. This is considered high for chinchillas and is a major reason why feeding them bananas isn’t a great idea.
Offering banana too often or in large portion sizes can also contribute to your chinchilla becoming obese.
Fruit is a popular treat to feed to chinchillas, for this reason, we have created multiple posts sharing if your chin can eat various fruits.
You can find out if your chinchilla can safely eat oranges or if they are strictly off the menu by heading over to our new guide over here…
Bananas Have a Poor Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
The ratio of calcium and phosphorus is something that is often overlooked in small animals such as chinchillas.
Many animals including chinchillas can become unhealthy and suffer muscular and bone-related problems if foods in their diet consistently contain unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratios.
The basic principle of this is that your chinchilla must have a diet that contains more calcium than phosphorus.
The reason for this is that phosphorus binds to calcium and then the calcium isn’t able to be used in the body.
A good ratio is 2:1 in favour of calcium or at least 1:1. Again, looking at the table at the top of this article, you can see that bananas contain 5mg of calcium and 22mg of phosphorus per 100g which is totally out of balance.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t even feed your chinchilla foods with a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio, however, it does mean that they need to be offered sparingly and allow the bulk of their diet to be higher in calcium than phosphorus.
Note: Chinchillas don’t need a high calcium diet and extreme amounts of calcium can cause kidney problems, however, they do need a diet that is higher in calcium than phosphorus on the whole.
Are There Any Benefits to Chinchillas Eating Bananas?
Unfortunately, when it comes to the health benefits of bananas, there aren’t too many nutrients that are essential to chinchillas.
Bananas offer moderate levels of vitamin C which have many benefits including bone health. Source:
With this being said, chinchillas are one of a few animals that can actually produce their own vitamin C without having to intake it from food sources.
Even though chinchillas have this ability, it’s often recommended that they do consume a little vitamin C in their diet to help with potential problems with their teeth.
We think that this vitamin C is best found in other foods such as leafy greens rather than fruit such as bananas that will also allow your chin to intake high amounts of nutrients that aren’t beneficial to them.
Do Chinchillas Like bananas?
Chinchillas will usually love a small piece of banana or other fruit. This is due to the sweet taste it provides.
You will probably find that your chinchillas will gladly take a piece of banana from you and devour it in an instant.
Chins don’t actually need treat foods like bananas and they are quite happy eating hay, chinchillas pellets and a small number of greens.
For this reason, you shouldn’t feel guilty by keeping their diet simple and plain without fruits such as bananas.
How Often Should Chinchillas Eat Bananas?
By now, you’ve probably realised that we don’t think bananas are a good option to feed to your chin.
If you do, however, want to add bananas into their diet, then we would recommend offering it as a treat no more than once per week.
There is no absolute rule as to how often chinchillas can eat bananas and some experts suggest that one treat per day is fine but we feel that you should only give treats on rare occasions rather than daily even if it’s in small portions.
As we have mentioned many times in this post, chinchillas don’t require treats to be healthy or be happy so you shouldn’t feel guilty when you provide them with a basic but nutritious diet.
How Much Banana Should You Feed Your Chinchilla?
When it comes to the amount of banana you offer your chinchilla, less is definitely better.
Many experts recommend that you offer no more than 1 tsp of fruit or treat foods per day. Source:
We tend to agree with this portion size and we think that no more than 1 tsp is more than enough as the bulk of your chins diet should come from hay and chinchilla pellets.
How to Prepare & Serve Bananas to Chinchillas
Bananas like many fruits are pretty easy to prepare and serve to your chinchilla.
Even though this is the case, we have put together an easy to follow guide that runs you through the best and easiest way to offer your chin bananas.
Check out the guide below…
Organic Is Best – If you can find an organic option then we strongly suggest that you choose this option.
This is because regular fruit and veggies for that matter can contain large amounts of pesticides that are harmful to your chinchilla’s health.
Providing an organic option will ensure that your chin is at least having treats without the chemicals.
Chop into Small Portions – Just like we mentioned earlier in this post, you should only give your chinchilla small portions of banana or other treat food for that matter.
1 tsp of banana is the maximum portion size we would recommend.
Time to Feed – That’s really all there is to it, and now you are ready to feed the small portion of banana to your chin.
You can hand the banana straight to them, leave it in a bowl or if you’re feeling creative you can chop the 1 tsp of banana up into 4-5 smaller prices and hide it in your chinchilla cage.
This will provide mental stimulation and replicate the natural feeding of a wild chinchilla when they have to search for their own food.
5 Bonus Foods to Feed to Your Chinchilla
Sometimes it can be hard to know what foods chinchillas can eat, even if it’s only for the odd treat.
To make this a little easier, we have put together a list of 5 foods that you can feed to your chinchilla and provide much more essential nutrients than bananas do.
The 5 Bonus foods we have chosen are…
It’s also important to remember that even though these foods contain, greens, herbs and veggies, they still need to be offered as treats in conjunction with a balanced diet.
If you’re also wondering if chinchillas can actually eat Cheerios? The answer is yes they actually can! We have put together a detailed post that breaks down what variety of Cheerios you should offer your chin as well as everything else you need to know as an owner.
We have also put these 5 foods in a table that contains their most relevant nutritional data.
This will help you decide which one of these treat foods you want to add to your chins diet on occasion.
Check out the table here…
Nutritional Information (Treats For Chinchillas)
|Water||56.66 g||85.56 g||89.63 g||87.71 g||5.13 g|
|Energy||1.62 Kcal||52 kcal||35 kcal||36 kcal||376 kcal|
|Protein||1.6 g||0.26 g||2.92 g||2.97 g||12.09 g|
|Fat||0.34 g||0.17 g||1.49 g||0.79 g||6.73 g|
|Carbohydrate||38.22 g||13.81 g||4.42 g||6.33 g||73.23 g|
|Fibre||24.1 g||2.4 g||4.1 g||3.3 g||9.4 g|
|Sugar||2.58 g||10.39 g||0.99 g||0.85 g||4.36 g|
|Calcium||169 mg||6 mg||254 mg||138 mg||401 mg|
|Phosphorus||61 mg||11 mg||55 mg||58 mg||481 mg|
|Sodium||4 mg||1 mg||53 mg||56 mg||497 mg|
|Vitamin C||436 mg||4.6 mg||93.4 mg||133 mg||21.6 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.076 mg||0.041 mg||0.147 mg||0.09 mg||2.39 mg|
|vitamin A RAE||217 µg||3 µg||241 µg||421 µg||990 µg|
|vitamin A IU||4345 IU||N/A||4812 IU||8424 IU||N/A|
|Carotene (BETA)||2350 µg||27 µg||2873 µg||5054 µg||0 µg|
|Vitamin E||5.84 mg||0 mg||0.66 mg||0.75 mg||0.65 mg|
|Vitamin K||25.7 µg||2.2 µg||389.6 µg||1640 µg||1.8 µg|