Chinchillas can benefit from exposure to certain flowers, plants, and trees in their environment. When selecting botanicals for your chinchilla habitat, be sure to only choose those that are safe for them to nibble on or be around.
- Dried flowers – Chinchillas enjoy nibbling on dried flowers as an occasional treat. Roses, hibiscus, chamomile, lavender, and calendula are all safe options. Remove any thorns or hard flower pieces first. Give dried flowers sparingly.
- Fresh herbs – Fresh sprigs of herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, and mint can be offered a few times per week. Herbs provide new textures and flavors for enrichment. Rotate herbs to keep things interesting. Always wash herbs thoroughly before serving.
- Willow sticks – Providing willow sticks gives chinchillas something natural to chew on to wear down constantly growing teeth. Look for pesticide-free willow or apple tree branches. Bake sticks at 200°F for 20 mins to remove bacteria before use.
- Pine shavings – Pine shavings are a common bedding material used for chinchilla cages. Ensure shavings come from kiln-dried pine, not cedar, which can be toxic. Change soiled shavings frequently to keep odors at bay.
- Timothy hay – Chinchillas need constant access to grass hays like timothy for digestion and dental health. Mix in other hays like oat and brome occasionally. Place hay in litter boxes and hangers to encourage natural grazing.
Providing an array of safe, natural plants and botanicals creates a healthy, engaging environment for pet chinchillas. Always research any new plants thoroughly before introducing them to your chin’s habitat. With proper selections, botanicals can be a nutritious supplement to a chinchilla’s diet and lifestyle.