Have you ever wondered whether your adorable degu can chow down on chinchilla food? Pets bring joy and responsibility, especially regarding their dietary needs. As a devoted pet owner, ensuring your furry friend’s health and happiness is a top priority. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of degus and chinchillas, exploring their dietary requirements and the potential for cross-food consumption.

Chinchilla Food Composition

Chinchilla food is meticulously crafted to cater to the specific nutritional needs of chinchillas. It usually comprises high-fiber pellets and quality hay. The ingredients are selected to suit the delicate digestive systems of chinchillas, emphasizing their need for fiber to prevent gastrointestinal issues.

Comparing Degu and Chinchilla Diets

While both degus and chinchillas share similar dietary preferences for high-fiber foods, their nutritional needs might differ. Chinchilla food is formulated specifically for chinchillas and may contain higher concentrations of certain nutrients tailored exclusively to their needs. However, the question arises whether these concentrations align with the dietary requirements of degus.

AspectDegu DietChinchilla Diet
HayHigh-quality grass hay (timothy hay, meadow hay)High-quality grass hay (timothy hay, orchard grass)
PelletsChinchilla pellets with no added sugars or treatsChinchilla pellets with no added sugars or treats
Fresh VegetablesLimited amounts of fresh vegetables (e.g., kale, celery, carrots)Limited amounts of fresh vegetables (e.g., kale, celery, carrots)
FruitsOccasional small amounts of fruits (e.g., apple, pear)Limited amounts of fruits (e.g., apple, pear)
ProteinLimited protein sources (e.g., hay, alfalfa pellets)Limited protein sources (e.g., hay, alfalfa pellets)
TreatsOccasional treats like sunflower seeds or nutsOccasional treats like dried fruits or plain oats
WaterFresh, clean water available at all timesFresh, clean water available at all times
Mineral ChewsProvide mineral chews for dental healthProvide mineral chews for dental health
SupplementsVitamin and mineral supplements if recommended by a vetVitamin and mineral supplements if recommended by a vet
Comparing Degu and Chinchilla Diets

Alternatives and Recommendations for Degus

For optimal degu nutrition, relying solely on chinchilla food might not be advisable. Instead, a balanced diet consisting of hay, high-quality degu pellets, and various fresh vegetables is recommended. 

These elements provide the necessary nutrients crucial for a degu overall health. Opting for a diet specifically formulated for degus ensures they receive the right balance of nutrients and fiber essential for their well-being.

Are Degus and Chinchillas Similar?

Regarding small pets, degus and chinchillas often find themselves in the same conversation. Both are adorable, furry creatures that captivate animal lovers’ hearts. But are their dietary needs alike?

Degus and Chinchilla Food Compatibility

While both chinchillas and degus have similar dietary preferences, their nutritional requirements might be different. Chinchilla food typically contains more specific nutrients tailored exclusively for chinchillas.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of degu eat chinchilla food


  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced activity levels
  • Changes in stool consistency
  • Signs of dental issues (overgrown teeth)
  • Dull or unkempt fur
  • Behavioral changes (agitation, hiding)


  • Physical examination for signs of malnutrition or dental problems
  • Review of diet history (chinchilla food consumption)
  • Blood tests to check for nutritional deficiencies
  • Dental examination to assess teeth condition


  • Switch to appropriate degu-specific food, rich in essential nutrients and lower in calcium compared to chinchilla food.
  • Provide supplements as prescribed by the vet to address any deficiencies.
  • Trim overgrown teeth and provide appropriate chewing material to prevent future dental issues.
  • Regular check-ups to evaluate progress and make further adjustments as needed.

Always consult a veterinarian for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans


  • Nutritional Similarities: Chinchilla food shares some nutritional similarities with the dietary needs of degus, primarily in terms of fiber content, which is essential for digestive health.
  • Convenience: Chinchilla food might offer convenience for degu owners as it’s readily available in pet stores, potentially saving time in sourcing specific degu-specific food.
  • Taste Preference: Some degus might enjoy the taste of chinchilla food, making introducing certain nutrients into their diet easier.
  • Nutrient Enrichment: Chinchilla food might contain added vitamins and minerals beneficial for degus, offering a broader spectrum of nutrients.
  • Cost Efficiency: In some cases, chinchilla food could be more cost-effective than specialized degu food, providing a seemingly budget-friendly alternative.


  • Nutritional Imbalance: Chinchilla food is formulated for chinchillas’ specific needs, potentially lacking certain nutrients essential for degus, leading to nutritional imbalances.
  • Digestive Issues: Due to the differences in digestive systems, feeding degus chinchilla food might lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating or diarrhea.
  • Health Complications: Prolonged consumption of chinchilla food by degus might result in health issues, affecting their overall well-being and longevity.
  • Dental Problems: Chinchilla food might not adequately cater to degus’ dental needs, potentially leading to dental issues or overgrown teeth.
  • Limited Variety: Relying solely on chinchilla food restricts the variety in a degus diet, potentially depriving them of essential nutrients in a more diverse range of foods.

Related topics:

  1. Can Degus Eat Guinea Pig Food

FAQs About Can Degus eat chinchilla food

Can degus eat chinchilla food in a pinch?

Technically, yes, degus can nibble on some chinchilla pellets. Both animals have similar dietary needs – high in fiber and low in sugar and fat. However, it’s not ideal as a regular meal.

Why isn’t chinchilla food perfect for degus?

Chinchilla pellets often contain higher protein and lower calorie content than a degu’s optimal diet. This imbalance can lead to weight loss or nutritional deficiencies in degus.

What’s the difference in their ideal diets?

Degus need more fiber and lower protein than chinchillas. Their natural diet is grass hay, fresh leafy greens, and specific degu pellets with precise nutrient ratios.

So, chinchilla food as a treat?

Occasional nibbles are okay, but limit them to a teaspoon or two. Opt for plain, uncolored pellets free from added sugars or dried fruits.

Are there safer treatment options for degus?

Absolutely! Offer fresh herbs like dandelion leaves, parsley, or cilantro. Unsweetened nut pastes (almond, hazelnut) in tiny amounts are also good alternatives.

Can I mix degu and chinchilla food?

It’s not recommended. Degus might selectively pick out the parts they prefer, disrupting their nutritional balance. Stick to separate menus for each critter.

What if my degu accidentally ate a lot of chinchilla food?

Monitor for any digestive issues like diarrhea or lack of appetite. If worried, consult your veterinarian.

Where can I find specific degu food?

Look for pellet mixes specially formulated for degus in pet stores or online retailers. Consult your vet for recommended brands and dietary guidance.

Can chinchillas eat degu food?

While the reverse isn’t ideal, occasional nibbles of degu pellets won’t harm chinchillas. However, their primary diet should focus on chinchilla-specific pellets and hay.

Is there anything else I should know about feeding my degus?

Variety is key! Offer a diverse diet of hay, pellets, veggies, and occasional safe treats. Remember, moderation is crucial to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.