November 28, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Are you finding out which diet is safe for your pet? It is quite challenging and you should double-check every food before giving it to your pet. The short answer to your question about tomatoes is a big No.
Tomatoes are too acidic and these are very harmful to your pet’s health. So, your pet cannot eat tomato plants, vines, or leaves even. These plants’ stalks are also poisonous to chinchillas. Tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable.
Tomatoes are not a proper diet for Chinchillas. So, you should avoid giving them tomatoes.
Still, if you want to give tomatoes to your little chins, don’t give them beyond their needs. It can be very injurious to their health. They can eat different types of vegetables and fruits as a snack but this can’t be the regular diet of your pet.
If you want your pet to be healthy, then keep in mind that tomatoes are too acidic to be handled by a chinchilla’s digestive system. These acidic foods can cause neurological as well as digestive problems in them.
Nutritional value of tomatoes
First of all, you should keep in mind that tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables. They belong to the nightshade family, that’s why they are poisonous to Chinchilla. Even their leaves are not suitable for your pet.
Tomatoes contain 3.9 grams of carbs, 2.6 grams of sugar, 1.2 grams of fiber, and 0.2 grams of fat. It contains a high amount of 237 mg of phosphorus.
So, from these values, you can easily find out that tomatoes contain sugar and phosphorus. Sugar when given in excess amount can lead to several digestive problems. Furthermore, too much phosphorus can cause brittle bones in them. Tomatoes are too acidic for Chinchilla’s stomach and intestines.
Effects of eating tomatoes on Chinchilla’s health
As a vet, I know well that Chinchillas digest their food quickly and the uric acid they excrete is rapidly processed by their kidneys. But if you give tomatoes regularly to your pet, high phosphorus content in them will start depositing in Chinchilla’s urinary tract and will lead to the formation of kidney or bladder stones.
Just like humans, it is a very painful condition and your pet might die if this condition remains untreated. High phosphorus content in tomatoes would also cause brittle bones in your pet.
Amount of tomatoes safe for chins
In addition to phosphorus, sugar, and acids, Chinchillas also contain a high amount of fats. This makes tomatoes extremely unhealthy for your pet. But still, if you want to give them tomatoes then I would suggest you give them only a few slices of tomato.
Try to feed them in small portions. A high amount can lead to extreme gastric disturbances. In addition to this, you have to use tomatoes as a snack. Don’t dare to use tomatoes as a primary food as it is too acidic to be handled by your stomach.
Give tomatoes to your chin in a moderate amount and only once a week. You can give tomatoes with their routine food, this won’t cause many issues. But still, it is not beneficial and I would not recommend you to give tomatoes to your pet.
Tomatoes with hay
Mixing tomatoes with hay is not a good option. You should keep their diet pure as their primary diet is hay which is high in fiber. Adding unnecessary sugars and acids to their diet would cause problems.
When it comes to eating, fruit is bad for Chinchillas. Hay with too much sugar and calcium can lead to bloating and kidney stones. Although, it is not a good idea to feed them fruit daily mixing tomatoes or tomato juice with hay occasionally wouldn’t cause major problems.
Tomatoes are not vegetables, these are fruits. Tomatoes are rich in phosphorus, calcium, and naturally occurring acids. These factors make tomatoes highly acidic for your pet’s digestive system.
If tomatoes are consumed in a great amount, it can lead to brittle bones for your pet because of the high phosphorus content. In addition to this, your Chinchilla would face digestive problems, either slight or severe.
I would not recommend you to give tomatoes to your pet at all. Eradication of this fruit from your pet’s diet is the best option. But still, if you desire to give them tomatoes then don’t give them frequently. Furthermore, tomatoes more than once a week should be avoided.
Tomatoes with hay are not a good option. You should keep your pet’s diet pure. But rarely, you can add tomatoes or tomato juice to your Chinchilla’s daily diet.
In case, you have given many tomatoes to your pet or you have given tomatoes on daily basis and now your pet is not feeling well, then you should consult your vet immediately.
What other fruits are not safe for Chinchilla?
In addition to tomatoes, chinchillas shouldn’t eat bananas, peanuts, watermelon, and sunflower seeds. This list is not exhaustive, still, if you have any doubt regarding any particular food, you can ask your pet’s vet.
Why are tomatoes acidic?
Tomatoes are highly acidic that can’t be digested easily by your chin. Tomatoes are acidic because they contain three naturally occurring acids namely malic acid, citric acid, and ascorbic acid( Vitamin C).
What are the effects of eating tomatoes on Chinchilla’s health?
Too much consumption of tomatoes by your Chinchilla can cause a high acidity level in their digestive system. They may experience burning in their digestive tube but unfortunately, they can’t explain it by their tongue.
In addition to this, too much phosphorus and calcium will lead to the formation of kidney stones. Bladder stones are also common in such instances. These conditions, if remain untreated for a long time, can be fatal.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.