March 29, 2023 by Umair Shahid
Are you a pet owner of a chinchilla? Now, you have noted a sudden increase in your pet’s weight. Yes, chinchillas can get fat and there are various reasons behind it. These reasons include fatty foods, lack of exercise, gut problems and your Chinchilla can also gain weight because of genetics.
These pets also get larger as they grew up and when these pets get fully mature then they increase in size and weight. These pets are not naturally fat. Most little chins are chubby and most have thick fur.
These pets sometimes suffer from some health issues and if they don’t eat the correct diet they can end up gaining weight. It’s compulsory to feed these pets the correct food, or they can quickly become overweight
Can Chinchillas get fat?
In this article, I am going to explain all your queries. So, if you’re willing to know why your chinchilla is getting fat? What you can do to help them control their weight, then you are on the right platform.
Moreover, I will tell you what is the normal weight of this pet. How you can reduce their weight and what does an overweight chin look like?
Reasons for Chinchilla Getting Fat
- Eating Habits.
Chinchillas require a diet high in fibers. continuously eating hay does not play a role in gaining weight.
Chinchillas require a lot of hay all the time to survive. Hay is low in protein and fat and continuously chewing hay helps them to maintain the length of their continuously growing teeth. Then what causes them to gain weight? Here we go with the reason,
The overweight issues in these pets are caused by eating other foods such as fruits and vegetables and not eating enough hay.
I would recommend that nuts and seeds are not suitable for these pets because in seeds and nuts, there is a lot of sugar and fattening elements so, should not be given to the little chins.
Nuts and seeds also contain vitamins and minerals and these are high in calories that can be the reason for gaining weight.
Don’t give sweet treats frequently. Pet owners should give their little chins a minimal amount of fruit as it is high in sugar.
Some pet owners also give human food to their chinchillas like potato chips. This is not recommended at all. Timothy hay and pellets are highly recommended for these little chins. You should also avoid pellets that contain nuts and seeds.
In addition to this, they can gain weight because of health issues. One disease condition can be fatty liver disease.
2. Lack of Exercise.
Exercise is the most important part of our life as humans and pets. Exercise needs to stay healthy and strong.
These pets are physically very active. If your pet cage is very small, they might have a hard time being themselves.
When your pet lives in a cage, then it is most important that your pet should get the opportunity to exercise.
And the exercise wheel is important to be present in your pet’s cage. And the exercise wheel should not be large because little chins don’t love to run on a large wheel and this can also cause an injury to your pet.
If you notice that your little chin is barely moving, this could be one of the biggest issues behind weight gain. If your little chin is not active and it refuses to play then you should consult a vet.
3. Gut Problems.
Little chins can experience a condition called gastrointestinal stasis and it is also called simply stasis. This condition causes the passage of food through the intestinal tract to slow down than usual. This condition blocks the gut of the little chin.
A poor diet also causes gut issues. If your little chin is suffering from any type of gut problem then there is a high possibility of gaining weight. This overweight condition can be caused by poor diet, and as a result, the little chin temporarily gains weight and size.
If they are not eating a lot of hay than usual then this can also be the reason for the gut problems in the little chins.
The most likely symptom is that they stop eating. And you notice that your little chin is going to the toilet limited times and its pellets are smaller. As an alternative, your little chin may have Diarrhoea and you must consult a vet in this case.
There are different signs of stasis. These pets will stop eating hay. Pellets will be smaller and diarrhea may occur.
These pets become bloated as food and gas are stored in their stomach and gut. This doesn’t cause the actual weight gain because the chinchilla’s fat stores are not affected by bloating but when you check the weight of your little chin you may find out that there are some extra pounds.
Weight gain during pregnancy.
If you have a female little chin and it is overweight then you should not worry because it is due to pregnancy.
Female little chin gains weight quickly around the 48th day of gestation. But still, you have to visit your veterinarian.
How to reduce the weight of your overweight pet?
If your little chin is overweight then you should consult a vet and the vet would recommend you one of two solutions. Either your little chin should eat fewer calories or it should burn more calories.
Avoid fatty food
The only way through which your little chin gains weight is if you continuously give them the wrong foods. If these pets eat a lot of fruits and other pet food, for example, nuts and seeds. This would lead it to increase in size.
Your little chin diet should be at least 80% hay and 20% fresh vegetables. These are low in protein and fat.
If your little chin eats too many fresh vegetables, losing weight is not possible, and maybe diarrhea also occurs.
Consult To A Vet.
You should visit a vet and he would help you to identify why your little chin is overweight. The vet will see your little chin and will explain the reason for its gain weight, for example, diarrhea, or illness. They can also tell you how to help your little chin lose weight.
Once your little pet loses some weight you can ask the vet if it is becoming healthy or not. Keep visiting the veterinarian because too much weight loss can also be dangerous for your pet. Your goal should be to maintain your ideal weight.
Exercise reduces calories. So if your little chin gets fat, exercise is a good way to reduce it. There are several ways in which your little chin can exercise. The first one is that u have to provide exercise wheels in your pet’s cage so that they can jump up and down as they love jumping.
And another way is that these pets sometimes don’t feel comfortable in the cage so you should allow them to go outside of the cage. But no matter how your pet exercise, it is good for its health in any way.
Monitor Its Weight
You must check the weight of your pets regularly because you should know whether your efforts are working or not. It is easy to check the weight of your pet if you have all the equipment available.
Take a bowl and weigh your chin by placing it in that bowl. if your little chin doesn’t want to sit in a bowl then you have to use a cardboard box to weigh it. And another method to notice the weight changes is that you should write little chins weight in a book. Update the book daily with your pet’s weight to monitor its weight changes.
Once your little chin lost too much weight and you want it to be back again in a healthy life. You don’t have to worry about its underweight. You have to provide a good diet and regular exercise to your pet then your pet will be back again with a healthy and strong life.
Ideal Weight Of A Little Chin.
The ideal weight of a little chin ranges from 400g to 1000g or above. Different factors that can affect the weight of your pet include activity level, breed, age, and genetics.
The two most popular breeds of little chins are long-tailed chinchilla and short-tailed chinchilla. And the big difference between them is due to genetic factors.
The ideal weight of young little chins with short tails ranges between 370-490g and the long tail species have an ideal weight between 1.1kg-1.4kg because they are thicker in the neck and shoulder.
Gender also affects the weight of little chins because the females are larger. As usual when these pets are fully mature their size and weight increase.
Check To Find Rolls Of Fat.
If you notice the rolls of fat in your little chin’s body now you are curious how to check whether your little chin is overweight or not.
First of all, you have to lie your pet on a plain surface and raise its armpit with your index finger. The rolls of fat will be present in their axilla if they are overweight.
Appearance Of Overweight Chinchilla.
It is not easy to find whether a little chin is overweight or not. They have thick dense fur that’s why they look like overweight pets.
What human food can Chinchillas eat?
Chinchillas can eat carrots, kale, lettuce, turnip greens, parsley, and collard greens. Moreover, they can also eat fruits like pears, strawberries, pears, apples, and bananas. You have to chop these vegetables and fruits before giving them to the chinchilla.
Don’t forget that frequent treats of these human foods to your pets will result in weight gain of your pet.
How can you tell if your chinchilla is underweight?
Chinchillas also come in different sizes and colors, a small adult pet can be just like a large adult pet. Adult chinchillas can weigh from 400 grams to 1000 grams or more. The way to know if your pet is overweight is to gently feel around their backbone and ribs.
What changes occur in the behavior of overweight chinchillas?
As chinchillas have dense fur so it is quite difficult to tell if your pet is gaining weight or not. Common signs include that chinchillas show a lack of interest in playing and jumping despite their active and smart nature.
Moreover, they refuse to use the exercise wheel. In addition to this, lethargy is a good indication that your chinchilla is gaining weight.
Like humans, chinchillas can also get fat and there are various reasons which include a poor diet, lack of exercise, gut problems, and genetics.
A poor diet can be the major cause of weight gain in these pets. These pets should have a diet that contains a major portion of hay in their diet.
If their pet owners give them sweet treats frequently it can be led to weight gain and several other problems. Moreover, if your pet’s cage is not spacious and it doesn’t find any space for playing and jumping, weight gain can also occur.
To lose weight off your overweight chinchilla, the first thing you have to do is to provide them with a healthy diet that is devoid of fats and sugars.
Moreover, you have to provide them with exercise wheels on which they can exercise. Exercise wheels should be of the right size neither too large nor too small.
You have to provide them with a large spacious cage and if their cage is not large enough then don’t close them in a cage. You should provide them some time outside the cage too.
Intestinal diseases can also be the reason for weight gain. The ideal weight of little chinchillas ranges from 400 grams to 1000 grams and the ideal weight of mature ones ranges from 1.1 kg to 1.4 kg.
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.