Like humans, chinchillas need water. Their water should be fresh and changed daily. This is crucial because if this is not followed, bacteria can grow and it would affect the chinchilla's health. It's not a good idea to have them drink from standing water in a bowl. They'll be sure to catch bacteria that way. Also, they may accidentally tip the bowl over and then you have a wet mess. A preferred vehicle for drinking water would be a water bottle. The bottle should be placed on the side of the animal's cage.
If you do use a water bottle, it should be cleaned thoroughly to avoid any germs or bacteria. Clean the entire bottle with hot water and have another one on stand-by. The chinchilla will drink the water more if nothing has been added to it. So, if you want your pet to drink plenty of water, it should stay as it is.
Since a pet chinchilla is special to their owner, it's not surprising that they would want to reward their animal with a treat. However, the owner must know that this can only be done in moderation. Too many of these can cause the animal's sensitive digestive system to go out of whack. Not only will they gain weight, their lifespan would be short-lived.
If you're going to give your chinchilla treat, give them raisins. This is something that chinchillas love to eat. They should only be given three to four raisins a week. If the chinchilla is a baby or a young one, half a chinchilla will do. Dried fruit, without sulfite preservatives, is fine. Examples of this are a blueberry, a grape or a tiny apple slice. If your chinchilla has diarrhea, you can give them wheat (spoon shredded size) or rolled oats minus the preservatives. Raw, black oil sunflower seeds that are used for feeding birds are good for the animal's outer coat. You should not feed your animal cabbage, corn or lettuce. These would be heavy on the digestive system.
When feeding them, the treats should be fed separately from anything else, including pellets. If you mix them, they will not eat the pellets and just go for the treats instead. If you give them something to gnaw on, let it be white pine or apple wood. These wood types are good for their teeth and won't cause damage. Pine boards can also serve as a bottom platform for a chinchilla's feet when they're walking on a wire mesh material in their cage. Any other type of wood may not be suitable for them.
Stay away from cedar, plum, plywood, cherry, fir, spruce and any other wood that can be harmful to their teeth. If you're not sure which wood type is good for them and which isn't, check your local pet store. They can assist you with your animal's needs.
If you have a young or expectant chinchilla, their diet will have to be altered from the normal regimen. If you're not sure on what to feed them, check with your veterinarian or chinchilla breeder to get more information. As you get acclimated to what your chinchilla needs, they can be assured of an uneventful and healthy lifestyle.