Well assorted pet stores will have pellets available that are manufactured specifically for chinchillas. You can also order chinchilla pellets online.
Feeding chinchillas pellets only is not recommended; they should also be given hay to provide them with more roughage and encourage them to chew more (to wear down their teeth). The cage should ideally contain a hay rack, where the hay can be kept away from the bottom of the cage where it would more easily get contaminated.
Alfalfa hay and timothy hay are two popular choices.
Chinchillas love treats, but can get sick of they get too much of them, especially if the treats are very rich in nutrients and low in fiber.
Examples of popular treats:
- Fresh and dried fruit
- Rose hips
- Dandelion leaves
Mineral blocks for chinchillas are available that will both provide the animal with extra minerals and help wear down its teeth a bit.
Depending on the diet, your chinchilla might need extra vitamin C. Liquid vitamin C is available that can be put into the drinking water. This is another reason to use a bottle instead of a water bowl; with a bottle, you will now that the enriched water has actually been consumed and not just splashed out over the cage floor.
Chinchillas should always have access to water. A stoppered water bottle attached to the side of the cage is better than a water bowl, since water in a bowl can easily get contaminated and splashed out water can make the bedding wet.
Chinchillas eat their own feces. This is a type of coprophagy, and it is a natural behavior that allow chinchillas to extract more nutrients from their food. In essence, they digest their food twice. Also, some research indicate that intestinal bacteria present in the intestines of healthy chinchillas can produce vitamins B and K, and by eating its own feces the chinchilla gets a second change to absorb these vitamins.
Chinchillas in captivity should be allowed to carry out coprophagy just like chinchillas in the wild. It is natural and important for the animal, and it is not sign of malnutrition or any other disorder.