A healthy diet for chipmunks
For your pet chipmunk to stay happy and healthy, a full and varied diet of cereals, fruits, nuts and vegetables is essential, as is sufficient hydration.
Access to fresh clean drinking water from a drinking bottle with a stainless steel spout will provide the necessary hydration for your chipmunk. Bottles need checking twice a day for any leaks and/or blockages and to keep on top of refills.
What do chipmunks eat?
When feeding your chipmunks, their diet should consist of up to 50% cereals (oats, wheat, barley, corn and millet sprays). You can also give unsalted nuts such as pine nuts. Small amounts of washed, chopped fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, bananas, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, bean sprouts, and tomatoes are also welcomed by these small animals and add extra variety to their diet.
If you choose to offer fruits such as peaches and plums, it's important to take time to remove the stones before providing them to your chipmunk as these are poisonous. Untreated seeding grasses and weeds such as chickweed, seedling dock, and shepherd’s purse are also potentially yummy and safe options for your chipmunks.
We also advise that while pellets manufactured for rats and mice can be given to chipmunks, a seed-based rodent diet is not suitable for a chipmunk.
A clean cuttlefish bone will provide a good source of calcium, while gnawing helps wear down a chipmunk’s teeth which grow continuously throughout their life. Wearing down and keeping teeth to the correct length and shape is important as are regular opportunities to chew and gnaw.
Are my chipmunks eating the right diet?
Checking that your chipmunks are eating and drinking as normal every day and that they’re passing plenty of dry droppings is an important chipmunk health test. Try to monitor the amount (and type) of food that your chipmunk eats, and also how much they are drinking.
If your chipmunk’s eating or drinking habits change, or the number or size of droppings gets smaller or stops, we would advise that you talk to your vet as they could be ill. Generally, chipmunks produce two kinds of droppings – hard dry pellets, and softer moist pellets that they eat directly from their bottom. These are actually an essential part of their diet!
If you decide to adjust your chipmunk’s diet for better health, great! Although we always advise avoiding sudden changes to your pet’s diet as this could upset your chipmunk’s digestive system and make them ill, which is best avoided! Speak to your vet for more detailed advice on gradually transitioning your chipmunks onto a healthier diet.
Do chipmunks store food?
Chipmunks like to store food and this is actually essential to their wellbeing. In the wild, chipmunks actively store food in a private larder to consume later and so this behaviour is natural to chipmunks. Ideally, it’s best to check your chipmunk’s food store daily and to remove any food that is going mouldy.