How to Care for Chinchilla

Chinchillas make great pets and can live about 20 years if they are treated and taken care well. Here are some important ways of taking care of pet Chinchillas.

Housing:

Chinchillas require plenty of space to move around therefore, its cage should be large enough to accommodate a pair of chinchillas. Never keep these creatures in a glass cage or aquarium as there is less air circulation in these types of cages. The ideal cage size is 2 x 2 x 3 feet.

Since chinchillas have small feet that can easily be caught in big spacing screen of the cage, therefore choose the flooring that has almost 1.5 by 1.5 inch spacing. Also, provide them with solid surfaces on which they can sit comfortably. Wooden shelves, made of wood such as pine, poplar, apple, and aspen, are best for this purpose. Never leave any plastic or cloth item in the cage as chinchillas are in habit of chewing everything. Provide them plenty of toys for playing and chewing.

Temperature:

Chinchillas are very sensitive to temperature, and cannot be kept in temperatures above 75 F. Keeping them in temperatures over 75 F will overheat them, and if they are not cooled down immediately, they can die. It is advisable to keep terra cotta pots or marble tiles in the freezer for emergency situations so that you can treat your pet in time. For those who live where temperature gets over 75 F, it becomes compulsory to have air conditioning when owning a Chinchilla.

Diet:

Feed your Chinchilla a diet of Alfalfa and Timothy hay along with high quality Chinchilla pellets. Do not give them treats frequently. In wild, Chinchillas used to eat varied diet, and cannot properly digest too many treats. However, if you want to give your pet treats, then only give one treat twice or thrice a week. The treats should not be larger than the size of a raisin.

When it comes to water, do not give Chinchillas tap water. Instead, give them filtered or purified water. This is important because Chinchillas are prone to certain things, such as Giardia, in tap water. Giardia can cause severe diarrhea and it should be treated by a veterinarian. It is also important to change the water on daily basis to keep your pet healthy.

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