Posts Tagged Care for Chinchillas

Chinchilla Care

Chinchillas are among the affable animals that require proper care. They need to be handled with great care and gentleness as they are very delicate and frail. Here are some tips that can help you in handling and taking care of your pet chinchillas.

  • When lifting your chinchilla, it is important to do it gently. First, slide your hand under its belly and put your other hand on top of the chinchilla. Make it feel secure by using the hand under the chin to hold its hind legs and bum. Never hold your pet too tightly however keep in mind that they can be fidgety, therefore hold them firmly. Remember never squeeze them particularly around the upper chest. This is because they have a ‘floating ribcage’ and your careless handling can result in severe internal injuries to your pet chinchilla.
  • Generally, using no soap or chemicals is advised. However, you can mix a small quantity of bleach with the hot water and swish it around the cage’s plastic pan and then clean it thoroughly with hot water and then let it air dry. This is a good way to kill most of the bacteria that can be harmful for your pet.
  • Give your pet a dust bath for 10 to 15 minutes anywhere from daily to twice a week. Remember excessive dust bathing will result in dryness, whereas scanty will result in building up of oils in their coats, resulting in a disfiguring and deadly fungus to grow on their skin.
  • Since chinchillas are extremely active animals, therefore they require proper opportunity to exercise every day. For this, provide them an exercise wheel that has a solid surface and is not made of wire or mesh, which can entangle their feet. When letting your chinchillas out of the cage for supervised play time, it must be in a small, chinchilla proof room. This is important because chinchillas can jump many feet in the air and can easily squeeze through little spaces. They can also gnaw on furniture, wires, and anything they can get their teeth on.
  • In order to maintain their dental health, give them something to chew on. Since their teeth can grow up to 12 inches per year, it is suggested to buy a special block of wood or pumice stone for your pet to chew on.
  • Since chinchillas overheat easily, therefore keep them cool. They cannot live temperatures over 75 Fahrenheit or below 50 Fahrenheit. It is recommended to keep their cage in a cool room with proper air circulation.

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Chinchilla Habitat

It is necessary to take specialconsideration before buying a chinchilla. A few general considerations include facts such as chinchillas are nocturnal and are mostly active at night. They do not do well around young kids as they have fragile bones that can be easily broken by a handling of a young kid. These animals can live up to 20 years. Keeping in view these facts, consider the following guidelines when placing your chinchillas.

    • Away from humidity
    • Not close to drafty areas
    • Away from direct sunlight
    • Proper air circulation without blowing directly on them
    • Away from a heat source
    • Protected from outside intruders
    • Temperatures not over 80 degrees Fahrenheit in hot weather and not below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in cold weather.

Chinchillas like to live in a nice, clean cage with good air circulation. A very large cage is not necessary as they do not need a lot of exercise. Some guidelines have been made for minimum cage size, which are as under:

  • 2200 cubic inches for breeders
  • 1500 cubic inches for a single chinchilla
  • 1 square foot of floor space or 8 cubic feet of room space per chinchilla

Having enough space for chinchillas will allow them to exercise easily and stay healthy. Although larger cages are good, however ensure that cages are safe for chinchillas. Chinchillas are excellent jumpers and do not need ramps, however if you want to have ramps in their cages then they should be made of a solid material because chinchilla’s small feet can easily get caught in wire ramps. Select a wired cage instead of wooden cage as chinchillas can chew the wood easily.

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