Posts Tagged Chinchillas Care

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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Choosing Chinchillas as Pets

Like any other pet animal, it is necessary to take special consideration before buying a chinchilla in order to ensure that this animal is the right pet for you. Some of the important considerations include the following:

  • Chinchillas are nocturnal and thus most active during the night.
  • Since they have fragile bones that can be easily broken by the handling of young kids, therefore, keep your pets away from them.
  • Although chinchillas are generally very friendly and social however they must not be over-handled.
  • Their excrement smells really bad, hence ensure to clean out the cage and change the bedding daily.
  • These animals can live up to 20 years; therefore, you need to be ready to commit to take care of this animal for the whole duration of its life.
  • Always buy your chinchilla from a highly regarded breeder. The majority of breeders offer you to return your pet animal if you find any difficulty in taking care of it properly.

A list of things that you will need in order to keep your chinchillas happy and healthy is as follows:

  • A large cage
  • Chinchilla food (without treats added in it)
  • You can also use dry, uncooked, unflavored oatmeal to mix in with the dry food for a treat, or if your pet is having a stomach trouble.
  • Timothy hay
  • Chew toy
  • Wheel
  • Chinchilla unscented dust bath
  • Water bottle and food dish
  • Kiln dried shavings as bedding
  • Wooden, cardboard, and soft material houses
  • A nice place to have your chinchilla get exercise
  • Love and proper attention

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Toys for Chinchillas

It is not necessary to have toys in the cage of Chinchilla, however if you want to place toys in it, you need to ensure that they are safe to use.

When buying wheels for Chinchillas, make sure that they are large enough so that your pet Chinchilla does not have to run in an unnatural way. They should have a smooth running surface and should not have crossbars. It is better to closely watch your pet that uses wheels because they may become fixated and have difficulty in maintaining their body weight.

When selecting toys for your pet, you need to ensure that they are made with safe woods and other materials that are not harmful when ingested. Also, since Chinchillas overheat easily, therefore avoid putting them in the plastic balls used for hamsters.

Chinchillas like to hide, and if you give them some hiding places in their cage, they will love it. For this purpose, you can use a large coffee can or a small glass goldfish tank. Also, you can build small wooden houses for them.

Many owners give their pet Chinchillas some time to spend outside their cage. These animals are very inquisitive and feel the need to investigate everything, such as chair legs and electrical wires. Therefore, it is important to allow your Chinchilla to run loose in a limited area that has been cleared of electric cords and other harmful things.

Always keep an eye on them and remember that over exercise can result in lose body weight, inhibiting breeding.

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