Guides Pets

How to Chinchilla Care

So you have bought a Chinchilla? Chinchillas are fun and playful pets to have in your home. So what do you need for a Chinchilla? Well, there are many things you can buy for your new Chinchilla, but there are some basic things a Chinchilla requires to keep it healthy and alive!

HOUSING:

The first thing you will need to buy is a cage, big enough (no smaller than 3x3x3)for the Chinchilla to be able to get daily exercise, a two or three-level wire cage is best, they love to climb and jump. If you want to know why you need a big one then you should click on the link given here. Make sure the bottom of the cage is at least partly solid instead of all wire because the chinchilla’s feet will get sore from standing on the wire all the time. The second item you will need is some bedding or litter for the bottom of the cage for the Chinchilla to sleep in and poop and ( pee) which they like to pick a certain corner to do that. The bedding or litter needs to be made out of white pine, aspen, or Carefresh adding a 1-inch layer in the bottom every time you change it. The bedding or litter should be changed at least once a week. DO NOT EVER use cedar bedding or litter, because it contains phenols that are too strong for the Chinchilla and can cause serious health issues, such as skin irritation and breathing problems.

DIET:

The third thing you will need is some food for the Chinchilla. There are many brands to choose from, but as long as you get a kind that is made special for a Chinchilla that is a pellet form and not allots of treats added(anything that does not look like a pellet is a treat) will be fine. In addition to the pellet food, the Chinchilla needs Timothy hay and you can also offer weekly fresh vegetables and fruits to your Chinchilla, such as carrots, apple raisins, and banana’s once or twice a weak is enough. To many treats can make them sick. The Fourth thing you will need is a water bottle. If your cage did not come with a water bottle then you will need to but one. I suggest a glass because if you get a plastic one and the edge of the bottle is in chewing range the Chinchilla will chew it. I also recommend not using tap water and buying purified or distilled water from the store, because some water from the tap can contain harmful things to a Chinchilla.

HYGIENE:

The Fifth thing that is vital to a Chinchilla is taking a dust bath. This helps keep their coats clean and shiny. You will need to buy special dust made from volcanic ash. Just pour a cup or two of this dust in a med size plastic dishpan, place the Chinchilla in the pan and watch your Chinchilla roll, they love to roll and dig in this stuff and they are fun to watch them take a bath. The dust can be messy so make sure to do it where it is easy to clean up after the Chinchilla is finished Allow 10-15 min twice a week, no more than that or it will dry out their skin. The most common dust brands are Kaytee, Blue Cloud, and Blue Sparkle. When you see someone’s teeth and they are yellowish-orange and you atomically think wow they need a good cleaning, but with Chinchilla, this is very normal. this means they have enough calcium in their body.

If the Chinchilla’s teeth are a pale yellow then it will need an extra form of calcium. you can buy drops to add to their water. Chinchilla’s teeth also need to be filed down and they can do this by themselves by chewing on things, you should get some wooden chew toys or sticks and supply them in the cage. Make sure that the wood is safe for Chinchilla’s and not have been treated with harmful chemicals. Chinchilla can shed their fur like cats and dogs. You can reduce the amount of shedding but brushing your chinchilla once a day with a wire slicker brush. Just start from the head and work down to the tail.

There are some brands of dust that are scented but do not use theses with scents added in. Chinchillas are sensitive and these can cause respiratory problems.

These are the basic things needed for a Chinchilla, but here are some other things that are also factors to consider:

Chinchilla’s need lots of exercises. The safest way is for you to interact with them in a quite room and supervised. NEVER leave them untanned, they can get into many different things that can harm them. If you use the bath room for the Chinchilla to exercise in close the toilet lid because the Chinchilla can jump in the toilet and drown. Make sure that the room is safe to allow your Chinchilla to roam around such as no electric wires down where the Chinchilla can chew them, also make sure there are not any other harmful items they can chew. Chinchillas love to climb and jump, but they also can be hurt if they climb up something and jump too far, make sure that the room has no high places to jump from. Another form of great exercise for a Chinchilla is a running wheel in their cage. Please NEVER put a Chinchilla in one of those plastic balls you see in pet stores. They can cause Chinchilla harm, such as heat strokes( a chinchilla must be in temperature not higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and because the ball is made of plastic and heats up easily when the Chinchilla pees in it), broken toes. Many Chinchilla has died in these exercise balls. Another good thing to add to the cage is a hiding area since Chinchilla is nocturnal(sleep all day, up all night). A wooden log that has been approved for a Chinchilla that has not been treated, makes a great place or a plastic igloo that you can find at the pest store. One good thing to buy when you purchase your Chinchilla is a care book or guide on them, it will answer allot of questions and concerns. All of the items mentioned in this article can be found out at most pet stores.

Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig is a freelance writer, content writer, blogger, and also a photographer. She graduated from the University of Caloocan in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.

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