The answer is yes, for the right person. Before you decide to get a chinchilla as a pet, make sure you do your research. Find out all about chinchillas before you choose to bring one home. You must also factor in your lifestyle. Will it fit with a chinchilla?
Let’s look at the characteristics of this cute, fuzzy rodent. Chinchillas are crepuscular creatures. This means they are the most active at dawn and dusk. They can be somewhat nocturnal as well. During this time, they are quite active and playful. Chinchillas should be kept in a quiet area during the day.
Chinchillas that were given gentle handling when young make the best pets and can bond closely to their person. Some chinchillas may still not like to be held or cuddled even with the work done to acclimatize them to human touch.
Chinchillas can live up to twenty years. This is a long time for a rodent. They are large like guinea pigs rather than the size of gerbils. They can grow up to nineteen inches long and weigh up to three pounds.
Chinchillas eat a diet of Timothy hay. Timothy hay is available in grass form and in pellets. Having both the loose hay and pellets on hand is a good idea. There are also some quality treats out there for Chinchillas. You must make sure your chinchilla has a high-quality diet because they have sensitive digestive systems, and this is essential to their health.
Food dishes and water bottles should be glass or other material your chinchilla can’t chew. If you must buy plastic, be sure to keep careful watch and if you notice they have gnawed these items replace them right away.
Chinchillas need to chew. Chinchilla teeth grow continuously and must keep them ground down, or problems can arise. There are many toys for Chinchillas that meet the required toughness for them to chew and keep their teeth ground down.
Another essential factor in chinchilla care is the dust bath. Chinchillas don’t bathe in water. They dust in volcanic ash in their natural home in the Andes mountains. There are several dust bathhouses online you can buy to place chinchilla dust in for your pet to bathe. There is a great article here at Chinchilla Corner about dust bath houses. Always purchase quality dust made especially for your chinchilla to bathe in.
The minimum size of a cage for a single chinchilla is 36in or 91cm by 24in or 61cm by 24in or 61cm. When housing more than one chinchilla, make sure your cage has two square feet of floor space per animal. Chinchillas can jump up to six feet. You may want to have an extra-large, tall cage for your chinchilla so that they have space to do what they naturally do.
Adding shelves and ledges give them places to jump to and climb while active. Also, if your cage has a wire floor, you will want to line the floor with wood so that the wires don’t hurt your chinchilla’s feet.
Where Should I Purchase My Chinchilla?
It’s not the best idea to buy your chinchilla at a pet store. You should probably avoid them. Pet stores are in the business to make money. Their pets aren’t always healthy, and they aren’t taken care of like they should when in the pet store waiting to be purchased and taken home.
Reputable chinchilla breeders and chinchilla rescues are your best bet. Good breeders will make sure you are getting a healthy, acclimatized, chinchilla. They will usually have your chinchilla vaccinated and checked by a vet to be sure of health. Rescues make an effort to nurse neglected chinchillas back to excellent health, and any behavior problems are sorted out or at least noted for potential adoptive chinchilla parents. The Chinchilla Club is a chinchilla breeder directory you can check out for reputable breeders. Do your homework and research any you choose.
Who is the Best Type of Person for a Chinchilla?
By now you should know if you are the type of person that could take care of and give a chinchilla the right home. Some people, even if they can care for a chinchilla, may not be able to have them. Though most people aren’t allergic to chinchillas themselves, they may have reactions to the Timothy hay, or the dust used to for them to bathe in. That’s not to say there aren’t ways around them, but allergies could be a deterrent.
People who are gone on trips for business or otherwise a lot might reconsider a chinchilla. They might not need much care during the day, and your day job wouldn’t be an issue. They do need care and supervising and can’t be left alone for long periods. Chinchillas aren’t ideal for small children. They can squeeze a chinchilla too tight when they hold them. Chinchillas are skittish. Young kids may want to chase a chinchilla that tries to run and hide. It’s best if you don’t buy a chinchilla for a young child.
Chinchillas do make good pets for the right person. If you are willing to spend the money and time, it takes to give the care these cute, furry rodents need there shouldn’t be a problem. Be prepared for the fact your chinchilla may live up to twenty years. Are you in it for the duration? Be sure of this decision. If you’re confident of those things, you are an excellent choice for a chinchilla parent.
Do you have a chinchilla? how do you find chinchilla ownership?
Let me know in the comments section below?