How to Care for a Pet Chinchilla
A chinchilla can be a great pet. However, as with all pets, you should make sure that you know how to take care of a chinchilla before you adopt one from Chinchilla Care Group. You should be aware of the amount of work that a chinchilla causes, how much it will cost to care for and feed, and whether or not you can take care of your chinchilla in a way that will allow it to flourish and be happy. This article will look at what you need to know about having a pet chinchilla
Chinchilla Care: Background
Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains of South America. They tend to be a crepuscular animal, which means that they are active at dawn and dusk. This means that chinchillas tend to do better in homes without young children, or in locations where they can sleep during the day without being disturbed. Chinchillas have small bones, which can be easily damaged by rough handling. Chinchillas have very dense fur, and they do not sweat. This means that they can overheat easily. They should be kept indoors in temperatures preferably under 75 degrees, but definitely under 80 degrees. A chinchilla that gets too hot may suffer from heatstroke. Red ears are a sign that your chinchilla is overheated.
Chinchilla Care: Cages
Chinchillas need a large metal or wooden cage. Glass cages will be too hot and cause overheating. The cage needs to be lined with bedding that needs to be changed once per week or more. Do not use cedar. Carefresh animal litter is ideal. It is a recycled newspaper. It does not smell or make as much mess as wood shavings. You should have a dust bath in your chinchilla cage.
Chinchilla Care: Food and Water
To care for your chinchilla properly, you need to buy special chinchilla food. You can give them this with hay. They need fresh food daily. An occasional snack can be given, such as a raisin or peanut. Since chinchillas live on a low nutrient diet in the wild, excessive treats can be very harmful. Make sure everyone knows the rules. One treat per family member per day is probably too much. Chinchillas need fresh water daily.
Chinchilla Care: Teeth
Chinchillas are avid chewers. Instead of treats, give them branches and wood blocks to chew. This makes them very happy and gives them something to do. There are many safe kinds of wood for chinchillas. These include apple, pine, Manzanita, ash, willow, poplar. Wood from stone fruit trees should be avoided, such as citrus woods. Cedar, plywood, and treated woods are also to be avoided. Chinchillas will chew everything, so keep that in mind when you add things to their cage.
Chinchilla Care: Exercise
Chinchillas need exercise. Exercise balls are a bad idea because your chinchilla will get too hot inside and can overheat. I tend to let me chinchilla out by opening her cage and letting her run around a single room. If you coincide this with the time that you clean the cage and refill the food and water, your chinchilla will eventually learn a routine and go back in their cage on their own. I would put a single raisin in the food bowl for them.
These are a few tips that you should be aware of if you want to have a pet chinchilla. Chinchillas are very sweet animals and can be very tame if they are handled frequently and gently when they are young. Remember that a pet is a responsibility, and you should not get one unless you are willing to take care of it and make sure that it is happy.