Learn How to Properly Take Care of a Pet Chinchilla
Chinchillas originally come from South America by the Andes mountain range. In the early 1900’s they were mainly used for fur trading. They didn’t become popular as pets until the 1960’s. There are two different species of chinchillas, brevicaudata and laniger. Brevicaudata is the species that is most often kept by people. This animal still isn’t all that popular as a pet but its popularity is growing.
Chinchillas get to be about eight inches long and four inches tall. They have very long tails, big ears, and large eyes. Their beautiful, soft coat comes in many colors such as gray, black, ebony, velvet, white, beige, sapphire, violet, and mosaic. Mosaic is a blend of colors.
If you get a chinchilla, it needs to be conditioned to human contact at a very young age so that it will get used to people. If you handle them a lot, they will be very social and lovable.
Chinchillas need to have pine or spruce shavings in their cage for bedding. Do not use cedar or redwood shavings because these can be very harmful for them. Also be sure that the bedding you get is not chemically treated.
There are several commercial pellet diets that are made specifically for chinchillas. These diets are formulated to provide the correct nutrition that your pet needs. In addition to these pellets, you can also give apples, carrots, or celery as treats. They should only be fed about two or three tablespoons of food each day. If you feed them too much then they will get fat and won’t live as long. Fresh water should also be available to them at all times. Water bottles work better than bowls because they cannot be tipped over and don’t get dirty.
The minimum cage size for chinchillas is 30 inches long by 29 inches wide by 18 inches tall. Try to get a large cage so that your chinchilla will be happy. Make sure you put a hiding house in the cage so they can have some privacy. They will also need to have things to chew on in the cage so their teeth get filed down. Chinchillas’ teeth never stop growing so this is very important. The cage and all accessories need to be cleaned once a week.
Chinchillas need to take dust baths twice a week. This will remove excess oils and moisture from them. The dust is readily available at most pet stores. You can reuse the dust until it gets clumpy. If you have a female that gives birth, be sure that you don’t let her have a dust bath for three weeks after she gives birth. When you watch your chinchilla take a dust bath, it will be very entertaining to watch!
Chinchillas are practically odorless and don’t get fleas or other parasites! However, they can be prone to getting heat stroke, loss of appetite, male penis complications, and overgrown teeth.
Make sure you learn as much as you can about chinchillas before you get one. They make wonderful pets if you care for them properly and spend lots of time with them. They will even form strong bonds with their owners!