Last Modified

March 13, 2023 by Umair Shahid

We have always seen cats and dogs getting along. You imagine the same with your chin. You may be curious if chinchillas can play with dogs or be around dogs in general.  Stop! No, chinchillas should not play with dogs. That’s not a good idea.

We all know that chinchillas are the prey animals whereas dogs are the predators. Chinchillas have a unique behavior and they need a separate safe space where they can come out of their cage and should not play with the dogs or other predator animals in the household to avoid injuries, stress, and even death.

While that doesn’t mean your dog will immediately attack your chinchilla, it does mean that the risk will always be present. If your chinchilla saw your dog and tried to run from it, for example, that quick running motion away could trigger your dog’s chasing instinct.

When the dog catches the chinchilla, it could kill it. This is called the prey drive. That applies to any dog, no matter how well-behaved they typically are. So, we don’t recommend keeping both chinchilla and dog together in the house or letting them play together.

You may have many questions regarding the chinchillas and dogs as a pet in the same house. Don’t worry! Just dig a little deeper and get your thoughts clear.

Can chinchillas play with dogs:

No! No! No! Here I will explain to you some of the reasons that dogs and chinchillas can play together.

Dogs are predators and chinchillas are prey:

We all know that dogs are predators and chinchillas are prey by nature. So, it’s never a good idea to let them play together or have them together in the same house. Now, this doesn’t mean that your dog would immediately lunge at your chin and try to devour it. 

It just means that it might. And this applies to all kinds of dogs.

No matter how well behaved you think your canine is, it is still a predator at heart. And all it takes for a canine to go after prey is not much.

So to be safe, you have to keep your chin as far away from any dog as possible. 

Dogs can stress chinchillas:

We’ve said a lot about the reaction dogs may have to chinchilla— but what of the reaction a chinchilla may have to a dog? We all know that chinchillas have stronger emotions and have evolved a striking reaction to the predators like dogs.

So, it has been observed that allowing your chinchillas to play with your dog can cause to condition known as overheating. The more stressed and scared it gets, the more likely they are to overheat.  And let me be straightforward with you that it can be fatal too.

So when your chin sets your eye on a dog, don’t be surprised if it immediately finds somewhere safe to hide. Hanging around predators greatly increases the stress levels of chins, so don’t be surprised if your chin starts acting erratically because a dog is around. 

Dogs are naturally curious:

Let me tell you another reason why dogs never go along with the chinchillas. Let me tell you why it is impossible. Dogs are naturally curious animals and are way bigger than chinchillas.

Dogs are rather inquisitive and will put their big wet snouts in everything— and don’t assume they won’t do this with your chinchilla. This can be bad news for your chin because of its small size and relatively brittle bones. 

Even if your dog doesn’t try to bite your chin’s head off, it may try to play rough with it, and injure it in the process.

That’s surely something you wouldn’t want. 

Introduction of chinchillas to dogs:

If you ask me I will recommend you never introduce your chinchilla to your dog. If you have both pets in the house, keep them apart and set different playtimes for both.

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But if your dog hears your chinchillas squeaking or running around, it won’t know what’s going on and could get agitated or start barking. That’s just the nature of dogs.

If you still wanted to do an introduction for a certain breed of dog, Just follow these guidelines of Vet experts:

When you decided to introduce them place your chinchilla inside the cage, it is the safest option. It is recommended to only ever introduce your dog to your chinchillas after they have been for a walk or have exercised together. 

This will stop it from being too overactive during the introduction.  Make sure to keep your dog on a leash during the introduction period. So, you can control any kind of situation.

Once you have introduced your dog to chinchillas, still don’t assume that they will then be safe in the same room.

Keep in mind that some bond of friendship is impossible.

Even after the introduction of the dogs, it is imperative that you closely watch as your chinchilla and dog play together. It is a good idea to only allow 10 minutes or so of playtime on any given day. This will help to keep your chinchilla from getting overwhelmed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What breeds of dogs get along well with chinchillas?

Though this is a tricky question, following breed canine owners had a good experience. And we have the reason for it.

The Labrador retriever:  Labs are known for their protective and calm nature. So, their actual prey drive is relatively low, and get along with other animals and people when trained.

The Great Pyrenees: These dogs have a calm nature and get along with the other animals because they don’t bark much so, don’t stress your little chinchillas.

Japanese Chin: These Japanese chins don’t have the prey drive. It has been observed that they would probably leave the chinchillas alone. This small breed will be less likely to intermediate a chinchilla.

Can chinchillas play with other animals?

Chinchillas can play but within the scheduled timetable. Make sure that your chinchillas are kept away from other animals during the daytime as they are nocturnal creatures, so they need peace during daylight hours. It is recommended to never allow larger pets to play with chinchillas. Even if the other animal means well, they could injure your chinchillas during play.

Final Verdict:

In a nutshell, allowing your dog to play with chinchilla is never appreciated. No matter how friendly they are, it can cause certain accidental injuries during the play session. Certain canines can traumatize your little furry friend, especially the larger breed.

If you have any small kittens at home, you can try letting them play together.

But before letting them play together in your home, you’ll need to slowly introduce them to each other. When they do play together, keep a close eye on both of them and let them play for a very shorter period of time.

You can consider alternative ways to let your furry friend play, such as a dust bath or many other different types of toys available in the market to play with.

Thank you for reading the article. Hopefully, after reading this article you get to know about the interaction between dogs and chinchillas and their behavior.  Don’t forget to share your experience with introducing your dogs to your chinchilla.

Your response will be appreciated.


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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