June 20, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Have you bought your first chinchilla? Now you’re curious about their caring. Then, give this article a read and I will clear all your doubts.
Chinchillas are unique rodents therefore they need some extra care and attention for their well-being. You can do so by providing them with good habitat, food, and temperature and by handling them gently.
Many other points are necessary for their caring which I have written later in this article. But before moving toward that point you should be well educated and should have all knowledge of chinchilla caring.
If you’re looking for all the aspects that you should have to keep in mind while caring for your pet, then there is a brief description of all those points. Are you excited?
But before going toward that point, Now I am going to tell you another pro of having a pet, a Chinchilla. Chinchillas are great pets if you want a lifelong commitment because their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years. So, you should have set all the necessities for the chinchilla accordingly.
How to take care of a Chinchilla
So here are the points through which you can take the best possible care of your chinchilla.
Food is essential for the well-being of every alive creature. So, for proper care of your chinchilla, the first and most important thing is to provide them with a healthy and proper diet.
Provide them hay all the time
Like many other rodents, chinchilla’s teeth grow continuously so they need something to chew all the time. Provide them a constant supply of hay all the time so that they can chew it and it may help them to avoid overgrowth of their teeth.
Provide special quality hay in a bowl or loose on the bottom of the chinchilla’s cage. Hay gives necessary fiber to the chinchilla. Chinchillas always require a high-fiber diet.
Provide them pellets daily
Like fibers, vitamins and nutrients are also essential for the proper functioning of chinchillas. Choose the best quality pellet and give it to the chinchilla in portions.
Place the pellets in a clean dish, if not it is necessary for their health to give them food in a clean container. Mostly the adult chinchillas eat 2 ml of pellets daily. The exact amount depends upon the type of pellets given.
Give them treat infrequently
Chinchillas have sweet teeth that’s why giving them treats frequently can be led to several health problems. Other snacks or sweet items can cause digestive problems. The food items which are safe for chinchilla’s treats are rose petals, blueberry, safe wood chew sticks, oats, and apples.
Keep in mind whether these treats are safe or not don’t give them these items frequently or in large doses. These should be given in very small portions and only one or two times per week.
Don’t give fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, or other nuts which are not safe for your little chins.
Change the drinking water daily.
Chinchilla’s immune system cannot combat some bacteria and other microorganisms. So, their hygiene is very important for their health. They cannot handle some parasites or algae or other microorganisms in the water so the water given to them must be clean.
Use filtered water or at least dust and chemical-free tap water. Place this clean water in a water bottle with a sipper connected to the water bottle and one end is connected to the inside of the cage.
Daily clean the water in the bottle. And most importantly don’t forget that water should be always present in the water bottle. The second thing you have to keep in mind is to sterilize the water bottle regularly before changing the water, even when water is already present.
Otherwise, if the algae grow in the water bottle it can be led to severe diarrhea as well as other liver problems. Even your chinchilla pet can die.
Providing the suitable environment
Chinchillas are unique rodents that live up high in the mountains and have very thick fur which minimizes heat loss under extreme cold weather conditions. So, if you keep them in a warm or humid environment they can die because of heatstroke.
Keep your pet in a cold environment
Chinchillas have thick and dense fur which minimizes heat loss from their Body. If you are living in a hot environment then make sure that the cage of your little chin is placed in a cool environment otherwise your pet can die soon. Place their cage in a place where there are a lot of airflows and where the sunlight doesn’t fall directly on the cage.
Chinchillas cannot survive in a warm environment, so it’s ideal to keep them in a cool environment.
They cannot bear a temperature greater than 80°F. Above this, the chinchilla will die because of heatstroke. Also, don’t place them in a humid environment this can cause too much discomfort to the pet.
Remove soiled hay and litterbox daily
It is very important to keep your little chins in a safe environment so that animal doesn’t get a disease. Pick up the old bedding where chinchilla or micturate its waste. Clean that bedding daily and place the new and clean one. Keep the bottom of the cage also clean so that the pet chinchilla remains clean.
Wash the cage with hot water regularly
The place where your soft rodent lives must be cleaned regularly. In addition to the cleanliness of water pots and food dishes, the cage should be also clean.
Use hot water to wash the cage regularly and then air dry it. This method is best for killing most of the bacteria which can harm your chinchilla.
No soaps, chemicals, bleaches, or any other irritants should be used to wash the cage because these chemicals can even harm your pet. If you are owning more than one chinchilla then their cage should be washed more than once a week.
In addition to hygienic measures which are no doubt very important for the well-being of your pet, there are some other things that if disturbed can cause very adverse effects on the health of Chinchillas.
Always give something chewable to your little chins
Like other rodents, chinchilla’s teeth also grow continuously so they should always have something chewable.
To avoid overgrowth, purchase some branches of wood or hay but the branches should not be from the trees with chemicals or the trees sprayed with various insecticides.
This is an important measure for the dental health of your pet and to avoid overgrowth of teeth.
Appletree branches are a much safer option.
Chinchillas dust baths
Water can harm chinchillas so badly that they can die because of various infections of the skin or because of humidity. They have very dense and thick fur which when got wet cannot dry soon and can it can even be led to the formation of molds.
Chinchillas bathe in sand or a special type of dust available in pet stores which absorbs all the moisture from the skin and helps your pet to clean themselves. Avoid too much bathing in the sand because it can also cause dryness of the skin.
A regular check-up by a veterinarian
You should always keep an eye on the general health of your chinchilla. You should watch out for the signs of illness if any then consult the veterinarian as soon as possible. Assess the behavior and routine habits of your pet. Also, check the energy levels of your rodent. In case of any changing, you should consult with the vet.
Provide a spacious cage
Chinchillas are very active and smart creatures, so the larger the cage the better is their health. Chinchillas love to jump, roll over and flip in the air so tall cages should be the preferable ones. Glass cages are not good for chinchillas because it limits the flow of air which can suffocate your pet.
Cages should not be of any material which has chemicals or any other irritants because their chewable nature can cause them to bite on cage wires which can harm them.
The cage should have hard and plain bottom
A chinchilla loves to jump so if it jumps on an irregular surface, his feet can get strangled in cage wires, or at least he can get severe cuts. Most importantly the bottom of the cage should be removable so that you can clean it regularly without hesitation.
Handle chinchillas gently and slowly
Chinchillas are very smart creatures. If they are handled from their birth, they can be very tame and relaxing. They are friendly but they don’t love to be overhandled. If you pick them up abruptly and suddenly they can even bite you or they will be got frightened from handling.
To handle them, you should understand their cues and determine what they want. If they don’t want you to grab them then don’t force them. Adult chinchillas need extensive training before handling them properly.
Can chinchillas survive in a hot environment?
No, chinchillas require a cool environment for their good health. They have dense fur which minimizes heat loss. In a hot environment, chinchilla can die because of heatstroke. Temperature greater than 80°F is unbearable for chinchilla rodents.
How many treats you should give to your pet?
Chinchillas have sweet teeth and excess treatment can cause severe digestive problems as well as other diseases. Treat should be given infrequently and not more than once or twice a week.
Can chinchillas bath with water?
Water baths are not for chinchillas. Water can harm chinchillas so badly that they can die because of various infections of the skin or because of humidity.
They have very dense and thick fur which when got wet cannot dry soon and can it can even be led to the formation of molds.
Chinchillas bathe in sand or a special type of dust available in pet stores which absorbs all the moisture from the skin and helps your pet to clean themselves
Chinchillas are very unique pets and taking care of this pet is not that much easy. But if you are well educated and have gained all the important knowledge of taking care of chinchilla then I would recommend you to adopt a chinchilla.
Chinchillas require a special cool environment because they cannot survive in hot environments. Their cage should be spacious and clean. It should be washed regularly.
The bedding at the bottom of the cage should also get cleaned daily. Water, pellets, and hay are important foods. Too many treats can cause digestive problems.
Moreover, chinchillas should always have something chewable for their dental health. There should be a medical check-up once a year.
If there are any signs of illness or change in daily activities of your chinchilla or the energy level of your pet is down then you should consult a veterinarian.
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.