Read About Choosing Chinchillas

Choosing chinchillas as loving and playful pets can be truly rewarding. Chinchillas are fun, playful animals but keep in mind that they are naturally nocturnal. When choosing chinchillas it is important to understand their habitat, grooming and feeding needs, as well as how to select a healthy animal.

Chinchillas live around fifteen years, on average, although some may live as long as 18 to 20 years or more. This is an important consideration when choosing chinchillas as pets. You should also consider the climate where you live and average temperatures in your area, since chinchillas are susceptible to heat stroke and should not be exposed to temperatures above 75 degrees for any length of time. Plan to keep your chinchilla’s cage out of direct sunlight, to avoid overheating.

Make sure you have the proper space and habitat when choosing chinchillas. Chinchillas need plenty of room to move, so a wire cage that has at least 2 square feet of floor space is needed. Chinchillas also love to climb, so the taller the cage, the better. Avoid plastic parts; chinchillas are avid chewers and will very quickly destroy anything made of plastic. One of the ways chinchillas groom themselves in by rolling around in a dust bath. This is a heavy ceramic or glass bowl that is a little larger than the chinchilla and filled with fine sand especially intended for a dust bath.

Chinchillas should be fed specially-formulated pellet food, along with some loose hay (be sure the hay is pesticide free). Food bowls must be heavy ceramic crocks, to prevent the chinchilla from tipping them. Hopper feeders that attach to the side of the cage work very well, too. Water bottles should be glass, since a chinchilla will eat through a plastic water bottle.

Choosing chinchillas that are healthy and will make good pets means following some simple guidelines. Look for animals with full, firm bodies. A chinchilla that is very skinny may have feeding or other health issues, while an animal that is clearly overweight may soon develop health problems. The chinchilla’s coat should be smooth and lustrous, with no bare patches or a dull appearance. Choose a chinchilla with clear, bright eyes, and be on guard for any animals with runny discharge from their noses or eyes. Watch the chinchillas interact with one another, to get an idea of each animal’s personality when choosing chinchillas. Look for chinchillas that appear friendly, curious and eager, and avoid those that are overly aggressive or submissive, as well as those that appear lethargic.