Have you ever heard of Chinchillas? Chinchillas are small rodents and have been gaining popularity among households in the United States. This species formerly originated from some areas of South America. Chinchillas are commonly kept as pets by many as they are small, intelligent, and friendly animals. Just like any other pets, chinchillas require special care and treatment too for their health. Chinchillas can be wonderful pets but if you haven’t had a chinchilla before and this is your first time, then you need to do extensive research. However, not everyone would be able to keep this creature as a pet as you cannot expect them to behave or cuddle just like cats or dogs. Chinchilla pets become friendly to their owners and enjoy their time but most of the time, they also prefer staying alone.
Chinchilla’s Behavior and Temperament
Chinchillas are famous for their nocturnal nature which makes them active at night. A term called “crepuscular” is used for chinchillas which means they are more active during dawn and dusk. Chinchilla pets love a similar routine daily and if there is a slight change in the routine, it makes them stressed. If you are feeding them and playing with them regularly, then they are the most adorable and active creatures you have ever seen. Also, it is very important to keep them at a temperature that is suitable for them. They love warm temperatures more than cool temperatures. You have to make sure that the cage they are put in, does not become overheated.
Furthermore, they are very playful and love to do their daily routine exercise. As soon as you bring a chinchilla to its new home, make sure to give him some time until it gets used to the new environment. Some chinchillas like to be held and some do not. Let them explore a bit for some time until you set up a routine for your new pet. Just like any other pet, you also need to be calm and patient with chinchillas as they have a shy nature. In addition to that, this little creature loves to chew on things and jump around. To fulfill his need to chew on things, it is important to bring him a variety of toys to keep them active and busy.
Chinchilla pets love when they have their favorite things in their cages such as blocks of wood or branches of a tree. Make sure the branches and wood are free of any pesticides. Furthermore, it is better if the toys do not have any small plastic parts as they would be dangerous for a chinchilla.
Chinchilla rodents are famous for having wheels for their exercise routine. You might have seen in cartoons or TV shows that a chinchilla always has a wheel in his cage. It is recommended to introduce the exercise wheel at a young age so that they make up a habit of running and stay healthy. The wheel should be of a standard size of at least 15 inches. If the wheel is too small, then it won’t be suitable for an adult chinchilla. The whole room should be kept chinchilla-proof so that they do not chew on electric wires or anything that is dangerous for them.
How much does a Chinchilla cost?
Before buying a chinchilla, you should have knowledge about how much a chinchilla cost including the cost of its cage, food, and other necessary things. The estimated amount in the first year is between $600 and $1200. This is just an estimated amount it may vary of course. Over time, you will know exactly what things including food and other maintenance necessities you would be needing for your pet.
When you want to buy a chinchilla, keep in mind that it would cost you at least $200 or more as this species is not cheap. While getting yourself a chinchilla, it is better if you do not compromise the health of your pet. You should not be seeking the cheapest chinchilla as those might be unhealthy or sick unless you want to get one purpose and give him proper health care. Make sure you are in contact with a trusted breeder or pet center if you want to get a pet chinchilla, especially for the first time.
Some people believe that it is not a good idea to purchase a chinchilla from a pet shop as mostly they are not taken care of and have health issues. Make sure to bring a healthy chinchilla to your home. Furthermore, your new pet chinchilla would need certain basic necessities to live a healthy life. Some of the basic things mentioned before that you need to take care of your pet
Chinchilla Cage Cost
Do not compromise on the quality of the cage. If you want your chinchilla to live a long and healthy life, then it is important for you to get him a spacious cage so that they can jump around whenever they want. A safe and comfortable environment is what your pet chinchilla wants. For a top-quality cage, you need to spend at least $100 or more for the safety of your chinchilla. It is a little investment that will give you a long-term benefits and care for your pet chinchilla. Make sure the chinchilla cage has a secluded area where your chinchilla can hide when he is feeling stressed.
Dust Bath for your pet Chinchilla
If you have done your research then you must know that a dust bath for a chinchilla is a must. Chinchillas love to bathe in the dust as it is their favorite activity, unlike other animals that take a bath in water. Their love for rolling in the dust keeps them healthy and their coat clean. A dust container would cost you only around $15.
Food & Water Containers
Food and water are long-term investments that you will have to make at least every month. Besides that, chinchillas do have special needs when it comes to their food & water containers. They love to chew on plastic material stuff so it is better to avoid using plastic containers for your pet. Furthermore, the perfect food for a chinchilla is a mixture of pellets and hay. It is necessary to clean food and water containers regularly to avoid any health issues. It is better to spend on a good-quality bowl rather than regretting later.
Bed or Hammock for a Chinchilla
As chinchillas are quite active creatures so they prefer sleeping just for a bit but their bed is an important part of their cage. You can either go for buying a standard bed for your chinchilla or a hammock. The reason chinchillas love hammock is because they find shelter and get some alone time. It does not necessarily mean that you have to buy a hammock for your chinchilla.
You can also go for another best option which is putting a pet bed at the bottom of the cage. A standard bed size would be perfect or you can also use some fluffy and soft towels down as a bed. It is better not to change the chinchilla’s bed as they get used to the one that is put initially. What you can do is make sure to wash it regularly to avoid any health issues for your chinchilla. Cleanliness is important when it comes to keeping any pet breed. The investment in a chinchilla’s bed is only around $20 or a bit more. Make sure you keep the environment clean and safe for your little bud.
If you ever feel like taking your pet chinchilla outside of the house, we recommend you to get a carrier. A carrier will also help you a lot with your trips to the vet. Instead of carrying your pet in your hands, with a risk of losing him, it is better to get a good-quality carrier. It is just a one-time investment that will help you for a long time. You will find a carrier for around $20 or more, that will last for a lifetime.
Chinchilla’s Exercise Wheel
The chinchilla’s exercise wheel is also one of the most important parts of the cage as it is needed to keep your pet healthy and active. This energetic creature needs a wheel to wave off his energy which is why you need to choose the best-sized exercise wheel. The wheel should not be made up of plastic as the chinchilla would start chewing on it. Although it would cost you around $100 or more, you need a high-quality wheel for your pet chinchilla.
How long does a Chinchilla live?
An average chinchilla’s lifespan is between 8 and 10 years. Keeping them in captivity would increase their life up to 15 to 20 years. The lifespan also depends on the type and breed of a chinchilla. It is better to have knowledge about the lifespan of your chinchilla. It helps you to make important decisions including medical treatment, daily care, etc. If you want your chinchilla to live much longer, you need to know about some important strategies and regular health care. The longest a chinchilla survived was around 30 years.
Chinchilla needs a protected and relaxing environment so that they do not suffer from any stress. They like the same routine and a slight change makes them paranoid. Nutrition matters a lot too. They require good-quality pellet food to stay healthy. It is important to make sure that the food pellet does not contain any fillers e.g. dried fruits, seeds, etc. Furthermore, make sure the cage has hay in it as chinchillas are hay addicts. Their food pellet can also be mixed with some hay to make them a perfect meal. As mentioned earlier, chinchillas love to chew on toys and require a lot of exercises. In addition to that, make sure you are keeping their cage clean and also their bedding.
Common Health Conditions in Chinchillas
Chinchillas can suffer from chronic diseases if not provided with proper care. The common health conditions as mentioned below:
If you see a bite wound on your pet then you need to take him to the vet. If you have more than one pet at home, then chances are the chinchilla can get hurt. The wound should be treated as soon as possible before it gets worse.
Your pet chinchilla can get affected by a humid environment, the presence of other infected pets, or poor ventilation. The symptoms that can grab your attention include discharge from the nose or eyes, lack of appetite, breathing difficulty, etc. Even if you see your chinchilla does not seem active, take him to the vet just to be sure.
Overgrowth of Teeth
Chinchillas have a tendency to overgrow their teeth. As soon as there is aligning of teeth with each other, there is no need to worry. When there is no aligning of teeth then the chinchilla suffers a lot, especially during eating. It is important to provide your pet with as much hay as you can. Overgrown teeth may also cut the teeth or cause drooling which causes a lack of appetite in your pet chinchilla.
Your pet chinchilla may suffer from skin or fur problems which means that you need to take care of his diet. Take your chinchilla to the vet as soon as you see unhealthy fur, patches, hair loss, or any other symptom.
Final Thoughts on Chinchillas
If you want a small pet with a longer lifespan, then a chinchilla is the best option for you. Just make sure you have done extensive research before getting a chinchilla for yourself. If you are a beginner, then it is important to talk to someone with experience. Getting a chinchilla is quite an investment but you need to make sure that you keep him healthy and comfortable. Chinchillas are very intelligent and nocturnal creatures. They are very friendly with the owners. You will find different categories of chinchillas with a variety of colors and patterns. They have become very popular amongst United States households. Along with doing your research before getting a chinchilla, you should be in contact with a small animal veterinarian for health care and treatment. You should clearly know what your chinchilla looks like as they are prone to getting sick or stressed.
Chinchilla has a shy nature and is more active at night, especially at dusk and dawn. They like to live in a large and spacious cage with exercise wheels and tunnels for entertainment. Make sure you take some time out to play with your pet chinchilla as he likes his owner’s affection. Last but not least, regular vet visits are important. If you see any unusual behavior or symptom, take your chinchilla to the vet right away! We hope this complete chinchilla guide was helpful to you. So have you decided to get a pet chinchilla yet? Also, check out 3 Best Pet Lizard Beginners Guide