Have you been considering adopting a chinchilla? Good for you! These little guys make very cute and lovable pets. However, chinchillas do have different care needs than other pets, so it’s important for you to do some research before adopting one. A Covington, GA vet discusses basic chinchilla care in this article.
Chinchillas are very sociable, and will often get lonely and depressed without any buddies. We recommend getting at least two. Just be sure to keep only same-sex pairs together.
Chinchillas are very small, rarely growing over a foot long. They typically weigh under two pounds, and are usually very timid and shy. However, chinchillas actually do have long lifespans, and can live up to 20 years. Make sure you are ready to care for your furry buddy for his entire lifespan!
Your chinchillas will need a clean, comfortable cage, one that is more tall than wide. Pick something with a solid bottom, multiple floors, and bars or mesh spaced no more than a half-inch apart. Chinchillas can get very sick if they overheat, so you’ll need to keep your pets in a room that never goes above 80 °F. The ideal temperature is right around 68 °F.
Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate. Aspen is a good option. Avoid pine and cedar products, as they are toxic to small animals. Your chinchillas will also require hidey-holes, dishes, a water bottle, and a dust bath. Be sure to give your playful pets some fun toys to play with, such as tunnels, wooden blocks and ladders, and the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls. Climbing branches are another must. Offer only safe woods, such as apple, pear, hazelnut, or sycamore. As for cleaning, you’ll need to remove waste and uneaten food daily, and clean and disinfect the cage regularly. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Good nutrition is very important! Your little buddies will need lots of water and fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. You can give your pets commercial food for their main meals. Your chinchillas will also require certain supplements and some safe, suitable treats, such as rose hips, nuts, dried fruit, and blackberry leaves. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations, including portion sizes and safe snacks.
Do you have questions about chinchilla care? Contact us, your Covington, GA pet hospital, today!