This page covers the most important care information and bits of advice that every new chinchilla owner wants to know.
Chinchilla Care Facts
There are amazing chinchilla facts that could affect your decision when choosing a pet.
Chinchilla Life Span
These rabbit-like animals have the longest lifespan compared to the other members of a rodent family. Chinchillas could live up to 20 years. For example, a rabbit pet lives no more than 10 years, a Guinea pig – 5 years while gerbils have a lifespan of only two years.
The routine is very important for rodent pets and helps the owner to build a closer relationship with his small fluffy pet. Choose the same time of day for exercising and feeding. Try to give the chinchilla food and hay in the cage early in the morning and then in the evening after the playtime. Give it a treat such as a nut or resin at the same time in the day – for example, you could reward them when they come back to the cage after exercising time. Once you have done this a few times, your chinch will expect a prize every time when its playtime outside the cage ends. Let your chinchilla clean itself with a dust bath 3 times a week. The best time for the dust bath is in the afternoon or evening when your rabbit-like pet is more active. See more about how to adapt to your pet’s daily schedule.
Monitoring chinchilla droppings could be an effective early detection of any health issues. A healthy fluffy pet drops about 200 solid, oval and black feces daily without any smell. If they become smelly or mushy, that means your chinchilla has digestion problems. If the droppings are light brown and round, check the bottled water – it might be dirty or empty. Smaller dropping may indicate that you should give more food to your pet.
Once you have chosen a chinchilla as a pet, you have to know that its teeth never stop growing. Everyday care includes providing wood toys, sticks and pumice stones. Chewing things not only entertain chinchillas but also maintain their teeth healthy. All 20 teeth of your chinchilla should be straight. To prevent teeth overgrowing and curving backward, supply your pet with chew toys and treats.
Chinchilla Care Tips
If you are a new chinchilla owner you probably do not know how to take care of your new pet.
How to Teach a Chinchilla to Use a Toilet?
Sounds unbelievable, but it is possible to teach your messy pet to use a special chinchilla toilet or litter bowl. Spreading poops all over the cage floor or even carpet could be very frustrating. Chinchillas can’t be trained when to poo but they could learn where to urinate. To do this you have to follow some useful instructions:
- Place the litter bowl in a corner of the cage where your pet tends to urinate. Make sure that the food container is placed in another corner of the chinchilla cage.
- When chinchilla urinates outside the special toilet, collect the wet bedding and put it in the litter bowl.
- Clean the litter bowl with a paper towel every day. Wash it with a warm water once a week.
How Much Food and Water do Chinchillas Need?
You have to fill the bottle with fresh filtered water every day during the summer season and three times a week in the winter. Clean the bottle with a brush with soap and water three times a week. Chinchillas need food two times daily. Supply your pet with fresh hay on a daily base. Food with seeds and dried fruit should be restricted to one serving a day. If you leave your pet alone for more than 8 hours, give your chinchilla extra food and eventually place a second water bottle in the cage.
How to Secure the Exercising Area?
- Make sure that all the doors are closed. Your chinchilla could easily squeeze into narrow spaces and could escape and get injured.
- Remove the electrical items and wiring from the place where the pet has a daily playtime. Cover the electrical outlets.
- Cover the furniture which could be chewed on. Spread some organic sticks in the playground. That way you will provide the exotic pet with healthy treats instead of household toxins.
- Remove all items, containing water. Humidity is not recommended to chinchilla`s fur.
- Place some tunnels and ramps. They will help your chinchilla pet to develop its jumping skills.