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Chinchilla Care Tips

Are you looking for a small pet that is super cute and perhaps a bit unusual? A chinchilla may very well fit the bill! A local Dallas, GA vet discusses chinchilla care below.

Basics

Chinchillas are native to the Andes mountains in South America. They aren’t very large: in fact, they rarely grow longer than 12 inches. They do have more longevity than many smaller pets, and can live up to 10 years with proper care.

Habitat

Your pets will need a good, comfy cage. The cage should offer more vertical space than horizontal, since chinchillas love to climb. Choose one that is made of wire mesh, but has a solid floor. If possible, pick one with shelves or multiple stories. Ask your vet for more information.

Furniture and Accessories

Adding some hammocks and climbing branches will make the cage fun and interesting for your pets. You’ll also need to provide a hidey-hole, a water bottle, and toys. Chinchillas need chew toys, so things like chew sticks and woven carrots are good options. You can also include a solid exercise wheel.

Dust Bath

Chinchillas need to take dust baths at least twice a week. Remove the dust once they have finished with it. You can gently brush them after.

Companionship

Chinchillas are very sociable, and get sad and stressed if they feel isolated. We recommend getting at least two. Just be sure to only keep same-sex pairs together.

Temperature

Keeping chinchillas at a comfortable temperature is very important! The room the cage is in should always stay between 60 and 70 °F.

Play Area

Many chinchillas like being carried and held. Just be very gentle! Your cute pets will also enjoy having some time out of their cage. Since they are crepuscular, it’s a good idea to give them their ‘recess’ time after dinner. Set up a safe play zone for the little guys, and keep a close eye on them.

Diet

Chinchillas should always have plenty of fresh Timothy hay. You’ll want to supplement this with commercial chinchilla food, as well as suitable produce. For treats, you can offer seeds, nuts, hibiscus, dried rose hips, dandelion leaves, or certain dried fruits. Never give chinchillas chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, or anything high in salt, sugar, or fat. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Do you have questions about chinchilla care? Contact us, your Dallas, GA vet clinic, today!

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