You just got a pet chinchilla. Now, what? Know about chinchilla care 101 and all of the basics in the descriptive guide below. These animals deserve the best possible care they could get and you can only provide that if you are sufficiently knowledgeable about their needs. Here are some of the basic things you must know about so that you can sufficiently care for these animals.
Chinchillas are often affectionate and they like cuddling with their owners. They appreciate being held and hugged. This is not instantaneous which means that you still have to work hard to gain its affection and trust. They are nocturnal which means that you can expect them to be more active at night. You also might want to keep their cage in a quiet place during the day so that they can comfortably rest. Make sure to keep your routine with your chinchilla consistent because they appreciate that. Try to be consistent with the meal times, baths, and everything else. They also need sufficient space in their cage as well as interactive items to keep them active and to prevent them from getting overheated.
The primary reason why chinchillas are nearing extinction is because of their thick fur. Poachers hunt them illegally in order to harvest their coats. Their thick coats keep them warm and provide them with some insulation but that also means that they are very much susceptible to overheating. Make sure to provide their cage with some proper ventilation. The temperature must be consistently monitored and adjusted accordingly. It should not go beyond seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit. You might also want to go for a spacious cage that gives them the freedom to move around. Equip the cage with shelves or ladders to give them something to do and to cater to their explorative and inquisitive side. Opt for wire cages instead of plastic. You can line the bottom with wood shavings.
Water And Food
Let’s talk about the dietary requirements of a chinchilla. They are herbivores which means that their diet is comprised mostly of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Avoid excessively feeding them with vegetables because that can easily lead to diarrhea. It is better to stick with commercially produced food pellets for chinchillas to ensure that they will always meet their basic nutritional requirements. Avoid abrupt changes in their diet as they have sensitive digestive systems.
This is one of the most interesting traits of chinchillas. Wild chinchillas go for dust baths in order to keep themselves clean. They roll around volcanic ashes and the particles will absorb the excess oil on their coats which keeps them clean. This is also the way you should bathe your pet. You can simply purchase a bag of commercial chinchilla dust for them to bathe in to keep their fur soft and clean. Do not bathe these animals in the water.