Chinchillas are one of the most adorable tiny pets out there. Here are some of the most interesting facts about chinchillas. You should familiarize yourself with their characteristics, behavior, and preferences before you adopt or buy one. These small rodents make for great pets because they like cuddling and they appreciate being held. The only issue is that they are nearing extinction in some areas in the world. Know more about these animals by reading below.
Chinchillas – Teeth Grow Continuously
This is a trait that is common among rodents. All of their teeth grow about two to three inches per year and they do not stop growing. Their teeth naturally align so that the upper and lower teeth can wear each other down. You can also watch out for misalignment so that you can remedy it when necessary. Misalignment is a very common case and it often results in overgrown teeth. That is likewise harmful because it can cut their lips, jaw, and other parts in their oral region.
These animals are herbivores which means that their diet is comprised of leaves, fibers, vegetables, and fruits. They largely consume grass hay. Alfalfa hay is also a good option for youngsters until they are about nine months of age. The only issue with alfalfa hay is it is brimming with protein, calcium, and other elements that can easily lead to obesity. Excessive consumption of veggies can also harm them because it can cause diarrhea. Avoid high-fat snacks because these can seriously harm their digestive system. Stick with the formulated pellets to ensure that they have a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals in their body.
Humans only have one strand of hair per hair follicle. Chinchillas have sixty strands per follicle. That means that their fur is very dense. This dense fur keeps them warm by providing insulation. The fur is actually the very cause of their downfall. So many poachers hunt them for their fur and then this is later used in the production of clothes and purses. That is one of the main reasons why the chinchilla population currently faces the threat of extinction.
Chinchillas – Cleaning Method
Chinchillas have a very interesting way of keeping their coats clean. They go for dust baths! This is where they roll in volcanic ashes or dust to keep their coats clean. This also helps absorb excess oil. Give your chinchilla a dust bath about two to three times a week. You can simply purchase the commercially produced dust for chinchillas online. Place about two or three inches deep of the dust in a box and then let them roll in it. Allow them to get this bath for about ten to fifteen minutes and then take it away. You can replace the dust after two to three weeks when it is clumped together by chinchilla urine, feces, and other wastes.