The chinchilla as a pet
Many people do not know the chinchilla very well and that is a shame. It is a nice lively animal. The chinchilla cannot be compared to the other rodents that humans have in the house. Why is the chinchilla different? What do you have to consider when buying a chinchilla and why is it such a nice pet?
The chinchilla, the first encounter
So the chinchilla is not a rabbit, a guinea pig and not a rat. He just looks a lot like it. What is he? The chinchilla is just a chinchilla even though it looks so much like other animals. The chincilla is originally from the Andes, before it was discovered by trappers. It was very popular because of its coat, which is why some types of chinchillas have become extinct. Including the king chinchilla which was about the size of a sturdy rabbit. Now in this century it is especially popular as a pet.
What should I pay attention to when purchasing?
A few really important points to keep in mind:
- A chinchilla is a relatively small animal but nevertheless they can reach an age of: 15 YEARS.
- that means that they “last” as long as a cat or dog.
- They are group animals so you MUST take at least 2.
- They should take a sand bath for their coat every day.
- They need a large cage with many climbing options. They gnaw EVERYWHERE so the cage must also be made of metal.
Furthermore, the animal also needs a lot of attention and space. He has to get out of the cage every day to run around. This means that you have to seal and shield all nooks and crannies so that he cannot get behind them. One must also take into account his need to gnaw. Everything is equally tasty, so keep in mind that your furniture will be gnawed.
Health points to watch out for:
- The anus must be clean and the droppings hard and of good shape.
- The ears should be clean and the skin smooth and clean.
- The eyes should be shiny and clean.
- The nose must be clean.
- The teeth are yellow-orange and must be straight above each other.
- In addition, the upper tooth should be slightly longer than the lower one.
- The coat should not look greasy and frizzy, but rather full, soft and even.
- Don’t take a lusty chinchilla. The creature must be lively.
- And last but not least: DO NOT TAKE CHINCHILLA UNDER 8 WEEKS!
- The animal is then still too dependent on its mother.
Housing the chinchilla
Housing is very important. As mentioned above, a large cage is important, especially one made of metal. Nowadays there are special cages for sale at the pet stores and you don’t have to do any crafts yourself.
The placement of the cage is just as important. Do not put the cage in the sun. Chinchillas can also get heat stroke. By the way, chinchillas absolutely cannot withstand drafts. Therefore, do not place the cage in front of a door or window where cold and wind can come through. Also make sure that the chinchillas make a mess. there will always be droppings and sawdust or sand on the ground around the cage. It is also important to put the cage at eye level. A chinchilla feels threatened if someone towers or looks down on it.
The climbing material can best be made from: Willow, birch and fruit trees. That does not splinter when gnawing.
In the cage there should be several climbing trunks of wood and also a sleeping board. It can accommodate a sleeping house, but there is a good chance that this will make the chinchilla less tame. The sleeping board must be high in the cage and thus be a safe haven. It is also wise to have a separate feeding board. this way the chinchilla cannot soil the food.
The bottom of the cage will be where most of the droppings and puddles end up. Depending on the amount of chinchillas there is a cage and the bedding, it is wise to change the cage at least once a week. 2 times is of course better. Sawdust is suitable as ground cover. You can also buy special granules from the pet store that say they absorb a lot of moisture and odors. This is a personal choice, some sawdust works better while others swear by the grains.
The chinchilla also needs a sand bath every day. You can buy special sand in the pet store. Bathing is very important for the chinchilla’s coat and health. It is also good to keep the chinchilla happy. therefore fill a container with a layer of + / _ 2cm of sand. place it in the cage or put it on the floor if the chinchilla is loose. The animal will soon be unable to resist the temptation and will roll nicely in the box. let the container stiff for at least half an hour and up to an hour. With several bugs count half an hour per chinchilla. Sift the sand after use so that the droppings and stuff are out and use it again next time. Or top it up if desired.
As always, nutrition is also very important. Chinchillas eat special food. NEVER give a chinchilla food for other rodents such as: rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, etc. This food is too heavy and contains too many nutrients for a chinchilla. a chinchilla has a very special intestinal system, which means that he gets completely disrupted intestines when food is too rich. The food bowl should not be full all day long. Try to measure the amount of food for your chinchillas in this way: Fill the bowl with food, give it in the evening and check the next day if the bowl is empty or still full. slightly less. A bunch of hay in the cage is also wise. For example, the chinchilla can eat it if it gets hungry before you feed it and it likes to sleep on it too. By the way, DO NOT give a chinchilla any extras. His intestines get upset about that. He should occasionally have a raisin, but don’t give a handful. 2 is enough.
As a pet
The chinchilla as a pet is very cozy. However, you will not benefit from your pet until nightfall as these animals are nocturnal. They are very tame animals and will never actually bite you. They do “taste” a finger or hand. But that’s not biting. Take good care of your chinchilla and you will enjoy it for years to come !!