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Chinchillas as Pets

If you are looking for a slightly unusual pet to bring into your Fayette County home, you may have wondered if a chinchilla is right for you. Chinchillas are beautiful animals, with soft fur and adorable faces. They are quite lovable, and can make excellent pets. They are not suited for everyone, however, as they have very specific needs, and require certain conditions to thrive. These little furballs do not do well in heat or humidity, so you’ll want to make sure they stay cool in summer.

Here are some tips on keeping chinchillas as pets.

Basic Chinchilla Information

Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains. In the wild, they live in cracks and crevices in rocks. These little ones come in several colors, the most common being a silver-gray color. Females can grow to about a pound and a half. Males tend to be a little bit smaller. Their lifespan is generally about 12 to 20 years, which is quite remarkable for a rodent, and something you definitely want to keep in mind when choosing your new pet. These cuties are nocturnal by nature, and tend to be active at night.

Personality

Chinchillas can be quite friendly and playful, and these cute, playful little creatures can form strong bonds with their owners. To be socialized, however, they need to be handled frequently as babies. Otherwise, they may grow up to be nervous around people. If you are considering getting two chinchillas, you would want to get them while they are both young, which will help them bond.

Habitat

Chinchillas need quite a bit of room, so larger cages are definitely better. Multi-level cages are preferable, as these little balls of fur also enjoy climbing. Dust baths are also required, as chinchillas use dust to groom themselves in the wild. They are very cute when they are rolling around in the dust, which actually cleans that soft fur. Use only dust that is specifically made for chinchillas. Finally, your chinchilla will need toys. Change the toys out fairly often, and move them around as well, so your little furball doesn’t get bored.

Diet

In their natural environment, chinchillas eat vegetation, and their natural diets include quite a bit of roughage. Their digestive systems are quite delicate, and cannot tolerate foods that are very rich or high in fat. Chinchilla pellets with grass hay as a supplement are best. Try to avoid loosely mixed chinchilla food, as your chinchilla may pick out the parts he or she doesn’t like as much.

If you decide a chinchilla is right for your Fayette County home, contact Animal Care Clinic for your veterinary needs.

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