5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Chinchilla Through Winter: A blog about keeping your pet chinchilla warm and healthy during the winter
When the autumn leaves start to change, we spend more time indoors and inevitably think about how animals will keep warm during the upcoming winter. Undoubtedly, chinchillas are not too well-adapted for living in the harsh environment of a cold climate: their thick fur does not provide them with enough insulation against the cold; they cannot hibernate like ground-dwelling animals; and they don’t have hooves or claws that allow them to climb trees in search of shelter from the storm. Instead, chinchillas are arboreal rodents that need a constant supply of sources of heat in order to survive chilly temperatures. With this blog post, we want to give you some practical tips on how you can help your beloved pet through this difficult period of time.
Provide your chinchilla with a warm sleeping area
The first thing you should do is to get your chinchilla a nice and comfy sleeping area. Chinchillas naturally sleep in nests made of hay or other soft materials that provide them with optimal comfort while keeping them warm. This is essential, since chinchillas don’t have any fat reserves that would allow them to survive during prolonged periods of cold. Therefore, their sleeping place needs to be warm enough to prevent them from becoming hypothermic. If your chinchilla is kept indoors all year round, you can provide them with a heated nest for sleeping by simply placing the hay in a microwavable, fleece-covered bowl. You can also use a special chinchilla sleeping box that comes with an attached heat mat.
Place a heating mat in their cage
A constant supply of warm air is crucial for chinchillas that are kept indoors during the winter. In order to achieve this, you need to place a heating mat in the cage that will keep the ambient temperature between 16-24 °C. You can ensure the mat is placed correctly by using the grid method. The most efficient way of supplying warm air to your chinchilla’s cage would be to use a thermostat-controlled heater. If you don’t have the budget for a heating mat or a thermostat-controlled heater, you can use a ceramic heat lamp as a cheaper alternative. You need to be careful when using heat lamps, as they can get very hot and pose a potential fire hazard. If you decide to go with a ceramic heating lamp, make sure you place it outside of your chinchilla’s cage and make it inaccessible to your pets.
Supply them with more hay and chinchilla pellets
Since chinchillas are herbivores that primarily rely on a diet of hay to maintain their body temperature, you need to be sure they have enough hay available. The recommended amount is a minimum of 2 handfuls of hay per chinchilla per day. You can also add some chinchilla pellets to their diet, as they contain a considerable amount of fibre and will provide additional warmth during the winter.
Rotate their enrichment to provide warmth
Chinchillas are naturally curious creatures that love to interact with their environment and have plenty of enrichment toys to keep them stimulated and happy. However, during the winter, you need to rotate your chinchilla’s enrichment to give them a source of heat. Find out what your chinchilla likes to do the most and then rotate their enrichment to include that item. For example, if your chinchilla likes to chew wood, you can make a wood chew toy warmer by placing it near a heat lamp. If your chinchilla likes to run in their exercise wheel, you can put that near the heat lamp as well. By rotating your chinchilla’s enrichment, you can supply them with a constant source of warmth without affecting their health.
Get an infrared lamp for your chinchilla
If you want to go the extra mile to ensure your chinchilla is kept safe and happy during the winter, you can purchase an infrared lamp. Infrared lamps are excellent sources of heat that are commonly used to treat animals with metabolic disorders or other health problems. They emit infrared light (also called far infrared radiation) that penetrates deep into the skin and warms up your animal’s muscles and organs. This has a therapeutic effect on your pet and helps with conditions like arthritis, respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal problems. An infrared lamp is a great addition to your chinchilla’s cage if they are kept indoors year-round, have poor circulation, or suffer from other ailments that require external heat therapy.
Chinchillas are beautiful and curious rodents that love lots of cuddles and attention. However, their nutrition and health needs to be monitored closely because they are extremely sensitive to changes in weather and temperature. During the winter, chinchillas need to be kept warm at all times since they are not well adapted to survive in a cold environment. In order to provide your chinchilla with a warm and cozy habitat, you need to provide them with a warm sleeping area, place a heating mat in their cage, supply them with more hay and chinchilla pellets to help their digestion, and rotate their enrichment to provide a constant source of warmth. If you follow these tips, you will be able to keep your chinchilla warm and healthy during the winter, without having to worry too much about any potential issues.