Chinchillas have become popular pets in recent years. Not knowing exactly how to care for your Chinchilla can make it difficult for the owner to look after them. That makes it very important for the owner to know about how to keep a Chinchilla happy and healthy. Chinchillas need the right nutrition as they have a very complex digestive system. Feeding them hay is very necessary as it contains all sufficient nutrients that your Chinchilla needs.
Avoid feeding your Chinchilla toxic foods such as sweets, fruits etc. These poisonous foods can harm your Chinchilla health. Your Chinchilla needs regular exercise to prevent themselves from obesity and to remain healthy. They will be delighted if they have a partner, and for that, you can adopt a second Chinchilla.
They also need mental stimulation to keep them busy and entertained. That will help them to avoid depression and sadness. Other things like spaying or neutering, regular grooming, and keeping your Chinchilla enclosure clean is also essential. With experience, you will learn more and more about how you can keep your Chinchilla content. You must avoid making assumptions about what is right and what is wrong for your Chinchilla.
Chinchillas and humans have a different requirement altogether, failing to acknowledge this could lead to sadness and bad health of your Chinchilla.
How do I make sure my Chinchilla is happy?
There are many factors which you can be concerned about to keep your Chinchilla happy and also healthy. Your Chinchilla requirements will vary as they will grow older. Their love and friendship will make all this effort worthwhile. There are some needs of your Chinchilla, which you should look into it. Following these will keep your Chinchilla happy and healthy while ignoring it can be a trouble for your Chinchilla.
Let’s look into those needs which will keep your chinchilla happy and healthy:
#1 Provide a healthy diet
Food plays the role of a keystone in your chinchillas life, despite the age and breed. You should make sure that you are providing your chinchilla a suitable amount of nutrition.
These are the four keystones to your chinchilla food:
- Tap water
- vegetables/ Fruits (Only Recommended)
The dietary needs of your chinchilla get changed as they grow older. You should feed your chinchilla alfalfa hay till they arrive in their adulthood. Alfalfa hay contains high protein and also provides all necessary calories to your chinchilla in their growing age. It would be best if you changed hay from your chinchilla cage every day, as chinchilla eliminates on it. And in any case, this sends the hay moldy. Then eating mold can harm your chinchilla. Alfalfa hay is too calorific for adult chinchillas and also leads to a weight gain for your chinchilla. It also contains a lot of calcium in it; thus, it is not suitable for an adult chinchilla. In such a case, feed your chinchilla some other form of hay such as timothy, meadow, or oat hay.
Pellets are perfect for the baby chinchillas as they are rich in nutrients. Feed your chinchilla unlimited pellets until they come to their adulthood. Reduce the pellets when they reach adulthood. If your adult chinchilla is not very fond of pellets, then stop completely feeding them pellets. Replace it with fresh vegetables instead. Fresh vegetables play an important role in a chinchilla’s life. It provides them with much needed Vitamin C that hay alone cannot provide. Also, they add more nutrients to your chinchilla diet. Leafy greens seem to be best for them.
Drinking fresh and clean water is very crucial for your chinchilla. Tap water will be good for your chinchilla. You should make sure that you refresh the water twice every day. Also, add multiple sources of water in their cage.
#2 Choose The Best Cage
A cage is a home of your Chinchilla. Your Chinchilla should always feel happy when they are in their cage. Being in their cage will protect them with their predators as they will be unable to run free. The very first thing to be concerned about while getting a cage for your Chinchilla should be the size. This cage will be your Chinchilla home. It should never be treated as a cage for your Chinchilla.
An owner should make sure that they arrange a cage where their Chinchilla can stretch from the nose to toes, at least. Your Chinchilla should be able to take play and exercise around the cage as well. Also, the owner should make sure that their Chinchilla should be able to stand on their rear leg comfortably.
To conclude, we can say that a pair of Chinchilla pets will need at least eight square feet of space and 20 inches height to be comfortable in the cage. Being a clean animal, your Chinchilla will never want to sleep or eat in the place where they eliminate. You should take care of this by arranging a sufficient zone inside your Chinchilla cage. For being happy, they will also need a space to play and perform activities in their cage. You will not be able every time to entertain your Chinchilla. Ensuring that your Chinchilla is comfortable in their cage will solve this problem. If your Chinchilla is healthy in their enclosure, they can wait longer to get out for playing and exercising.
#3 Maintain a comfortable environment
While Chinchillas are robust in the cold weather, they don’t feel comfortable in hot weather. A Chinchilla pet suitable body temperature is 100-103 degrees Fahrenheit. Nature plays a vital role in your Chinchilla life as their fur sheds and grows according to the cold. You should still keep an eye on your Chinchilla as the symptoms of overheating are:
- Heat around the tops of the ear
- Moistened nose
- Fast breathing
- Lack of strength
Cold weather will not be a problem for your Chinchilla. A Chinchilla will grow a thick winter fur coat when they go through a worse condition living inside as well as outside all year.
You should be a concern for your Chinchilla if the temperature outside falls to 20 degrees Celsius. Move your Chinchilla from outdoor to indoor in such a case. A garage will be perfect for your Chinchilla as long as they still can breathe adequately.
#4 Understand Chinchilla Behavior
Whenever other pets get suffocated or get angry, they express their feelings or emotions by barking or meowing. Chinchillas are categorized as quiet animals. But they do communicate physically and verbally with human beings. Some of the verbal tics are there to understand to your Chinchillas behaviour.
#5 Keep Chinchilla Stress Free
A Chinchilla can be easily stressed. Being a prey animal, they are always aware of their predator, which in result can make your Chinchilla scared. A Chinchilla should feel safe and secure all the time. Even after arranging a comfortable enclosure for your Chinchilla, they are not willing to return to their enclosure after floor time; then there is a safety issue. Chinchillas are not able to see in extreme black pitch better than human beings. They can hear and smell well, which is whenever there is a predator around their enclosure, they can detect them and be scared.
You should make sure that your Chinchilla feels safe and secure whenever they are alone. There can also be another reason for your Chinchillas getting scared like a change in their schedule. Arrange a strict routine for your Chinchilla. Make them trust that they will be fed, played, and exercised at a particular time. A Chinchilla can detect a particular time when they are fed, exercised, and played after some time. If you stick to this routine, it will help your Chinchilla to enjoy a happy life.
#6 Exercise/ Play Area
Having regular exercise keeps your Chinchilla fit. Regular exercise is vital in your Chinchilla’s life. It prevents them from obesity. Chinchillas are very energetic animals, laying in their enclosure for all the day can make them dull and frustrated. Your Chinchilla should have at least three hours of free-roaming each day. You can divide it into two, one in a morning when they are feeling most active, and another one again in the early morning. Arranging a small portable enclosure will be the best way to get your Chinchilla exercise in the morning.
Chinchilla is an animal who is eager to know or learn something. They may squash through the holes in a garden fence if you are letting them out to play. You should block every escape route as the domesticated Chinchilla will not be able to survive in the wild.
#7 Chinchilla Health Check ups
Being a prey animal Chinchillas are very much good at hiding their pain and discomfort. Also, you can come to know about your Chinchilla issue when it becomes very critical. An annual checkup can solve this issue. Find a professional Chinchilla vet or an exotic vet in your area as every vet is not familiar with the unique illness of Chinchilla. Any problem can be detected early if you get your Chinchilla a health checkup at least once in a year. You can identify if your Chinchilla is going through obesity or any dental issue by regular checkups.