Things That Pet Lovers Must Put in the Cage of Their Chinchillas

Chinchillas feature cute and also soft appearance. Despite the fact that they are small, they need a large residence to live. The pet parent must make it a point that animal`s nutritional and environmental needs are fulfilled. If you are thinking about these adorable animal, be sure you know how to look after them perfectly.

Multi-level House

Before you take a chinchilla, keep in mind that they need to a spacious cage. Be sure you utilize a house for your chinchilla that is tall. Just be certain that the cage is large enough for them to jump around, run, and also play. Pet owners generally purchase the biggest home possible.

The best pet cages feature many levels with wood or plastic shelves. The floor is generally wire mesh. This type of house will certainly promote a lively environment for your small rodent. Your chinchilla will live happily and secured inside. Add passages and hideouts. Don’t forget to put tree branches in the cage to chew on. To top it off, buy them an exercise equipment.

Protect the Floor Cage

Pet parents can protect the floor cage with shredded paper, shavings of wood, or cardboard. Replacing the bedding at least twice a week is critical. A wooden house or a box should be set in the cage of your new pet. There, they can hide or rest whenever they wish.

Too much heat can certainly annoy these creatures. That is why you should put the cage in areas that are far from heat with low humidity and mild temperatures.

Feeding Schedule

Chinchila Feeding Schedule

Photo: Elisabeth Bertaglia-2/Flickr.com

These animals have a delicate stomach, so be mindful what you are feeding to them. Keep in mind that they don’t take in fresh herbs. That is why they should only be given dried leaves and fruits. Sweet and high fat foods aren’t healthy for chinchillas, and should be avoided. Raisins, seeds, and nuts can result in obesity that is why they must be restricted.

Hay that is abundant in protein but low in calories is really essential for chinchillas. One more outstanding means to fulfill their nutritional needs is to nourish them with pellets. Hydration is really critical for these animals that is why the chinchilla should also have a sufficient supply of spring water. Always keep the bottle full, and clean it three times per week.

Bathing Box

The chinchilla should be dust-bathed 2 to 3 times weekly. Carrying this out for a few minutes should be enough. This will include the use of a special box and sand that e are typically obtainable in many pet shops.

Chinchilla Toys

Chinchillas make affectionate and inquisitive pets but to care for them properly, they must have a wide range of toys to stimulate them and keep them interested. Here are some suggestions for fun chinchilla toys for your pet.

Tubes

Chinchillas love exploring and burrowing and tubes help to fulfill this need. There is a huge choice of tubes that you can use, from kitchen rolls, toilet roll tubes and carpet tubes which are free of charge to plastic tubes that can be bought in a pet store and linked together. Whichever type you select, make sure your pet can fit easily through it as if they get trapped they may injure themselves trying to get free.

Branches

Chinchillas need to gnaw and chew wood as their teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. The failure to file them results in mouth sores and dental problems. Providing tree branches for your pet to chew on prevents this from occurring. Make sure that you fix the branches to the cage so your pet does not get hurt and never give your pet any wood that has been treated with pesticides. Be sure not to offer pine tree branches as this can make your pet ill.

Wooden Toys

There is a great choice of wooden toys that can be bought at pet stores which serve the double purpose of helping to file teeth and to entertain your pet. Wooden stacks can be bent into different shapes to make dens or bridges for them to cross.

Stones

A chinchilla’s natural environment would contain rocks and pebbles so supplying these inside their cage helps to encourage tooth filing as well as enabling them to develop their natural hiding instinct. Ensure that any stones given to your pet are clean, sterile and dry beforehand.

Fun Fur Facts About Chinchilla Fur

Chinchillas are medium sized rodents which measure 9 to 15 inches long and weigh between one and two pounds. They are also adorable little fluffballs with the softest fur of any land mammal. Because they can grow up to 80 hairs from a single hair follicle, their coat is also extremely dense.

Why is Chinchilla Fur so Thick?

fluffball

Photo: Jennofarc/Flickr.com

Chinchillas are native to high elevations of the Andes Mountains. Wild rodents live at elevations between 3,000 and 5,000 feet where the air is thin and dry and the temperatures are extremely cold. They have therefore evolved several unique adaptations to their environment.

To help them to survive, chinchilla babies are born with a complete coat of fur. In addition to their thick, dense fur which gives them the ability to withstand freezing temperatures, chinchillas also have extremely thick blood with a high concentration of red blood cells which enables them to obtain enough oxygen from the thin mountain air.

The Problem with Thick Fur

Because the fur of this small animal is so warm and luxuriant, and because it takes about 100 chinchilla pelts to make one fur coat, they were hunted almost to extinction to supply pelts for the fashion industry.

This thick fur can also be an issue for pet owners. Chinchillas are prone to heat stroke and cannot tolerate temperatures about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These animals do not tolerate humidity. If their fur gets damp it may develop fur rot.

To prevent this health issue chinchillas should have dust baths and never be bathed in water.

And the Good Things about Thick Fur Are ….

Fur Facts About Chinchillas

Photo: Emily Neef/Flickr

Because their fur is so thick they rarely get fleas or other parasites. Chinchillas rarely shed, and are considered hypoallergenic. Their fur feels absolutely wonderful when you stroke it.

Chinchillas make cute pets. Not only they are highly sociable, active and entertaining little creatures that can live between 16 and 20 years, but their wonderful fur also adds to their cuteness.

Why You Should Never Wash Your Chinchilla

Photo: Zuvieh S.F./Flickr

Photo: Zuvieh S.F./Flickr

Chinchilla fur is extremely dense. While it feels wonderful to stroke, it also presents a unique challenge for you as a pet owner. You want to keep your pets clean, but if you bathe them in water their fur will not dry out properly. This will create a warm, moist environment for mold and mildew. With this beauty routine you put your chinchillas at risk of developing fur rot.

In their natural environment in the cold high Andes mountains wild chinchillas avoid water, which could freeze on their fur. Instead, they bathe by rolling in volcanic dust.

How Do I Bathe My Chinchillas?

You should purchase special commercial chinchilla bath from the pet store. It should be of a coarse consistency, like sand, rather than fine and dusty. If the bathing material is too fine, it could irritate both your chinchillas and the humans in your household.

You pets will bathe themselves. Simply place a cup or so of chinchilla dust powder in a wide, shallow container and put it in their cage for five or ten minutes. Remove their food and toys, and cover their cage with a sheet to prevent the dust from flying around. A tablespoon of baking soda mixed into the bath will absorb urine odors and make you chin smell sweeter.

If your chinchillas urinate in their bath throw it away and clean out the container.

In dry, cool weather your chinchillas will need to bathe a couple of times a week. However, in warm and/or humid weather they will need to bathe more frequently to help them avoid overheating.

What if My Chinchillas Do Not Want to Bathe?

Chinchillas generally learn to bathe from their older relatives. If your pet has not learned this behavior you will need to teach them by gently massaging them with dust. Once they get used to this, you can gently rolling them in the bath. Chinchillas are naturally clean and should learn quickly to enjoy their bath.

What You Need to Know About Breeding a Chinchilla

The medium-sized rodents called chinchillas can make great pets. They can be a funny companion in your household. Those who have owned these rodents love them with all the heart. Families who are searching for adopting a new pet are looking into breeding chinchillas. Before making any rush decisions, it is important to know the most important facts about this exotic animal. Breeders should have the information about chins and also how to breed them.

There are many breeds in the marketplace. It’s important to note that they have to start the reproduction process on the season.

At the Beginning…

White Chinchilla

Photo: Matthew Hopkins/Flickr.com

After they mate, you will definitely see a lot of hair in the breeding spot of these animals. This is a tell sign that the chins have mated since they have aggressive mating with each other, and it is not once, but severally.

This is how the chins mate. If you have never seen them you`d better do it. Here’s a basic run-through – first they would chase each other around the breeding spot and become rather edgy during the entire process. The male will be on heat and will want the chin and pull her towards himself. Once they lock, an intimate harsh mating experience happens and truth be told, the most extreme mating between the two is yet still to come.

Most people wake up and find out that the chins have lost so much hair and they start worrying. This is normal as the mating of these animals is very “engaging.”

Checking the Female`s Body

You can readily observe the chin if she is pregnant by checking its pelvic – this is the part that is near the hind legs. The breeder may notice that this zone is becoming wider by the day the chin is in the gestation period.

During the process, the owner needs to be careful especially around the female. Just like humans, the chin experiences mood swings, the same way women do whenever they are pregnant.

baby chinchillas

Photo: Klein-Hitpab/Flickr.com

The gestation and pregnancy period takes place during the next 110-112 days when mating and breeding has occurred. The abdomen of the female enlarges and the nipples swell on the 90th day. Owners also notice other changes in the behavior and physical appearance of the chinchilla. During the pregnancy of the chin, the weight should also be monitored.

Complications may take place while the chin is pregnant. Some of the problems may include abortions that are spontaneous which in most cases are caused by lack of proper nutrition. Other problems can be caused by trauma or even stress during the delivery. A dangerous retention of tissue in the uterus may occur during the pregnancy of the chin. Only a few of these cases have been recorded, so there is no need for alarm.

The Day of Birth

Days before birth, the breeder might notice unusual behavior. You should completely stop the female from having any dust baths days before and after delivery. Before its delivery, the female rodent will be very aggressive. It is a good idea to remove any other pets from the cage. You can also place the pregnant animal in another place of its own. A small home for the pregnant female is advised once the babies are born.

For a week, dust bath should not be given since the babies should not be get in touch with dust and sand.

Timing is essential in breeding chinchillas. Always ensure that she has a healthy and rich diet during pregnancy not forgetting a soft nesting area. This is because she will likely desire simply lie on her side for the final weeks before birth. Chins care is often an easy thing but having more pets requires a little more attention and responsibility.

Chinchilla Cages Buying Guide

For those who have a chinchilla pet, keeping them in a spacious cage is an excellent idea. The bigger house you have for your small animal, the better because it allows the pet more room to play, exercise, and live. Your exotic rodent will be happy and safe playing in a large cage with extra room for stretching and moving around.

Where to Purchase Chinchilla Cages

White Chinchilla by pitsoft

Photo: Pitsoft/Flickr.com

The housing can be purchased at pet stores where small pets are being sold, and at online retailers. If you purchase your cage online, it can be delivered right to your door. Each unit sold will come with a guarantee. You can compare prices easier online, view a wide selection of chinchilla cages and more.

Some models will get free shipping for qualified orders. You can save more money by purchasing a chinchilla cage online. Some modifications can come equipped with toys for climbing that will provide an opportunity for your chinchilla to get exercise every day. If the house is too small, then you will risk have one unhappy pet that cannot move around and play.

Setting Up Your New Cage

Chinchillas are highly desirable pets with thick fur. The larger the cage the better it will be for them. Setting up your new acquisition is easy and most units will come with instructions for setting up.

You should use only glass water bottles for the cage, because the chinchilla cannot chew through the glass. Use a hopper style feeder because the chinchilla cannot tip it over. If you decide to place a food container in the cage, it must be cleaned every day because the rodent has a habit of urinating in the bowl. Boxes should be heavy so they cannot be tipped over.

Placing the cage in a quiet area of the home will help the chinchilla feel more secure and relaxed. These cute animals are active and you don’t want your chinchilla to become overheated or fatigued.

Avoid These Things When Owning A Chinchilla

  • Do not choose a plastic cage
  • Do not purchase plastic toys
  • Do not line tray with newspaper
  • Do not expose your chinchilla to direct sunlight
  • Do not allow visitors to stress your chinchilla out
  • Do not lean over the cage
  • Do not choose wire wheels for toy

If you need more information on how to care for your chinchilla properly and help your pet get use to the cage as a home and play area, then there are many available resources online or you may contact the person or pet shop where you purchased it. Keeping your pet chinchilla happy, safe and secure is a top priority.

Most Serious Chinchilla Diseases

Chinchilla photo Meagan

Photo: Meagan/Flickr.com

The chinchilla is a small squirrel like rodent that originates from Andes Mountain in South America. It survives in high altitude areas. These animals are taken as pets because of their attractive appearance, odorless and lively personality. They are fragile, have soft and dense fur and have a long lifespan of 12-20 years. For healthy survival, they require extra care in housing, temperatures and diet.

Characteristics of a healthy chinchilla

  • Active and alert
  • Healthy dense fur
  • Clear eyes
  • Eats regularly.

Chinchilla Diseases

The diseases associated with chinchilla include: enteritis or diarrhea, heat stroke, pneumonia and stomach parasites.

Pneumonia (Respiratory Infection)

This serious health problem may result in death if preventive measures and treatment are not observed.

Causes

  • Poor hygiene of the cages.
  • High temperatures.
  • Damp and drafty cages.
  • Other diseases may contribute to pneumonia.

Signs and Treatment

  • Rough hair coat
  • The chinchilla may frequently sneeze
  • Loss of appetite. This can be seen when the chinchilla does not eat regularly or do not eat at all.
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes may be observed frequently.

The treatment of pneumonia may be through antibiotic and supportive care from the veterinary. However, after they are cured the bacteria harbor in their body for a long time.

Intestinal infection (Enteritis)

This is where the intestines of the chinchilla are infected.

Causes

  • The improper diet – one that does not have sufficient fiber.
  • Poor sanitation by not removing the soiled hay.
  • Crowding – that is when they do not have enough space in the cages.

Signs and Treatment

  • Lying on the back due to pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inactive as they can have depression hence they are not active at night.

Treatment involves the use of antibiotic therapy, Vitamin C and supportive care from a veterinary.

Heat Stroke

The chinchilla survives mostly in the United States and other countries featuring moderate temperatures as they require low humidity. Heat stroke is a common disease when they are exposed to unfavorable weather conditions.

Causes

  • High temperature and high humidity.
  • Direct sunlight exposure of the cages.
  • Poor ventilation of the cages.

Signs and Treatment

  • They may have unkempt and damp fur.
  • They may collapse suddenly.
  • Heavy panting and lying on the side.
  • Weakness can be observed by how they are playing and behaving.

 

The cages should be air conditioned to prevent this problem and a natural stone should be placed in the cage in high temperatures season.

Teeth Problems

Causes

  • Poor dental alignment
  • Mineral imbalance
  • Genetics
  • Mineral deficiency in early stages.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Lack of appetite and sores in the mouth.
  • Drooling of saliva under the chin and onto the fur.
  • Loss of weight and fur.

Treatment

The affected tooth should be observed by veterinarian periodically. The chinchilla should be given wood after treatment to exercise.

Diarrhea

The chinchilla is a very sensitive animal when it comes to diet. Diarrhea is caused by poor diet and poor sanitation housing. It causes the animals to have loose stools. The treatment involves visiting the veterinary for advice.

Parasites

These can cause the chinchilla to lose hair, have scabby red on the eyes, feet and nose. This health problem is mainly caused by poor sanitation.

In conclusion, most chinchilla diseases are caused by poor hygiene, unbalanced diet and unfavorable conditions. Hence, the proper measures should be taken to prevent the diseases.

Chinchilla and Dogs

Chinchilla Habitat

In their natural Chilean habitat, chinchillas or “chins” live together in colonies of up to 100, therefore, they like companionship, but from a distance. They love interactions with human, especially when they are young and get to trust you. However, interacting with other family pets, like dogs, requires careful handling.

Introducing Dogs and Chins

Introducing dogs, new to your home, with an existing older chin will not work very well, because as chinchillas age, they become very temperamental and don’t like to be bothered. However, if you already have a dog in the family and you bring a young chin into the home, they can learn to get along relatively well. Pet owners have to make a consistent effort to reinforce a good relationship between your dog and chinchilla.

Carefully Watch Playtime

To begin with, let your dog smell and get to know your chin, while it is caged. The chinchilla will also come near the cage to smell your dog. Use a chin toy, like a large ball for your chin to play with, inside and outside the cage. When you open the cage to let your chin roam free and your dog is around, use the ball that the chinchilla has been playing with, so that the dog can smell the ball and become use to the chin’s scent. Watch both your dog and your chinchilla carefully, to make sure that the chin isn’t fearfully trying to run away from the dog.

Tricks To Help Them Get Along

Chinch

Photo: tux0racer/Flickr.com

Chinchillas and small dogs that perhaps have been introduced together at a young age can play together occasionally, for a short period time. However, puppies can play too rough with your young chins. Chinchillas like to nibble, so they may try to nibble on the dog’s ears or nose, which dogs are not very fond of. But if your chin and dog are getting along well, try another trick, by holding your chinchilla and let your dog come up to you, to see if they like each other. The only problem with this interaction, is that your dog should not lick your chin’s fur, because chemically, a chinchilla’s fur will actually get moldy if it is wet for too long, due to licking or drool from your dog.