A chinchilla is a small animal that also makes a great pet. It looks similar to a large rat crossed with a rabbit, providing ultimate cuddling potential and easy care. It is important that you think long and hard before adopting one into your home. Here are some things to know about caring for chinchillas.
Chinchillas Enjoy Play Time
Chinchillas are a lot of fun to have around the home because they tend to be energetic and playful. While you need to gentle when handling them and not play rough, they have a lot of fun with toys and regular interactions from humans. Chinchillas do okay on their own, but if you can get two of them at a time, they can help keep each other entertained. If you are going to have more than one of them, it is best to keep them together from a young age. Be aware that some chinchillas don't like to be held a lot, but will still interact with you and enjoy playing with you as long as long as you don't handle them too much.
They Are More Active at Night
You need to be prepared to hear the chinchillas playing with toys or walking around their cage at night, since they are nocturnal animals. This doesn't mean they won't be awake at all during the day, but they do tend to be more energetic at night. Keep them in a room where they won't be disturbed, but their noises won't disturb others who are sleeping. They like keeping to a regular routine, so if you go to bed at the same time, make sure you keep a bedtime ritual for the chinchillas as well. This might mean feeding them before bed or having 20 minutes of play time before you head off to bed.
Chinchillas Have Strict Dietary Requirements
It is important that you feed your chinchilla properly, looking toward plenty of roughage in their diet. This often consists of chinchilla pellets sold in pet stores and some grass hay as well. You can also get treats specifically for chinchillas. Since a chinchilla has a sensitive stomach and digestive system, you don't want to add in new foods all at once. Talk to your vet if you want to try a new treat and be sure it is safe for chinchillas, then start giving it in small quantities.
Make sure you have a veterinarian that will accept this type of pet, just in case there is an emergency.
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