Chinchillas have become quite popular lately. It isn’t hard to see why. These cute little furballs can make fun animal companions! However, they do have some specific care needs, so it’s important to do plenty of research before adopting one. Providing a great cage is crucial, but that isn’t the only thing your tiny pal needs. A Waterloo, ON vet offers some basic chinchilla care tips below.
Offer Good Food
Chinchillas can have pellets for their main meals. They should also have a constant supply of fresh grass hay or orchard grass. You can supplement these things with safe produce and the occasional treat. Just make sure to only offer suitable foods. One common mistake is offering too much sugar. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
Provide Dust Baths
Chinchillas are very clean, but they don’t bathe in water. Instead, they use fine dust to remove oil, dirt, dander, and parasites from their fur. You’ll need to offer your tiny pal regular dust baths.
Keep Chinnies Comfy
Chinchillas originated in the Andes, which are cold and dry. They have thick fur, and are quite tolerant of cold. However, they don’t do well at all in hot weather. Keep your pets’ room at a comfortable room temperature. This should stay between 60°F and 75°F at all times.
These little guys are quite friendly and sociable. In fact, wild chinchillas live in colonies of up to 100 furballs. Your adorable pet will feel lonely, uneasy, and distressed with no buddies. We recommend keeping at least two. Of course, you’ll need to take care to only keep same-sex pairs together, as otherwise they’ll breed.
Like any other pet, chinchillas need enrichment and entertainment. Chew toys, foraging toys, ladders and swings, hammocks, cardboard tubes, and wooden playthings are a few things that are popular with these guys. Just stick with things you know are safe. Avoid anything with small parts, sharp edges, or hanging threats.
Watch For Signs Of Sickness
Keep a close eye on your furry friend, and watch for signs of sickness. Some common ones include lethargy, reduced appetite, fever, respiratory problems, weight loss, drooling, limping, pawing at the mouth, diarrhea, bloat, and fur thinning or loss. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything that seems off.
Do you have questions about chinchilla care? Contact us, your Waterloo, ON animal clinic, today!