Things to consider before adopting a Chinchilla

          Proper handling techniques, nutrition, and the right living environment are only a few aspects that go into owning a chinchilla.  They are much higher maintenance than a guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or rat.  It is important to have an understanding of this fluff ball before you jump into ownership.  

       One of the most unique pets I have had was a chinchilla.  I rehabilitated a Chinchilla that was nearly furless.  It had black skin without any fur on it.  A Chinchilla will shed its fur to certain degrees regularly but when it senses danger its fur will literally slip off. 
      This is called "fur-slip". It had previously been handled improperly and was living a life where it was under regular stress.  I was allowed to help it feel safe and loved. 
Here are a few interesting facts to help give you the lift-off you may need.

Holy Jumping Chinchillas
1.  Unlike a Guinea pig or Hamster, the Chinchillas agility can make it hard to put them back in their homes. They can jump away and also do not like feeling endangered.  

2. They may find that they really enjoy your bedroom and do not want to stop playing.  You will then see how acrobatic they are and need to know how to handle them properly. They can be injured if they are picked up wrong or grabbed too tightly. 

3. Chinchillas sometimes bark and frequently in the night.  It is a very mysterious noise and one must be prepared to hear it.  

4. They require dust to bathe and keep their coats nice.  A water bath can cause harm to them but a proper dust storm will do the trick!  There is specific dust that they need.  The dust off of your bookshelf is not the right stuff.  You can get this dust online or at your local pet shop. 
      Oxbow Poof! Chinchilla Dust Bath, Blue Cloud, 2.5-lb jar
      Chinchilla, Grey, Gray, Standard, Pets
      Chinchilla dusting
5. They require a large cage that has different levels.  They like to perch on things like branches. You can make a custom cage for your chinchilla or get a tall cage with many levels. 
MidWest Critter Nation Deluxe Small Animal Cage, Double Story
6. Chinchilla's can jump on all types of surfaces and love to show their agility. They can literally leap onto your bed, bookshelf, table stand, etc.  Be aware that they are like little magical fluffy acrobats. 

Are you considering owning a Chinchilla?  

If you have owned a Chinchilla, what is your favorite memory?

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