The pet chipmunk is a high maintenance - high octane pet. Pet chipmunks are full of curiosity, zip, vim and vigor. They have very specific needs. They are not a hold me - cuddle me type of pet. They must explore. They must be able to dig and tunnel. They have many instinctual self protection modes that must be respected, accepted and understood.
They can't live in a small cage they must - MUST have a large habitat. If you have a spare room with some chipmunk proofing this would be closer to ideal. Chipmunks can be very destructive. You must protect them from their own destructiveness. Anything electrical that is remotely accessible to them is out of the question. Remember, they dig immense tunnel systems in very hard ground and can chew.
Chipmunks require a great deal of attention. Few people realize this. At first, when bonding with a young/baby chipmunk, you will need to spend a minimum of an hour a day with your new pet.
Chipmunks are diurnal they wake with the sun bright and early in the morning and go to sleep with the sunset.
Chipmunks are very clean animals - they groom themselves often. They have no distinct odor. If they have an odor you are not doing your job and keeping their habitat clean. They will use one small area of their habitat as a toilet. Even cleaning their cages will be very different from other animals and other rodents. Clean the toilet area often. Don't clean their food caches very often it will really upset and agitate them. Storing foods is one of their preservation modes I was referring to. Other preservation modes is avoiding capture from all the animals above the food chain of the chipmunk. These instinctual behaviors are exactly that will never go away. Visceral behaviors preserve their life.
Chipmunks will die if you use phenol-based (phenolics) or coal based disinfectants. These are toxic to chipmunks, and many other animals.
Diet - There is no canned or bagged chipmunk food and there is no one pet food that can be substituted - ever! There is no one food that will sustain them, no one type of food. They must have dozens of different types of food to maintain their health.
They will need seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, protein including meat - small bugs. Cooked egg is an excellent source of protein. They need calcium and Vitamin D - yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. have a mineral block and cuttlebone available at all times.
Always make sure they have plenty of fresh filtered water available.
They should never have sugar. Giving sugar to a chipmunk can be deadly. Habitually read labels of all food items so that there is not any hidden sugar. Do not feed chocolate.
Always make sure there are no pesticides on their food. If you can buy organic do so. But, remember to clean any fruits and vegetables completely.
They must have a material to dig and burrow in. Never ever use pine or cedar it is toxic. Aspen shavings are nice, so is peat. They must have places to hide, jump, and play. Toxic free - pesticide free branches as wonderful. They must have toys! They love to chase. Make sure the toys are pet-safe.
They must feel safe give them hidey places to hide. If you use a LARGE wire cage made sure one side is solid. Otherwise they will feel exposed.
If you cage your pet chipmunk make sure they have a good portion of the day they are able to run free in a chipmunk safe environment. No place to wiggle out, chew, objects that can fall on them, poisonous plants or other toxic or poisonous objects. They will be destructive!
Chipmunks must chew. Give them plenty of safe stuff to chew.
Make sure everything you need for a chipmunk is in place before you acquire one. Make sure you have located a veterinarian willing to provide the medical needs for a chipmunk.
Chipmunk as pets. Chipmunks do make great pets however, chipmunk pets are not a pet for probably most people.
Chipmunks for sale - prices of baby chipmunks are around $110. The price for everything involved properly rearing a chipmunk could range toward $1000. If you are not willing to pay for these items you don't need a chipmunk.
Author - me Diana Geiger Critical up-to-date (finally) information
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