Chinchilla - Food - Treats - Grooming
The chinchilla needs roughage and should have fresh hay daily. Do not place the hay on the floor; keep it in a hay hopper designed for caged animals like rabbits and chinchillas. I like the Super Pet Rabbit Rollin' the Hay Holder because it provides the necessary exercise that chinchillas need. This can be used stationary, hanging from cage or as a ball. Look in local pet stores.
Timothy hay by far is the best hay for a chinchilla; it not only assists in digestion but also supports the never ending rodent teeth problem. Remember wild chinchillas came from an environment which gave them plenty of opportunity to wear down their teeth. As responsible pet owners we must provide the material necessary for their total health and comfort. Timothy hay alone will not be enough to keep their teeth worn down. They should have the lava chews combination perches to do a good job.
The chinchilla needs calcium one of the best forms is a cuttlefish bone used for birds. So many water supplies are contaminated or questionable I suggest using bottled water or filtered water.
I use bottles not bowls for drinking water. Get the chew proof ones. Either way the water should be fresh and always full. Frequently change the water and sanitize the bottle or bowl. Bowls should be changed several times throughout the day because of contamination. Bottles cleaned and changed daily. Food or droppings get in the water. Sanitize the bowl daily. Bottles sanitized every few days.
Treats should be very limited. Of course it helps you bond with your pet, but again the chinchilla has a very sensitive digestive system. One or two small treats a day. It can be one raisin, one small piece of apple or a sunflower seed. Remember give just ONE or two small treats.
Chinchilla can get sick, have colds, get fungus in his or her fur; it can starve to death if the teeth get too long. Since their digestive system can be inflamed very easily, they can get diarrhea leading to severe inflation of the intestine. Find a veterinarian that is very familiar with chinchillas before even purchasing your pet. If there is, sign of distress take him or her to the veterinarian. It is your responsibility to watch for signs of illness. An animal cannot tell you when it is ill. Having any pet is expensive and that is something that should be considered before buying a pet.
Do not place the cage in direct sunlight or drafts. Properly sanitize the cage and all equipment regularly. Proper sanitization will go a long way in keeping your pet or pets healthy.
These little fur balls make wonderful pets for the right people. Please pay attention to herd social structure, using the correct pellet for the chinchilla and not for other animals like the rabbit. They must have perches and lava chews. They must be able to groom.
Chinchillas need plenty of love, on their terms. Make sure you have time to spend quality time with your pet. Above all, enjoy your new pet!
Chinchilla breeders and chinchilla sellers can be found under subjects and breeders and sellers. Breeders and Sellers
***Beginning of chinchilla article - how to buy a chinchilla, chinchilla cages, hidey houses, essential complex herd social behavior, socializing a new chinchilla, introducing a new chinchilla to the herd, grooming, background information
***Pet Mice - Mice as Pets
***Gerbil - Pet Gerbils
***Chinchilla - Pet Chinchillas
***Rat - Pet Rats
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