Looking for a unique and affectionate pet? Then buying or adopting a chinchilla could be your thing. But there are a few things you have to take into account before you take one home: its food, for example.
1. They live a long time
Chinchillas live at least as long as rabbits: about 10 to 15 years. Some even live to be 20 years old! So be aware that you’re making a long-term commitment if you say yes to getting a chinchilla. On the other hand, you’ll have plenty of time to build a close bond with your pet.
2. They’re nocturnal
You can leave for work in the morning with your peace of mind in tact: your chinchilla won’t get lonely or into trouble as it will spend the whole day catching zzz’s. In dreamland during the day, your pet only becomes active in the evening or at night. They are very light sleepers so you’ll sometimes catch them taking a nap with their eyes open. Creepy or cute? You decide.
3. They’re pack animals
With a chinchilla, you’re taking on pet that’s a pack animal: they appreciate company. Think you might not have enough time to take care of it? Then get two. They’re usually very gentle, both towards humans, their own species and other animals.
4. Too delicate for children's hands
It’s better not to buy or adopt a chinchilla if you have very small children. After all, they don’t yet know how to handle a pet carefully. This causes your chinchilla to become stressed and pluck at its fur until it sheds.
5. Food? Fiber, fiber and more fiber...
A diet that’s high in fiber, with no need for fat or sugars, your chinchilla's food requirements are simple, but strict. Extruded pellets or muesli made to suit a chinchilla's digestive system and lots of quality Timothy hay is ideal. And don't forget fresh water!
6. They like to take sand baths
What you should definitely buy for your chinchilla is a sand bath. Your new pet won't wash with water because its coat is too dense and dries too slowly, which is a perfect breeding ground for mold.
7. Keep it chinchilla-proof
Don't be fooled: these fluff balls might look chill but man, can they run! A prey animal, a chinchilla is very skittish and fast. Your pet can jump up to 1.5 meters! Keep that in mind when letting them on the loose. So now you know the basics to buy or adopt a chinchilla!