Keep your chinchilla happy

4 tips for a healthy pet

Chinchillas make perfect pets for busy adults, students, and school learners. They sleep through most of the day and are active at night, so fit in nicely with work schedules. Generally speaking, they don’t need much attention, but if well cared for they can live for up to 20 years. So how do you keep them in peak health?

Keep your chinchilla happy

May 13, 2019

1. Feed him well

Chinchillas are vegetarians. It is important that they are not overfed, and that they are fed the correct food. Chinchillas diet should consist of unlimited amount of high-quality grass hay along with a small amount of chinchilla pellets. The hay should be dust and mould free. Chinchillas require a special kind of pellet feed to keep them healthy, and it is important that they are fed with this specific food, not rabbit or guinea pig pellets. It is not recommended to feed a chinchilla high fat or high sugar foods such as seeds, nuts or most fruits. You can, of course, give your rodent friend a treat. Suggested treats include herbs, green vegetables, such as basil, dill, kale, spinach or watercress.

2. Keep him clean

Chinchillas clean themselves in dust baths. It is therefore advised to take your pet out of his cage and place him within a secure and closed off location in a pan of specialised sand twice or three times a week. Chinchillas will instinctively know what to do when placed in this sand bath. This method of cleaning is absolutely essential for chinchillas, as the sand helps to clean the excess oil from their skin. 

3. Give him space

Your chinchilla loves space, but opt for a wider cage rather than a taller one. The perfect size would be somewhere in the region of 800mm wide x 500 long x 600mm high. Ensure also that the cage is made of sturdy steel and has a solid base.

Make sure that your rodent friend has a lot within his cage to keep him occupied. For example, safe chew toys, a hide-box  and a solid exercise wheel will keep your pet entertained.

4. Don’t forget the TLC

Finally, you need to give your pet as much love as possible. Take your chinchilla out of his cage and give him interactive playtime, for at least an hour every day. Chinchillas are friendly, loving and intelligent animals and a healthy chinchilla will bring you lots of joy!

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