Anonymous asked in PetsOther - Pets · 1 decade ago

know anything about keeping pet chinchillas?

my daughter really wants a pet chinchilla for her birthday and i don't really know much about them, i do know that they are quite expensive though , so if anyone could give me any ideas on prices and tips i would be very grateful

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Properly treated chinchillas can live 15 to 20 years. Mistreated and improperly care for chinchillas will have a short life. Chinchillas thrive on love, quiet, food adapted to their needs, good water, fresh air, moderate temperatures and light

    Is a chinchilla the right pet for you?

    chinchillas are cute, odorless, playful and low maintenance, but they are not usually cuddly and would rather run around and play than be held. Some other things to think about are

    * Can you afford to buy and maintain a chinchilla

    * Is there a good breeder nearby?

    * What color and sex would you want?

    * Are there vets in your area that treat chinchillas?

    * Do you have pets that could hurt chinchillas? If so are you sure you will be able to keep them separated at all times?

    Breeders are the best to buy from, this way you can know the genetic history of the chinchilla, as well as have someone who you can contact when you have questions. A chinchilla bought from a good reputable breeder is almost always a great pet, they have been handled from birth and are usually healthy and well adjusted. Also breeders are more likely to have mutation colors.

    It is always a good idea to see a chinchilla in person before buying it

    - The nose of the chinchilla should be dry not runny

    - The eyes should be bright and free from discharge

    - Teeth should be yellow and meet in a straight line

    - The area beneath the tail should not be wet or stained

    - Animals should be curious when you stick you hand in the cage

    Before Bringing your new chinchilla home

    You will need a cage which must be large enough for a few shelves and have room for the chinchilla to run and jump. The bigger the better, but it should not be any smaller than 2'X2'X2' per chinchilla. The cage can be built or bought but it is best to avoid plastic as a chinchilla will chew through plastic quickly.

    Do not use fish tanks as they do not have enough air circulation and are too small. Safe materials to use are wood, metal, stainless steel and wire. Wire should be no larger that 1"X1" for the sides and 1/2" X 1/2" for the bottom. It is best to use pine or aspen shavings in the bottom. DO NOT USE CEDAR. Cedar has fumes that are toxic to small animals. Chinchilla cages should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week.

    You can buy a hidey house for your chinchilla. It can be made of wood, cardboard or fleece. Keep in mind anything that is placed in the cage may be chewed on and will need to be replaced periodically.

    Salt blocks are not necessary and too much salt in a chinchilla's diet will cause seizures.

    Dust baths are used to get the oils out of the fur. Too many can cause dry itchy skin. They should be given 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes during dry weather. During the Humid times of the year you may want to increase the number of baths your chinchilla receives.

    To give a dust bath you will need a container. There are containers made for this at most pet stores, but anything that is large enough for a chinchilla to roll around in and easy to clean will work. Other items frequently used are large fish bowls, ceramic bowls, and large pickle jars.

    Feed dishes and water bottles should be dishwasher safe. Glass water bottles are great because the chinchillas cannot chew through them. Feed dishes should be sturdy, large enough to hold the days food and easy to clean, avoid plastic. It is best for food dishes to have a broad base and low center of gravity so they cannot be dumped out by the chinchilla. Ceramic bowls work great.

    Toys are necessary to wear down their constantly growing teeth. Suitable toys include apple branches (pesticide free), pumice stones, cardboard, hanging bird toys and wood replacement blocks. Avoid toys with plastic, rope or nuts.

    A good wheel is a great investment, but do not waste your money on a plastic one.

    You will also need a small pet carrier to bring your new pet home in and for vet visits. Smaller is better, put shavings in the bottom and a handful of hay or some hay cubes. A water bottle is not needed for short trips. Watch the animal so it does not over heat. A chinchilla cools itself using the veins in his ears as he cannot sweat. If your chinchillas ears are bloodshot he may be too warm. This is easier to see in the lighter colored animals.

    It is best to set the cage up in a quiet area out of direct sunlight and out of drafts. Give the chinchillas a day or two to adjust but continue your normal daily schedule. Make sure he has fresh food and water daily.

    Feeding your chinchilla

    Feed the best quality food you can buy you will find often the better foods are cheaper online than the poor quality foods from the pet store. Always have fresh wholesome food, fresh water and hay available. Do not buy food with treats in it, plain pellets are best and too many treats can easily kill your chinchilla. Chinchilla

    Source(s): great chinchilla site I am a chinchilla breeder in IL
  • .
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    How old is your daughter? Chinchillas are not cuddly animals that are going to want to be held for very long, and they're also quite fragile. They also live 15-20 years, even 25. If your daughter ends up moving out in a few years and can't bring her chinchilla with her, you might end up the one taking care of it.

    You're right, they are quite expensive. A good cage alone will cost you $100-200+, then just the wheel will be $50, and then the chinchilla itself can be from $50-300 depending on where you get it and its colour. All in all, the initial set up will cost you around $500. They also need exotic vets, so any vet trips are going to be expensive.

    Chinchillas need more care than the typical rodent. They need a large cage, special dust (which you will probably have to order online, Blue Cloud or Blue Sparkle), and about an hour a day of "playtime" in a chinchilla-proof room.

    Many of the "chinchilla" products in pet stores are unsafe, even deadly, to chinchillas. Depending on where you are located, you may end up having to order a lot of the supplies for the chinchilla online, which does add the cost of shipping.

    Chinchillas are very sensitive to heat. If you live in an area where it regularly gets over 70 degrees, this can be fatal to them. If this is the case, you will need air conditioning, which again, can get expensive. is a great forum with longtime chinchilla owners and breeders, and a good place to do research. Many of the members also sell chinchilla-safe products from toys to food.

    If you do decide to get her a chinchilla, check out for rescues and shelters. Please, never get an animal from a pet store.

  • bussie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    purely keep in mind chinchillas must be saved in a cooler atmosphere and the flying saucer wheel should not be plastic the two...additionally, chinchillas choose no longer purely better cages yet ones with better than one point. I very own chinchillas and that they love mountain climbing up and down the ladders. Chinchillas additionally desire to be saved in pairs (of an analogous gender)...yet they must be presented at a youthful age. purely ensure you're completely dedicated to possessing a chinchilla simply by fact they are in a position to stay as much as 20 years! attempt to no longer get your chinchilla moist, the two. ...don't be apprehensive whilst your chinchilla loses some fur. They use it as a self-protection mechanism and the fur will strengthen back.

  • CF_
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    here is a link a friend of mine wrote, she keeps and breeds chinchillas so knows what she is talking about

    how old is your daughter?

    has she had a pet before?

    are you willing to help if she gets bored?

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