Chinchillas are wonderful little creatures and have become popular as pets, with pet shops all around the country making them available for sale. However, it’s important to make an informed decision before buying a chinchilla (or any pet) as they may not be suited to your household. This has led to many chinchillas being dumped or surrendered to rescue organizations.
Things you should consider:
- Chinchillas are crepuscular – they may sleep during the day and be noisy at night
- They are not playful and do not like being handled, which makes them a poor pet for young children
- Like many rodents, they do have an odor and need their cages cleaned regularly.
- They need a special diet that may not be easily available. If not fed properly, they can suffer from a range of health problems. Make sure that there is an exotic pet vet clinic and ready supply of food for your chinchilla before purchase.
- Chinchillas can live up to twenty years – which means you are in for a much longer commitment than with most small rodents
- Chinchillas require attention and do not travel well. Make sure that you have reliable, consistent care for your chinchilla if you plan on going away on holiday.
- Chinchillas are heat sensitive and can die under conditions that human beings find tolerable. Make sure that you are able to regulate their temperature on hot days.
- Chinchillas should not be removed from their mothers before the age of three months.
Pet ownership is an important responsibility. Make sure that you are 100% informed about the commitment that you are making and that you are able to provide your prospective pet with the care it needs.