Chinchillas are rodents that are native to South America, mainly in Chile. They once almost went extinct due to everyone wanting their thick and soft fur to make coats out of. Chinchilla fur is so dense, that it’s not supposed to get wet. Most pet owners will avoid getting their chinchilla wet because it will never be able to dry off, causing fungus to grow and infect their skin. Sometimes it can be fatal, so it’s recommended not to get water on a chinchilla. Chinchillas take dust baths to clean their fur, there’s a special dust sold at pet stores and online that they use.
Chinchilla diets are certainly minimal. When they’re in captivity they usually only eat chinchilla food pellets and timothy hay. Their stomachs are weak and can’t digest food very well, so foods like raisins, lettuce, dried tomatoes, and other treats are recommended to be given to a chinchilla only once a week. If they eat too many treats it could cause them to get stomach problems, and chinchillas are really good at hiding illnesses, so when you find out they’re sick it may be too late. When they’re out in the wild, they typically only eat grass and seeds they find on the ground.
Keeping a chinchilla as a pet isn’t as easy as some people might think. They’re high maintenance animals that require a lot of care. You have to let them out of their cage for playtime, change out their hay, and give them dust baths every single day. Chinchillas are social animals, so if you spend most of your day at work or school, it’s best not to get a chinchilla. You should be spending a lot of quality time with your chinchilla and making sure they’re happy and healthy. When letting a chinchilla out for playtime, you shouldn’t reach in their cage and grab them, that could cause them to be afraid of you. It’s best to open the cage doors and let them come out when they want to. Chinchillas are super fragile and you want to maintain a good relationship with your pet.
Author- Calypso P.