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Chinchillas

Average life expectancy is between 10-20 years. The oldest
Chinchilla heard of was 27-29 years old.

Chinchillas on average weight from 550grams -1000grams.

Chinchillas can jump at least 3 feet high.

Chinchillas have very dense fur. Their environment must be kept under 75 degrees. They can over heat and die in warmer temperatures.

Chinchillas should be housed indoors. Also many people ask if chinchillas can be walked on a leash. The answer is no. They can easily slip out of pet harnesses. Remember chinchillas are mostly fur and you can not tighten the harness enough for them.

Chinchillas do not take water baths instead they take dust baths. They roll in the dust bath to keep their fur clean of oils. Dust baths should be given at least 2 times a week or as needed. Use about a table spoon or more per chinchilla.

Their teeth grow continuously though out their life time. It is very important that they have wooden toys or pumice stones to help wear their teeth down.

Use caution with toys: Run around balls are not a good way to have your chinchilla exercise. They can over heat in them causing a heat stroke. Wheels are great for a chinchilla but you need to be careful which type you chose. Wheels should be solid (no wire) and fit securely to the cage. Not all toys in the pet store are safe. Please use good judgement when purchasing toys.

Chinchillas are nocturnal. They sleep during the day and are awake at night. Bedrooms are not always the best place to house a chinchilla for this reason.

Cage location is also a very important aspect. The cage should not be located under a window or direct sun light. The cage should not be under a AC vent or in any other drafts.

Chinchillas need a good diet to maintain their health.

Fresh Pellets: There are several good pellets on the market now such as Kline, Mazuri and Tradition to name a few. Please do not feed a chinchilla any type of small animal food. They need a diet that is made specifically for them.

Hay: Chinchillas love their hay. You can feed hay either loose or in cubes. Alfalfa and Timothy are great choices. Which hay depends one what kind of feed you will use. For example if you use the Kline diet you will need alfalfa hay if you use Mazuri pellets you would need timothy hay.

Water: Chinchillas need a constant supply of water just like any other animal. Filtered water is best it eliminates bacteria and sediment from the water.

Healthy treats include rose hips, raisins, dried papaya, plain mini wheats, cheerios, loose hay (orchard grass, oat hay, blue grass), and dried cranberries. Do not feed your chinchilla fresh fruits or vegetables this can upset their stomachs or make the bloat.

Chinchillas are treat monsters. You must be careful when giving treats. To many treats can cause health problems later on in life. Chinchillas can be given treats once they are 6mo old, no sooner.

If you give the treats to young it will upset there stomachs. Give treats very sparingly once or twice a week. When giving treats only give 2 small pieces. When serving loose hay as a treat just give one small hand full.