Chinchilla Care

Your Pet Chinchilla And Environmental Stress   


Environmental stress can affect your pet chinchilla in different ways.  This type of stress results in either health or behavioural issues.  Your pet can experience the following:  anti-social behaviour that includes biting, fighting, spraying urine, fungus, or irritation of the eyes.  Your pet can also feel angst toward other chinchillas, biting the fur, gnawing on their cage or even depression. 


There are ways you can prevent your pet chinchilla from experiencing environmental stress.  You as the owner should make sure all their needs are satisfied.  You should also make sure that you are reliable enough to take care of their needs.  Your pet depends on you to take care of them physically and emotionally.   


Unless you know in advance, you won't necessarily detect that one of these actions can come from environmental stress.  You usually find out when the behaviour or illness becomes a chronic issue.  If you are not aware of the issues of environmental stress, your pet may be more prone to suffer the after-effects. 



If your pet is hyper, environmental stress will just compound the way they're already feeling.  In order for them to get a grip, behavioural rehabilitation would help them regain their footing.  Of course, if your pet is already easy-going, then rehabilitation is not necessary.  Environmental stress can affect how the chinchilla was treated, before and now.  Environmental stress can affect your animal if they were abused or handled badly.  This in turn, can cause them to exhibit anti-social tendencies towards the next owner.   


If your pet is experiencing boredom, this may eventually suffer from stress. Make sure the cage is large enough where they can run around and play. Be sure to include a wheel where they can exercise, some toys they can chew on and a hideaway. For good toys for Chinchilla, try Super Pet Mega Run-About Ball . All of these items can prevent your pet from being bored and stressed out. You should also cover their cage will also help them be less stressed and provide a sense of security. Make sure they get their daily exercise away from their cage. This helps them to be able to roam around and not be holed up 24 hours a day. This by itself can be stressful because they'll feel locked in to one entity, which would be their cage.  


Your pet should be in an environment where there is some movement and noise.  On the other hand, enduring constant loud noise can take its toll on them, also.  It's better for them to have noise, but it should be at a moderate level.  This way, if they do experience noise out of the ordinary, such as people, thunderstorms, etc., they'll know how to handle it.  Your pet has to have a happy medium between the two extremes (boredom and chaotic noise). 


Your pet will have to make adjustments if they came from an environment where there was boredom or chaos.  They'll have to make adjustments to the unfamiliar and unknown.  Like a human being, your pet will feel strange because all they know at the moment is the environment to which they were accustomed to.  It may take your pet at least a week to regroup.  If you must employ a change with your pet in the way of ownership, living arrangements or meeting other chinchillas, introduce it gradually.  Your pet will be more accepting of a slower process than they would of a quick and rash one.  A quick and rash one does nothing but contribute to more unnecessary stress.   


You can help by putting them in a quiet room with some soft jazz music.  There should be no other pets in the house while your pet is getting acclimated to different surroundings, including the owner. 


Added stress can contribute to shock.  In your pet's case, this happens when they feel they can't consume the magnitude of what's going on around them.  The chinchilla feels their situation is out of control and can't be corrected.  They're unable to digest the scenario.  This type of shock can result in immediate declining health and/or death; sometimes, they may decline slowly and eventually expire.  Stress-related shock doesn't happen often, but if your pet has hyper activity, they'll more likely to experience it. 


Giving your pet this transition time is crucial and imperative because if they came from a chaotic environment, they will have to learn to relax and if they came from a boredom environment, they must have time to get in the groove to handle noise in a timely manner.  If they take on too much too quickly, your pet can get overwhelmed, causing additional stress. 


Your pet prefers to be in a setting where they're not threatened by change.  However, if they do have to change scenery, the most important thing is that they have time to get adjusted.  Depending on how old they are and their health status, some chinchillas adjust faster than others.  The biting of fur would occur mostly in an older animal.  This may come from having another animal in the house.  The older one would feel that their territory was being invaded.   


Changes that would make your pet feel happy are a new cage, television or a new movie or a new chew toy.  More times than not, they would welcome these with open arms.  If in the event, any of these items don't satisfy them and cause stress, you'll have to make some adjustments so they can adapt and eliminate the stress.     


You will have to learn to be sensitive to their needs and get a sense of when they might be ready. It's normal for your pet to be wary of the unknown.  Eventually, they'll learn to adjust.  Chinchillas are used to routines.  They like to stay in the land of familiar surroundings and not rock the boat.  They don't particularly care for challenges, especially when it means making a change that affects them directly and swiftly.  If they have to, they will change, but they prefer to remain uninterrupted.  If they are in an unsafe environment, then it is essential that changes are made.  Eventually, your pet will appreciate your efforts to move them into better surroundings.   


It's always best to start out small and gradual, then work your way up with your chinchilla.  This way, your pet can accept the gradual transition with ease.