Chinchilla Care

Mistakes To Avoid When Purchasing A Chinchilla

The maintenance of exotic pets is different than say, a dog or a cat.  With a dog or a cat, you don't have to spend a lot of time caring for them as you would a chinchilla.  In addition to spending more time with a chinchilla, you will have to spend more money.  This is because a chinchilla is a specialized pet and specialized pets cost more because they require different maintenance than regular animals.  Before you run out and get one, please keep in mind some things that you'll need to know or at least consider before you jump in with both feet.

Chinchillas do not make good pets for anyone who has allergies to animal fur or dust. They do not always make the best pets for children, as they do not like to be held and cuddled, but may be ok for an older child who understands the needs and temperament of the chin.

It is not recommended that wild Chinchillas per se kept as pets but there is no harm in keeping a domestic chinchilla. Because these animals are so small they tend to be skittish and really aren’t a good pet for young children who may become startled when they hold a small animal.


Chinchillas have a long life span of about 15 years but if you take very good care of them they have been known to live 20 or more years.
Like guinea pigs, chinchillas squeak, bark or chirp to communicate, for every situation they are in they use a different form of communications. They can bring out a calm loving sweet chirp when they are content or they can bark when they are aggressive or they are scared.

The chinchillas may look cute at the pet store and you just have to have one.  Before you do that, research information on the pet.  Take a few more days before you decide on whether you really want it or not.  Sometimes it's one of those, oh you really think you want it deals, but when you get home with it, it's a different story.  So doing research can save you and the pet a lot of time and possible heartache.

Plan ahead - This is the most important thing you should do before you even think about checking out a chinchilla.  They may look cute, but you need to know in advance how much it's going to cost you to maintain the pet, the time you'll be spending with it, buying them special food, and trips to the veterinarian.  All of these things require time and money, and if  you have neither, you might as well wait until you can take on this responsibility.

Do your research before you decide to purchase an exotic pet.  Laws vary from state to state regarding these kinds of animals.  You should also look into the local, county and federal laws to see what applies to your situation.  You can check with the office in your area that deals with wildlife animals or exotic pets.  Avoiding this action can get you in big trouble if you don't have the proper permits or any permits at all.

Factor in the cost of having an exotic pet such as a chinchilla.  In addition to food and veterinary visits, you must factor in things like their cage, equipment and other supplies.  You should also include in this assessment funds for possible emergencies that could come up.  Speaking of emergencies, exotic pets sometimes like to feign sickness until it gets unbearable.  Don't wait until an unexpected emergency hits to find a specialty veterinarian.  Not only will it cost you time, it could mean a matter of life or death.

If you have to go out of town or away on emergency, you should have someone available on stand-by to take care of your pet while  you're away.  Remember, chinchillas need constant care and if they are neglected, they'll suffer. icon

If you're looking to buy a chinchilla, you home has to be chinchilla-proof.  It can't stay the way it is.  Chinchillas require different settings and you have to adjust them to their specifications.  They can reside in moderate temperatures and it can't be hot or humid in the house.

You can either set aside a room in your house for them or purchase a cage (your best bet).  The sooner you make the changes, the sooner they can adapt to your home.