Mar 21

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Pet Chinchilla

Little White Chinchilla

Little White Chinchilla

Everything you need to know about owning a pet chinchilla is going to be shared with you here, and I aim to help you decide whether or not a chinchilla is a suitable pet for you and your family.

My advice for anyone thinking about owning a pet chinchilla is to contact an expert chinchilla breeder to have a discussion about ownership. If, having carefully considered all factors involved, you decide you want to go ahead and provide a good home to a new pet chinchilla, I strongly advise you to purchase from an experienced and reliable chinchilla breeder. This is the best source, rather than buying from your local pet shop.

At first sight, chinchillas appear to be very quiet, if not docile. However, be aware that “playtime” normally starts around dusk and dawn with chinchillas being nocturnal animals. During periods of activity, chinchillas are extremely quick, full of bounce and incredibly agile. You’ll find that all chinchillas have a very individual personality. Chins are complex, highly intelligent, very independent and inquisitive little creatures.

Generally speaking, a typical chinchilla’s characteristics tend to make them suitable as pets. However, you must also realize that they’re not a suitable exotic pet for everyone. Because chins are quite small and fragile, young children will need to be carefully and rigorously supervised at all times when handling. Should a youngster squeeze a pet chinchilla over tightly, it’s likely that the chinchilla would bite in self defense.

As with any pet, owning a pet chinchilla is a big commitment. Healthy chins can have an unusually long lifespan for small rodents, so you’ll have to be fully prepared to love and care for them for anything up to 20 years+.

Typically, chinchillas tend to be reluctant or suspicious of change. Chins really don’t cope very well with new or unfamiliar situations. This might be changing their diet, a new accessory added to their cage, and any further routine changes.

Chinchillas are known to be extremely clean and odourless pets. They still need some help in preventing their fur getting dull and sticky. You must give them access to a special dust bath, preferably every other day. This will help them in cleansing their beautiful soft fur whilst also removing dirt and grease from their gorgeous coats.

Without the benefits of this special chinchilla dust, the fur of a pet chinchilla can actually start coming out in clumps. This will be both uncomfortable and unsightly, detracting from one of the world’s most beautiful animals.

My Top 10 Tips For Owning A Pet Chinchilla:

The main signs to look out for to check that your pet chinchilla is healthy are that they are generally active at “wakey” times are as follows:

1. Ensure that the cage enclosure and environment for your chinchilla(s) is safe and secure at all times.

2. The most suitable temperature for your pet chin is anywhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. As herbivores, pet chinchillas need to be provided with a diet rich in fibre. This should be based on grasses and hays to enable their digestive systems to properly function.

4. As chinchillas’ teeth will be growing continuously throughout their lifetime, they need to constantly gnaw on a good variety of suitable chewing objects, and eat grass and hay to keep them in a healthy condition.

5. Register with your local “exotic pet” vet in the case of any emergencies arising.

6. Treats should only be given to your chin on occasion, forming no more than 10% of your chin’s overall diet.

7. Always provide sufficient ventilation and clean your chinchilla’s cage out every other day.

8. Chinchillas do not travel well, so if you have to, carry your chinchilla within a suitable protective small pet carrier.

9. Be absolutely certain that you chinchillas are mature enough for breeding, before you put a male and female together.

10. Last, but by no means least, provide your pet chinchilla(s) with lots of TLC.

Owning a pet chinchilla, like other pets, will take a lot of effort and time. However, becoming the proud owner of a cute pet chinchilla is a wonderful experience!

On final point I must raise here is that with chinchillas being social animals, it’s often recommended to consider the possibility of owning more than one. This will allow for companionship and provide a welcome playmate.


Our Cute Chinchillas UK website provides advice and information about looking after and buying chinchillas as pets from chinchilla breeders in the UK.

You can buy cute chinchillas from two knowledgeable and experienced breeders, one based in Scotland and the other in England.

Visit Cute Chinchillas UK

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