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How to Keep Your Chinchilla Happy

October 15 2016
Have you recently adopted a chinchilla? If so, you’ve chosen a very cute and charming little pet. Chinchillas aren’t hard to care for, but they do have some very specific needs. Here, a local Oshawa, ON veterinarian offers some tips on keeping chinchillas happy.


Chinchillas are very sociable and friendly. One chinchilla may feel sad and lonely without any buddies to play with. We generally recommend getting more than one, so they can play, interact, and snuggle up together.


Making sure your chinchillas have a big, roomy cage is very important. Look for a cage that offers multiple levels. Be sure to choose one with a solid floor. As for accessories, your adorable pets will need bedding, a dust bath, food and water dishes, a hayrack, a solid exercise wheel, and toys. Remember to add some hidey-holes, like tunnels, tents, or little boxes. Ask your vet for specific advice on bedding and cage setup.

Choosing The Right Toys

Keep your adorable pets occupied with fun playthings like tunnels; cardboard toys; wooden blocks and ladders; and toilet paper tubes. Tree branches are also very popular with these pint-sized furballs. Just be sure to choose safe woods, like hazelnut, pear, or willow. Never give a chinchilla pine or cedar, as they are toxic to small animals.


Stress is very bad for both people and chinchillas. Keep your furry little friends on a set schedule, handle them gently and frequently, and avoid exposing your tiny buddies to loud noises or other things that could frighten them.


Chinchillas can get very sick if they get too hot or too cold. Your chinchillas’ room should never go above 26 °C. The ideal temperature is right around 20 °C. Avoid putting these little guys in direct sunlight, and/or in areas that are damp, drafty, or very bright or dark.


Your chinchillas will need a variety of foods, including grass hay, pellets, supplements, and treats. They’ll also benefit from having a cuttlebone to nibble on. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, chinchillas need proper veterinary care. It’s also important to do some research, and learn about some symptoms of illness, such as watering eyes, drooling, and lethargy. Ask your vet for more information. Do you have questions about chinchilla care? Contact us, your Oshawa, ON animal clinic, today.

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