The trick to the perfect chinchilla dust bath

Chinchilla CareYou already know that your chinchilla requires regular dust baths in order to stay happy and healthy – not to mention how fun it is to watch – but what isn’t always obvious to chin owners is how they should actually be providing this experience to their pets to make sure that it is effective without an enormous mess.

The first step is to choose the right kind of bath dust. It isn’t just a matter of buying a bag of sand for your chin. You need an extremely fine dust that will match the type of substance that it would have used in the wild in its natural environment. This usually means ground pumice dust. It is a type of volcanic stone that is ground down into a very fine powder. It is available at virtually any pet supply store that sells products for chinchillas and other mountain or desert rodent.

Next, you need a “bathtub”. This is to be a container to hold the dust so that your chinchilla can roll around in it. Naturally, you don’t want to just make a pile on the floor! You also need to make sure that it is big enough for your chinchilla to roll around and protected enough that the entire room won’t be coated in flying dust. Many pet supply stores have little houses and other containers that are designed for this purpose, but owners often balk at the prices and the fact that the products are frequently made out of plastic; a no-no material for chins.

One of the most effective dust bath containers that you can use is an appropriately sized glass fish bowl. Some have flat sides so that the bowl can be laid down on its side for betterChinchilla Care stability. The glass is nice and smooth, allowing the dust to fly well, and permitting you to see your little friend spinning and whirling about. Or you can buy a chinchilla bath especially designed for the little guys – ceramic baths are nice and smooth.

Dust baths should not be left inside the chinchilla cage permanently. If they are, they will become soiled as the chins will choose them as an area for elimination. Furthermore, if the chinchilla takes too many baths, it will result in dry and irritated skin. Instead, give your pet a bath once or twice every week for ten to fifteen minutes each time. When the humidity is low, fewer baths may be needed, and higher humidity will require more frequent baths.

The optimal health lifestyle for a chinchilla

Chinchilla CareChinchillas can be wonderful pets, but they require a certain specific kind of care to make sure that they receive the nutrition that they need and the exercise that they require to cater to their delicate digestive systems and predisposition to obesity.

A chinchilla not only need a certain balance of nutrition, but it must also receive those nutrients within certain high fiber foods that ensure a healthy digestive tract.

Every day, the average chinchilla should receive approximately two tablespoons of a high quality chinchilla pellet food, as well as a large amount of fresh hay and water. The quantity of pellets will depend on the individual chinchilla and the brand of food, but they can consume as much hay as they can eat without adverse effects.

Since chinchillas thrive on routine, it is best to keep to a set feeding schedule. Most owners choose to feed their pets in the evening when chinchillas are at their most active.

Carefully select the brand of pellets that you will be feeding your chinchilla so that you won’t need to change them. If, for some reason, you find that you need to change the brand, do so gradually. Begin by taking out ten percent of the old food and adding ten percent of the new food. Every day, add a little bit more of the new food and a little bit less of the old food. Switching too quickly can cause severe digestive upset.

Select a food that is meant specifically for chinchillas, which consists only of pellets. Mixed foods will encourage picky eating in your chin and could lead it to eat only the tasty “treat” foodsChinchilla Food and not the pellets that contain the best balance of nutrition.

You should also be quite selective about the hay you serve your chinchilla. Make sure that it is fresh and free of chemicals, dust, mold, or any musty smells. Coarse, loose hay is preferable to chopped hay.

Though hard pellets and hay are great for keeping teeth healthy and trim, it is still important to carefully check your chinchilla’s teeth to make sure that they’re neither broken nor overgrown. The incisors in the chinchilla’s mouth will grow between 2 and 3 inches every year, so additional chew toys will be vital to preventing dental problems that can be expensive to repair, traumatic to the chinchilla, and dangerous to its health.

Remember to choose items from a pet store that are designed specifically for chinchillas or large rodents, including chew toys made out of pumice, cholla rings, wood (avoid highly scented wood such as pine and cedar), and cuttlefish. Cuttlefish is especially beneficial as it also provides the chinchilla with calcium.

With a healthy diet also comes the need for proper exercise and chinchilla care. Obesity is a major problem among chinchillas, and though it may look cute to see a fat chinchilla, a round fuzzy ball of a chin, the dangers of the condition are even greater in these animals than they are in humans. Although a good tall cage with lots of ledges will provide some exercise, a wheel – either standard or “flying saucer” – will go a long way to make sure that your chinchilla can have a good run whenever it wants, burning off extra calories and weight.

Top tips for safe and healthy pet chinchilla care

Chinchilla CareChinchillas can be cute, fun, and entertaining pets, but they do require a certain specific living environment and special care in order to make sure that they remain happy and healthy throughout their lives.

While their popularity as pets is on the rise, the requirements for chinchilla care are not yet widely known. Many people who adopt these pets believe that they are similar to other animals – such as dogs, cats, or even rabbits or guinea pigs – and try to treat them in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, this can lead to disaster, as chins are sensitive little creatures that have unique needs that won’t be met if they’re treated like any other animal.

That said, chinchillas are quite easy to care for, once you know what you’re doing. As long as the basic care needs are properly maintained, most health and safety problems can be avoided.

One of the most prominent behaviors of chinchillas is chewing. This is a necessity. As rodents, they have teeth that are continually growing. They chew not only to ingest food, but also to keep the length of their teeth filed to a proper length and to stop them from over-growing (which can lead to many health problems and will require the teeth to be professionally clipped by a veterinarian).

That said, chinchillas are not highly discriminating regarding what they will choose to chew – whether it’s safe for them or not. As a rule, you should consider only natural pumice and untreated wood to be safe for your chins. Use the following tips to help guide you to design a safe environment for your chinchillas’ chewing needs.

1. Use a spray, cover, or block off baseboards, furniture, or anything else made out of wood, as your chinchillas will make quick work of chewing them up. They won’t just gnaw a few bites, but will do significant damage. Moreover any paint or wood treatments will be hazardous to the health of your pets.

2. Chinchillas won’t just chew wood. They’ll also chew carpet, wires, plastic, boxes, toys, clothing, or anything else they can get their paws on.

3. Check the play space for any holes or gaps that will allow them to escape, slip behind furniture, or even climb inside furniture such as a box spring or an entertainment center. They may look quite large, but they can fit through an exceptionally small space.

The challenges faced by pet owners with chinchillas

Health and Chin SafetyThough chinchillas are soft, cute, appealing, and offer an interesting, different, and exotic option to potential pet owners, there is a growing problem with chinchilla owners who are not prepared for the type of care that they require.

According to the founder of NWI Chinchillas, Ashley Gajda, people have an inclination to buy a chinchilla pet on impulse, as a fad pet as opposed to researching what is required for their care. “They get the little fellows home and find they’re not quite what they expect.” NWI Chinchillas was established in 2003 as a rescue for these and other small exotic pets, to give the animals a place to go when their owners are incapable of caring for them and must surrender them.

Gajda explained that while people frequently believe that they will be receiving a sweet, cuddly lap-sitting pet, somewhat like a cat, they are often surprised to find that they are highly energetic and have no interest in remaining still and snuggling.

While Gajda – who is also a chinchilla breeder – has said that they are unlike other more traditional pets, they can still make wonderful companions for the right owners, who have done their research and are willing to give them the right kind of care.

Chinchillas are native to the Chilean and Argentinean Andes Mountains and are unable to withstand temperatures much warmer than 72 degrees. For that reason, they must live in very carefully climate controlled homes. They will not survive a home that is not air conditioned, as they can easily suffer heatstroke and die.

Owners must also understand that chinchillas are rodents, and as such, they have continually growing teeth. This means that they have a constant need to chew, to keep their teeth at the proper length. While All About Chinchillasproviding wooden shelves in their cages, and chew toys made of wood and pumice is a great way to meet that need, it must also be recognized that their inclination to chew will take them right through anything plastic.

This not only harms their delicate digestive systems as they will ingest the plastic they chew, but it can also cause them to escape, allowing them to damage your possessions and suffer further harm.

A special dust-like product is required for baths for these animals in order to keep their fur free of mats and oils. Without these baths, many forms of skin condition can result.

These are only a few of the requirements for chinchilla care. Before adopting this kind of pet, it is vital that owners know them, and are certain that they can provide what is needed.

A shoppers experience…things to know before you set out to pick up your Chinchilla

Shopping for ChinchillasChinchillas are rodents that originally come from the Andes Mountains in South America. These are larger than ground squirrels, and are named after the Chincha people who are residents of the Andes. Originally used for clothing and accessories because of their fur, they are now becoming common pets.

Sheryl Goldstein, mother to Charlie is one of the people who are coming to love chinchillas as pets. Her son wanted a pet chinchilla for years, but she only gave him one two years ago. Now, both of them love Choncho, which is already 2 years old. She is just one of the New Yorkers who are discovering the delight of having a chinchilla for a pet.

Petco is one of the pet stores that sell chinchillas, and it has been selling these animals for almost 20 years already. The general manager, Steve Crall says that in a month’s time, there are about two chinchillas sold, and the numbers are increasing. He claims that chinchillas are very gentle animals and are sociable, bonding easily with their owners.

Chinchillas were first imported in the United States in 1923 from the Andes to be used in making coats because of their fur. In the 1960s, they were made as pets. As to this date, they are now legal in the city. Websites for chinchillas are getting very common, with Chins & Hedgies having memberships of over 3,000. A specialty-practice category that is for small exotic animals was set by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2008 as a support for the chinchillas.

The lifespan of chinchillas is expected at 20 years, going more if well taken care of. They can cost around $130 at Petco, and for top-quality specimens from breeders, they can go as high as $200 to $600. Proper care should be given to them as they are sensitive to heat, and are prone to heatstroke.

Chinchilla facts on pregnancy and giving birth


Chinchillas are sturdy but particular animals. When breeding, it is important to have a firm understanding on how their reproduction works. Chinchillas vary from one another, so it is wise to temper information to your specific situation.

The estrus cycle of a chinchilla, the time in which is can get pregnant, is 28 days. They go into heat for 2 days during the cycle. The chances of conception seem to be greater during winter and spring, but they can become pregnant every month. Their breeding activity will slow considerable during summer and fall and this will occur even in a controlled environment where seasonal changes have little to no impact.

Chinchillas have the longest gestation period of any rodent – 111 days exactly. Pregnancy is difficult to detect during the first 3 months and are extremely susceptible to stress during this period. Sufficient stress can cause the chinchilla to terminate its pregnancy.

During gestation, chinchillas can display a wide array of behavior. Normally affectionate chinchillas may become irritable and territorial, defending themselves by spraying urine. Shy chinchillas may become more energetic or even affectionate. At this stage it is important to identify any changes in behavior and accommodate accordingly.

Chinchillas normally have a small litter, predominately giving birth to twins. Because of the long gestation period, babies are born fully furred and with open eyes.

The female will produce after birth for each of her babies. The babies usually nibble of the placenta, which is rich in protein, but it should be removed from the cage as soon as possible. Chinchillas have a very sensitive digestive system and are vegetarian. Proteins can cause severe impaction and digestive problems.

Females will go into heat 72 hours after giving birth and will mate with the male again if he is readily available. They are able to do so without complication. Though birth is a physically demanding process, the female is capable of handling it. Newborns are at risk of trampling if in the same cage.

The mother will begin producing milk after birth, which will require a substantial amount of minerals, fats, and proteins from the body. It is important to make sure she is well nourished during this period so that she can produce quality milk and properly feed her babies.

These are basic guidelines to help you understand the process of chinchilla pregnancy. Each case is unique but this is a good foundation to build upon.

Things you should know about your chinchilla

Finding the right chinchilla can be tough and when you do find that perfect match its important to take good care of them. There are some thingsAll About Chinchillas you should know that can help you take care of you new partner.

Chinchillas are Skittish…

Chinchillas are domesticated animals but are natural leery of physical contact. If handled regularly at a young age, they will be more accustomed to touch but will still be skittish. Your chinchillas will grow more accustomed to your care in a couple of months. Until then, make sure you give your chinchilla enough room to become comfortable.

They Make Friends Slowly…
This is a trait shared with felines. Chinchillas need to be introduced slowly to a new environment and new people. If they are put into a small space with another chinchilla, they will likely begin fighting. Chinchillas will naturally warm up to each other as they spend more time together.

They Can Be Very Vocal…
The noises they make can be squeaks, chirps, coughs, or barks. These are normal sounds and occur mostly during dawn or dusk. Vocalization generally means they are comfortable with their environment. Take this as a good sign, unless you are trying to sleep in on the weekend.

They Need Their Space…
Their natural habitat, the mountainous regions of South America, is very spacious. Small spaces can cause distress and make them panic. They need room to climb and explore. The more diverse their environment, the more stimulated they will be.

Chinchillas Are Picky Eaters…
Chinchillas have a very sensitive digestive system. In the wild they survive on dry desert grass which provides all the nutrients they need. Diets with too much fat and proteins can cause gastric problems. They need very little water to survive and giving them anything other than water can cause bloating.

They Need Love…
Though chinchillas are shy at first, they grow attached to you after they are comfortable with their surroundings. They thrive when cared for and become affectionate. Chinchillas can take care of themselves very well but are naturally social animals. If you have one chinchilla, make sure you are interacting with it as often as it needs.

This is all basic information on what to expect when you find your pet. The more information you have the better you will be able to care for your chinchilla. When you love them, they will love you back.

Pet News: Is pet insurance for you?

Is pet insurance right for you?Insurance for your pet is definitely different from your own health coverage. Usually at the time of service, the veterinarian will probably demand you pay the entire amount before actual treatment, leaving no room for things like co-pays (more like full-pays). After that your pet’s insurance coverage should compensate you following your, not the doctor’s office, submittal of a claim. A suggestion would be to create some sort of independent bank account pertaining to your animal’s healthcare needs.

Many industry professionals see animals in pain or going without treatment due to the high expense but if planned properly this can be avoided. Pat Howard, the office manager at Aidmore Animal Clinic said, “The field of veterinary medicine can do so much more to prolong a dog’s comfort and life, but it’s expensive. I think pet insurance will become more and more popular as people are able to keep their pets longer and longer.”

Anytime buying a pet insurance policy, evaluate the actual program therefore you understand exactly what is covered. Because pre-existing, as well as hereditary conditions, tend not to be included. Additionally, younger animals typically receive insurance at less expensive prices.

Veterinarians generally all agree, that pet insurance is great thing to have, especially since animal owners are more at ease, thus allowing the Doctor do everything that is needed…especially at the time of emergency. But there’s no denying it, insurance is a business and the companies are there to make a buck on your premium dollars. If a pet owner doesn’t have the funds for this type of insurance then it’s best to have a credit card, with no balance, set aside for such an emergency. Therefore this will avoid the immediate financial burden and keep your pet healthy.

Also, check with your veterinarian’s office to see if perhaps they provide some sort of wellness program. These packages could possibly offer you limitless clinic trips, fecal and heartworm assessments as well as yearly vaccinations. Typically the plan will not include illnesses; however your own animal medical practitioner might offer you Care Credit that is a health-related payment account established upon your credit score.

Most people want the best for the animals but don’t realize how much of an expense it can really be. Don’t get caught unprepared, be smart, you’re animal will thank you for it!

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Things to consider before buying a Chinchilla for a pet

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Chinchilla Origin - Rocky Mountain Range in Chile

Chinchilla Origin - Rocky Mountain Range in Chile

Chinchillas are not only adorable as well as the softest creatures on the planet, they can make wonderful pets, but there are some things you should know before you set down the road of getting a chinchilla. Anytime someone gets a pet, it’s an awesome responsibility, and should not be taken lightly. Why? Because you want to make sure A. it’ll be good for you and B. your home is chinchilla ready! There’s nothing worse than getting an animal, of any kind, and then discovering their habits just don’t mesh with your lifestyle.

So here are some highlights on chinchillas and how they roll, literally…ROLL!

• Slightly larger than ground squirrels and compact in shape with large ears, large darkish eyes, along with a bushy tail
• Chinchillas tend to be skittish but extremely playful amongst themselves which makes for  fun to watch -  great for adults along with adolescents however , may not be for younger kids
• Then tend to be more sensitive, requiring better housing as well as proper care compared to other small pets.
• They are herbivores and need a reduced fat, high fiber diet that’s rich in coarse vegetation to keep ideal wellness
• Chinchillas are night time creatures, lively mainly later in the day and at night, while sleeping throughout the daylight.
• They may be allowed out and about in a chinchilla-safe space or room.
• Chinchillas tend to be  delicate, with vulnerable respiratory and skeletal systems
• When picking them up position one hand below their belly and another under their back side.    
• They are regarded as exotic pets which can make veterinarian care expensive
• Chinchillas can have 2 liters per year    
• Generally they don’t bite, however they might leap out of your hands so be mind full of where you're at.
• Chinchillas really should be housed in a well-ventilated cage which is kept cool and dry since they're very active at night, make sure they have a lot of space; an excellent cage size is definitely 6 ft taller in comparison to the cages width – a large chinchilla cage is better!
• Chinchillas tend to be chewers, they're teeth develop all through their lives, so they really MUST be supplied with safe things to gnaw on. 
• They should not be caged outdoors, their optimum temperature is  a steady 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit    
• Their basic supplies are a water bottle, a non-tip food bowl or hopper, a hayrack, a mineral salt wheel and a chinchilla dust bath bowl. 
• Chinchillas survive typically 8 to 10 years but they can live as much as 20 years 
• They don’t get wet when they bathe but they do roll around, feverishly, in their dust bowls - try not to get  wet due to their fir is so dense it’s hard for them to dry out and can get fur rot.

These furry guys are the best but they do require some work on your part. Make sure your chinchilla cage is set up right and you know all the facts before buying your chinchilla today!

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