How to make sure your chins stay happy and healthy in the warmer weather
Now that summer’s just about here, and there’s barely a hint of the cooler weather left behind, it’s time to make sure that you know what you need to be doing to provide your pet with proper chinchilla care during the hot season.
Chinchillas are cool climate animals and will suffer in extreme heat.
As their owner, it’s up to you to provide them with the habitat they require to remain healthy and happy. In the wild, they would retreat to shady areas to keep their temperatures down. However, domesticated animals in cages – no matter how handsome the environment you’ve built – don’t have the same opportunity to escape to a cooler area.
Unlike many other mammals, though these little guys have thick fun, they’re not able to sweat, which means that they have a very poor natural ability to keep their temperatures down. Typically speaking, chins aren’t able to cope in temperatures any warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), and they will struggle in high humidity levels.
If your chin cage is located in a very warm spot, or if it receives direct sunlight in the summertime, the results could be deadly. Proper chinchilla care means that you will provide an environment for your chin that will be dry and no warmer than around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use the following to help keep your beloved pet cool this summer and it will thrive:
• Keep your home cool. An air conditioner is ideal, but you can also black out windows when the sun is shining through them (this will also save you a bundle on your energy bill), use fans to circulate the air (though don’t aim it directly at the cage, as this can cause other health problems) and keep the cage in a cooler area of the home.
• Create cold zones in your chin cage. Freeze plastic containers of water and sit them on top of the cage (on top of a tea towel so that they don’t drip from condensation). The warm air from the cage will rise and push the cold air from the ice down, keeping your pets comfortable , making it a great chinchilla care technique. Wet and freeze terra cotta pots and then set them into the cage for the chins to chew on. Purchase a small ¼ thick slab of marble or granite (sometimes available at pet stores) and lay it in your chin’s sleeping or lounging area. This naturally cool surface can help pull the heat from your chin’s body. Refrigerate them for an even colder result.