A chinchilla as a pet
The chinchilla as a pet is an excellent decision. Domestic chinchillas have little to do with wild chinchillas. There are an extraordinary variety of hybrids of various colors, sizes and morphologies. In nature there are only two species: the short-tailed chinchilla and the chinchilla lanigera or long-tailed chinchilla. If you are considering adopting a chinchilla as a pet , do not miss this YourCatCareguide article where we will explain the basic care.
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Characteristics and character of domestic chinchillas
Chinchillas are small-sized rodents. The females, 800 g, are larger than the males, with 600 g, and both are larger in size than the wild chinchillas. They are delicate and not aggressive animals .
Its fur is very dense and silky, though incomparable to that of wild species. Precisely because of the particularity of its capillary structure, it is not advisable to stir the excess animal. Especially if they are children, who naturally get emotional about such beautiful animals and want to caress them.
On the whole we speak of very sociable pets that, once they gain confidence, are really sweet and caring. They like to be caressed and rewarded with treats.
They are also intelligent animals as they recognize you and show you how they feel: happy, active, sad or sleepy. They communicate through winches or small bites of affection.
Chinchilla hair structure
Unlike humans that each hair has its hair follicle, chinchillas have 50 hairs or more in each of their follicles . This is a defensive feature of the wild chinchillas that the domestic ones conserve. Obviously this hair is weak and they lose it by friction if they get too hygienic.
Wild chinchillas when they feel threatened by a predator – usually a maned wolf – convulse their body from which many liberal hairs. These hairs are introduced into the muzzle of the animal, causing it to sneeze and, at that time the chinchilla is able to hide and to be safe.
So that the hair of the chinchilla shines as it deserves must put in its cage a tray of fine sand, available in any store of animals, to be able to take baths of sand . As well as liking, this will allow your hair to look beautiful and shiny. But be careful that the small grains of sand are not in your eyes.
Feeding the domestic chinchillas
Domestic chinchillas are herbivorous . They can ingest any type of edible plant and some small insect exceptionally. They like alfalfa and also need water. It is not common for chinchillas to ingest their droppings, unlike many other rodents.
In addition, to avoid a lack of vitamins, we recommend that you provide food for chinchillas , for sale at pet stores. It is a very complete food with which you will be sure to have no food deficit.
Consume about 25 g of food daily from any type of vegetable or feed. Amite fibrous vegetables in an excellent way, but those with a high water content (such as lettuce) are best avoided.
Most common diseases of domestic chinchillas
The most common diseases of domestic chinchillas are:
- sand in the eyes
- stomach problems
- mycosis on the skin and hair
- tooth problems
However, these problems do not occur if the diet is adequate, the bed of white wood chips is renewed weekly and if calcium carbonate is provided for it to dry wash with that powder, which must be renewed every 10 days. The water should be changed frequently.
Special care of domestic chinchillas
Domestic chinchillas are very sensitive to heat stroke and may die as a result. They need their cages to be in cool, dry places. They need dry environments protected from drafts and moisture.
On the other hand, they do not like being manipulated by strangers. If this happens shake to let go because it is your instinct. They may even let their tails feel threatened, just as iguanas do.
In addition, you should prepare your cage to cover all your needs. When the chinchilla is baby, a standard cage is sufficient. However, once you reach adulthood, you will have to acquire a larger size, with different floors if possible and large. As we mentioned in the previous point, you should put a bed of white wood chips that should change every week. You should purchase a feeder and water fountain, as well as a nest to take refuge.
Learn more about caring for a chinchilla in this article.
Life expectancy of domestic chinchillas
Domestic chinchillas live much longer than wild ones. The average life expectancy of domestic chinchillas is 10-15 years , with cases of life expectancy close to 25 years.
Chinchillas are animals that stress easily. If you have a calm and calm life, your life will be much longer. They are animals of nocturnal habits, reason why at night is when the domestic chinchilla registers more activity. To cover this activity, you can put an exercise wheel in your cage.
Mutations of domestic chinchillas
There are more than 20 mutant hybrid species that come from the only 2 wild species found in nature. In turn, each mutation diversifies into countless subtypes that not only differ in color, but also give them different phenotypes. There are large, dwarf and medium-sized chinchillas.
With colors ranging from black to white. Some have black eyes, others red and one without limit of possibilities due to the genetic alteration introduced by the creators of chinchillas.
If you decide to have one as a pet, know that it is docile, clean and calm animal and that, you will be making an excellent decision by choosing a domestic chinchilla. But remember that the pet stores are the ideal places to inform and guarantee their quality and origin.
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