A chinchilla accepting a food treat from his keeper.

The Fun Facts about Chinchillas

The Fun Facts about Chinchillas

Chinchillas. A small companion packing a wallop of adorable friendship. Their care isn't that different from a guinea pig, with a few additional chinchilla facts.

Chinchilla playing in a sand bath bowl.

Chinchilla teeth and digestion.

  • Like guinea pigs, chinchilla teeth continually grow.
  • They will need a constant supply of hay and fresh water to keep their digestion and teeth in tip top shape. You can add chinchilla wood blocks and pumice stones for chewing on to add fun to their day.
  • Healthy chinchillas have orange teeth that look coffee stained. You can keep track of your chinchilla's health by checking the color of their teeth. White teeth mean your chinchilla should see a vet.
A chinchilla using his sand bath bowl.

    Fur and skin.

    • Chinchillas have the thickest fur of all land animal with 20,000 hairs on each square inch of their body. Each of their follicles has 50 hairs. (Humans have one for one.) Wild chinchillas are listed as endangered, having been hunted for their ultrasoft fur.
    • Chinchilla should never be bathed in water.
    • Sand baths are essential to keep their fur and skin healthy.
    • Special chinchilla bathing sand is mandatory. Any substitute is dangerous to a chinchilla's lungs, eyes, and skin.
    • Get a high-sided dust bath bowl, or litter box to help keep the bathing area contained.
    • Change their bath sand once a week.
    • Chinchillas are sensitive to heat and humidity. When outfitting their cage keep air movement and openness in mind.

    Mental health.

    • Chinchillas herd. They live in large colonies in the wild, foraging, sleeping, and grooming each other. You should have a pair of Chinchilla for their mental health. Two boys, or two girls.
    • Chinchilla run, climb, crawl, roll, and enjoy terrains that offer them options. Foraging is a favorite past time. Create opportunity for all those physical endeavors with hides while hiding treats, hay, grasses, and Chinchilla foods to be found during the day.  Think wild. Because they are in their own head.
    • Always have fresh clean water and chinchilla food available.
    Three chinchillas playing, running, and, climbing in their cage.
      Chinchillas are a wonderful companion for older children and adults. Don't let their size fool you. They are huge in companion friendship, fun, and company.
      Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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