Chinchillas need a few things to stay healthy as pets: they need a large cage and enough space to exercise. They also need a constant supply of food and water, toys, hiding places, dust baths, and bedding.
Chinchillas do not require much attention from their owners but do require some essential supplies to go stay healthy.
These supplies can be split into two categories:
- Cage supplies (things for their cage)
- Care supplies (things needed to provide proper care)
This article discusses the essential and optional chinchilla supplies which help chins live a better life as pets.
Chinchillas need a cage with some bedding to help them stay comfortable. They also require hay and pellets for their diet, along with other care such as dust baths and exercise.
Chinchillas make great pets for families of all ages and sizes. They are active, playful, and loving.
While they are easy to keep, you do need some supplies to provide a safe and healthy life for them.
Some of the most important items for your chinchilla are:
- Food bowl
- Water bottles
- Hay and pellets
- Dust baths
There are other supplies you can add to your chinchilla’s cage to help keep it busy and active.
Chinchilla Cage Supplies
A chinchilla cage should be big enough for a chinchilla to explore and move around. Along with the cage, you need to provide things such as bedding, a nesting place, and the right bars.
Chinchillas need a lot of room to live.
A chinchilla cage should be at least 2 x 2 x 3 feet (12 square feet). This allows your chinchilla to move freely, jump, and explore the cage.
It is recommended to get two or more chinchillas as they do well in the presence of other chinchillas. If you decide to have more chinchillas, the cage size should be adjusted to handle multiple chins accordingly.
Here are the essential supplies needed for a chinchilla cage setup:
- Nesting/hiding spots
- The right bars
Chinchillas need bedding inside the cage, so their fragile paws don’t get tangled in the steel bars causing fractures. Bedding also prevents chinchillas from developing skin issues such as pododermatitis.
There are several options you can choose for your chinchilla’s bedding:
- Wood shavings: Aspen is the most widely used. Avoid using cedar and pine wood shavings.
- Paper: Paper strips, granules, and natural paper can be used for bedding.
- Fleece: They are on the more luxurious side of beddings. Fleece liners are excellent at absorbing urine and look great inside a chinchilla cage.
Some chinchilla owners don’t understand the importance of having a chinchilla nest or hiding spot inside the chinchilla cage. While chinchillas get along with their owners after a few weeks, they need a place to hide at first. They also hide in the wild, so hiding spots help them live out this natural behavior.
They need a hiding spot that they can use as a safe zone. Chinchillas are easily startled, which makes them run to their hiding spot.
Chinchillas also use their hiding spot as a nesting place. There are many options on the market, but you can make this yourself.
If you want to make a nesting box yourself, use wooden panels. Avoid using plastic or anything that your chinchilla can chew through.
Cover the inside of the box with fleece liners to give your chinchilla a nice and comfortable surface to sleep on.
The Right Bars
Your chinchilla cage should be made of steel bars or mesh. The bars should be set up horizontally instead of vertically as it allows chinchillas to climb up and down without any issues.
Horizontal bars also help in setting up additional equipment to the cage easily. You can attach raised platforms or hay feeders to the cage via horizontal steel bars easier than to vertical bars.
Chinchilla Care Supplies
As a chinchilla owner, you need supplies to care for your pet. They need food, water, and regular dust baths to remain healthy. Chins also need exercise equipment such as an exercise wheel.
Caring for chinchillas is easy and does not take much effort. They are easy in terms of grooming, and they don’t need water baths.
But, they do have some needs. There are certain supplies you need to care for your chinchilla more efficiently.
Here are the most important chinchilla care supplies:
- Dust for dust baths
- Chew toys
- Exercise equipment
Chinchillas constantly need food as they eat small amounts of food every few minutes. They have a sensitive stomach which does not do well with constant diet changes.
They have specific dietary requirements, which include foods high in fiber. They should have hay every day, as it is their biggest source of fiber.
Chinchillas should not be given foods high in sugar and fat as these are harmful. Some snacks are safe in limited quantities though, such as dried fruits.
Apart from hay, chinchillas also need pellets to fulfill their dietary requirements. Chinchillas should not be given pellets made for other rodents. This is because chinchillas need specific nutrients, which they can’t get with pellets made for other rodents.
The wrong pellets will result in nutritional deficiency.
You can also give chinchillas treats occasionally. Treats help motivate chinchillas and accelerate their training.
All mammals need water to survive, and chinchillas are no different. Attach two glass water bottles to your chinchilla cage so your chin has a constant supply of water.
Avoid using water bowls. Chinchillas don’t do well with water, and by using water bottles, you can avoid them falling in.
Two bottles should be placed to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water in case one of them stops working.
You should clean the chinchilla bottles regularly and fill them with fresh water daily to avoid congestion and bacteria buildup.
One of the most interesting things about chinchillas is their bathing practice.
Chinchillas do not bathe in water as they cannot get their fur wet. They have extremely dense hair with a hair density of 20,000 hair follicles per square centimeter. The high density of hair makes it easy for moisture to get trapped under the hair.
If they get wet, it can lead to several skin issues:
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
Chinchillas should only be given dust baths to clean themselves. This requires a few supplies.
Dust baths include a bowl and chinchilla dust (which usually consists of mountain ash). You then place your chinchilla in the dust and let it clean itself. They roll in the dust for a few minutes.
Dust baths help chinchillas distribute body oils evenly and remove any dirt from their fur.
Buy dust that is created specifically for chinchillas and give your chin dust baths three times per week.
Chinchillas chew a lot. They can chew through most woods and plastics. It is important for chinchillas to chew all the time as it helps trim their ever-growing teeth.
To help your chinchilla chew you need to buy chew toys. These are the best ways to prevent chinchillas from chewing harmful things while filing their teeth.
Small wood chunks made from apple trees make excellent chew toys for chinchillas. Add a few of them in your chinchilla’s cage or in its hiding spot to encourage chewing.
Chinchillas need plenty of exercises to remain healthy. The best option is an exercise wheel.
Wheels keep chinchillas busy while providing them with the necessary physical activity. The wheel should be big enough for an adult chinchilla so your chin does not fall off while running.
Chinchillas are easy to keep but do require some supplies. Ensure that your chinchilla has a proper cage big enough for it to run, jump, and play.
Your chin should also have a constant supply of water and hay attached to the cage. Give your chinchilla pellets twice a day during dusk and dawn as your chin is most active during these times.
You can add additional equipment to keep your chinchilla busy and active such as chew toys, wheels, and hiding spots.
What Are Some Chinchilla Grooming Supplies?
You need supplies to give your chinchilla dust baths. You can use a fishing bowl, a large container, or a glass cookie jar as a makeshift dust bath. You can also use a lint roller to care for your chinchilla’s fur. Fill the bowl up with chinchilla dust and let your pet clean itself.
What Are Some Supplies to Clean Chinchilla Cages?
To clean a chinchilla cage, need a dustpan, a broom, a sponge, some paper towels, and a disinfectant. Remove the chinchilla and any accessories from it. If you are using a fleece liner, then you can take it out and wash it thoroughly.