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Spotlight: Chinchilla


Cute, fuzzy, and soft chinchilla’s make a wonderful pet for the right individual. Chinchilla’s are native to the Andes mountain range in South America and are approximately the size of a ground squirrel. In their native habitat, chinchillas live underground in burrows or rock crevices and are considered to be agile jumpers.

Chinchillas are nocturnal and unless they are trained from a young age, they can be quite skittish. As a general rule they do not like to be held. Because of their high-strung disposition, future pet owners should be aware that this might not be the best pet to get for a child unless of course you have the time and energy to acclimate them to human touch as a kit. They can become very attached to their owners given the proper attention.

Chinchilla’s are quite active and inquisitive and their habitat should support this lifestyle. Large cages, toys, treats and play time outside of their home will help keep them healthy and happy. A unique feature of pet Chinchilla’s are their need to take frequent dust baths. Dust baths allow chinchillas to keep their coats lush, clean and healthy.

In addition to an appropriate cage set up, a diet of roughage and fiber as well as a clean cage will aid in extending the life span of your pet Chinchilla. The approximate life expectation for a well cared for Chinchilla is 15 years but they can live upward to 20 and beyond.

If you plan on adding a Chinchilla to your family, remember that slow, constant love from the time you bring them home will help make  life with this furry friend fun and rewarding. Given the right environment, these little creatures can light up your life with their antics and remain a wonderful pet for many years.