The Chinchilla is by far one of my favorite pets. I have two of them at home and love them to pieces. The Chinchilla originates from South America in the Andes mountain region near Chili. There they were valued for their soft, sleek fur, which is why they almost became extinct. It has a very soft texture which feels great on clothing and was used for both large coats to small hats. During the late 16th century they became a hot item in the fur trade industry in South America but as their popularity grew the Chinchilla became scarce and almost to the point of extinction. In the late 1800s an American from California harassed the Chilean government enough to allow him to take some Chinchillas over the border into the United States and keep them as pets. When the Chilean government finally agreed, he started breeding them and eventually started the first Chinchilla farm. This was not a farm for the fur trade industry but rather a farm for raising Chinchillas as pets. This allowed the population to grow again and eventually take Chinchillas off of the endangered species list.
Chinchillas make greats pets but you have to know what youre getting yourself into before you become a pet owner. First of all, Chinchillas are nocturnal which means they do most of their daily activity at night. This could mean exercising, eating, or trying to communicate with the outside world which results in loud noises. If given the proper space and proper cages Chinchillas can keep themselves pretty busy throughout the night that they dont result to just making noises. However that means you need to have a cage big enough and access to an exercise wheel so that they can tire themselves out or keep themselves active enough so theyre not chirping all the time.
The average life span of a Chinchilla can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years depending on the health of the Chinchilla. This is why its important to make sure they get enough exercise and a good diet. They love to eat green plants, but also enjoy dried fruits. The best dietary source of food for them is loose hay.
The only other concern you may have with Chinchillas is fear of them developing fungus on their skin. This is due to the fact that Chinchillas dont sweat very well and if they are quite active and its hot where you live then they are going to have a hard time cooling off which can also lead to heat stroke. Its very important to give your Chinchilla dust baths on a regular basis. The dist bath will soak up any oil and dirt from their fur keeping it clean, soft and thick. The Chinchillas enjoy this because they get to roll around in their dust bath and it feels good on their skin so do it regularly but if you notice that their skin is getting too dry then back off the dust baths for a while.
If you want healthy, happy Chinchillas as pets then you need to take proper care of them. They're a great pet to own and can be very rewarding for you. Make sure you get all the information you can on Chinchillas so that your time with them is valued and not wasted.
The Chinchilla is a unique pet. To become the most proficient Chinchilla pet owner learn the facts about the Chinchilla so you can understand and enjoy him even more.