If you want a chinchilla as a pet, you can keep a domestic chinchilla. They are known to have nervous tendencies and are night owls. They like to stay up at night and be active. They also don’t care for someone holding them. However, they can be friendly animals, but it will take a while for them to get used to their owner. They’re not easily coerced into getting close to people. The owner has to earn their trust, just like a human relationship.
Chinchillas that become captive have a life span from 15 to 20 years. /They can be noisy, making sounds in the form of chirping, barking and squeaking. They use these noises to communicate and express their feelings. If you are not an early riser, you may have to deal with them making noise in the wee hours of the morning. If you are sensitive to noise while you sleep, a chinchilla may not be for you.
It’s ok to have more than one chinchilla of the same gender, as long as their personalities don’t clash. If they interact when they’re still young, they have a better chance of enduring each other. If they’re older, it may take a little longer for them to form a bonding. If you have a male and female in the same domain, they will have to be sterilized so to prevent procreation of offspring. The chinchillas are so full of life, that it’s necessary for them to have plenty of space for them to roam.
If you have a house, you should set aside a room just for them. You can also house them in a cage, as long as it’s large enough with items that they can play with. They also require wooden toys (birch, willow apple tree or manzanita is acceptable) and chew toys to entertain them. Please keep in mind that chinchillas should not have plastic toys because the plastic can damage the intestinal area. The cage itself must have plenty of air circulation because they don’t sweat much.
Getting too sweaty can cause them to have a heat stroke. Don’t keep the animals in the cage the whole time. It’s good if they get some outside exposure (at least 30 minutes a day, under the watchful eye of the owner). They need exercise and get a feel of their outside surroundings.
If the chinchilla gets wet, they have to be dried off rather quickly. If not, their fur will collect fungus. You can use a blow dryer on a low cool temperature and you can also use a towel (best choice).
For their eating regimen, chinchillas cannot consume fatty foods. They can only eat so much of green plants. The best dietary plan for them is loose hay. They can also have a raisin or other kinds of dried fruit, but only in moderation. Don’t give them fresh vegetables as their stomach can expand and cause a fatal reaction. When they eat, they do so in small portions and they also drink water in small sips.
They can drink water from a water bottle and the water must be fresh at all times. Because they can’t ingest a lot of fat in their system, nuts are to be avoided.