Let’s say your child wants a pet. Ok, you think, “I can deal with a small puppy or a kitten”. Hmm……so you think. What if your child told you they wanted a chinchilla for a pet? A chinchilla? Yes, your child says again, a chinchilla. You think, they probably don’t know how to spell it, let alone pronounce the word.
It looks like you’ll have to do some research on chinchillas. First, you’ll have taken into account the age of your child. Find out why they would want a chinchilla. Maybe they saw someone else with one and couldn’t resist. Children like to compete against each other. Are they old enough to take care of a pet such as this? If so, will they need assistance? If it’s an exotic animal like this one, more than likely they will need your assistance. They would probably need your assistance anyway because most children have a short attention span.
When they find out the child’s explanation for wanting this exotic animal, they have to think about if they really want it in the house or not. Will they be good company for your child? Will the animal and your child have a human to animal relationship? Are they going to be responsible? You’ll have to make your child understand that caring for an exotic animal such as a chinchilla is very different than taking care of a puppy. A chinchilla requires more maintenance.
Once the decision is made to get the chinchilla, there are other factors to take into consideration. You must recognize and be ready for changes in your home. Their sleeping habits are different. Chinchillas are basically night owls, so if you or your child is not sensitive to noise in the wee hours of the morning, more power to you. Chinchillas are known for making noise early in the morning, before the roosters do their cackling. You will need to set aside a room for the chinchilla.
Chinchillas like to roam free, so they need plenty of space. Or you can purchase a cage for them. The cage has to be big enough so they can roam around. You must also provide the animal with wheels and chew toys to play with inside the cage. The wheels are moreso for exercise than playing. They cannot be still and must be able to have a few outlets. They are allowed to get out of the cage each day for at least 30 minutes. /When they’re out of the cage, they must have supervision so they won’t trip over anything or get their legs caught up in wires, etc. Their legs and feet are very delicate.
Then there’s the task of keeping them clean. You must use a dust bath to keep their fur fresh and clean. This must be done at least once a week. Keeping them from excessive heat and humidity is another issue. The chinchilla must be kept at a comfortable temperature at all times. Not too hot and not too cold. The moderate temperature must be constant. They can consume dried fruits, such as raisins, but only in moderation. Their body cannot digest fried fruit every day.
After finding out all of this and you still want your child to have this exotic pet, by all means, give it a try.