The chinchilla as a pet

The chinchilla as a pet it is an excellent decision. Domestic chinchillas have little to do with wild chinchillas. There is an extraordinary variety of hybrids of various colors, sizes and morphologies. In nature there are only two species: the Chinchilla chinchilla or short-tailed Chinchilla, and the Chinchilla lanígera or long-tailed Chinchilla. If you are thinking of adopting a chinchilla as a pet, don't miss this AnimalWised article where we detail its basic care.

You may also be interested in: Why do chinchillas squeal Index
  1. Characteristics and character of domestic chinchillas
  2. Chinchilla capillary structure
  3. Feeding domestic chinchillas
  4. Most common diseases of domestic chinchillas
  5. Special care of domestic chinchillas
  6. Life expectancy of domestic chinchillas
  7. Domestic chinchilla mutations

Characteristics and character of domestic chinchillas

Chinchillas are small rodents. The 800 g females are larger than the 600 g males, and both are larger than wild chinchillas. Are gentle and not very aggressive animals.

Their fur is very dense and silky, although incomparable to that of wild species. Precisely due to the particularity of its capillary structure, it is not convenient for the animal to be handled excessively. Especially if they are children, who naturally get excited by such beautiful animals and want to caress them profusely..

We usually talk about very sociable pets that, once they gain confidence, they are really sweet and affectionate. They will love that you pet them and reward them with treats.

As well it's about intelligent animals since they will recognize you and show you how they feel: happy, active, sad or sleepy. They communicate through squeals or small affectionate bites.

Chinchilla capillary structure

Unlike humans, each hair has its own hair follicle, chinchillas have 50 or more hairs attached to each of their follicles. This is a defensive resource for wild chinchillas that the domestic ones keep. Obviously this anchor is weak and they lose hair due to friction if they are stroked too much..

Wild chinchillas when harassed by a predator - usually a maned wolf - convulse their body from which many hairs are shed. These hairs are introduced into the animal's snout, forcing it to sneeze; which gives the chinchilla time to hide and get to safety.

In order for the chinchilla's fur to look as it deserves, we must place a tray with fine sand in its cage, available in any specialized store, so that it can be sand baths. In addition to enchanting you, it will allow your hair to be beautiful and shiny. Of course, you should pay attention not to get small grains of sand in his eyes.

Feeding domestic chinchillas

Domestic chinchillas they are herbivorous. They can eat any type of edible vegetable and exceptionally some small insects. They really like alfalfa. They also require water. It is not common for chinchillas to consume their droppings, unlike many other rodents.

Of course, to avoid a lack of vitamins, you we recommend buying feed for chinchillas. It is a very complete food with which we make sure it does not have any deficit.

They consume about 25 g of food daily of any type of vegetable or feed. Fibrous vegetables are excellently tolerable, but those with high water content (such as lettuce) are better avoided..

Most common diseases of domestic chinchillas

The most common diseases of domestic chinchillas are:

  • heatstroke
  • sand in the eyes
  • Stomach problems
  • mycosis on the skin and hair
  • dental problems
  • parasites

However, these problems they will not happen, if the diet is adequate, the bed of white wood chips is renewed weekly and calcium carbonate - marble dust - is provided to be dry cleaned with said dust, which must be renewed every ten days. The water must be changed frequently.

Special care of domestic chinchillas

Domestic chinchillas are very sensitive to heat stroke, being able to die as a result of it. They need their cages to be in cool, dry places. They require dry environments protected from drafts and humidity.

On the other hand, they don't like to be manipulated by strangers. If this happens they tremble to loosen hair, just as their instinct dictates. They can even drop their tails in the same way as lizards

Likewise, we must prepare his cage conscientiously to cover all your needs. When the chinchilla is a baby, a standard cage is sufficient. However, once we reach adulthood, we will have to acquire one of a larger size, with different floors if possible and great amplitude. As we discussed in the previous section, we will place a bed of white wood chips that we will change every week.

Life expectancy of domestic chinchillas

Domestic chinchillas live much longer than wild ones. The half-life of domestic chinchillas is 10-15 years old, there have even been cases of longevity close to 25 years.

Chinchillas are easily stressed animals. If they lead a serene existence, their life will be much longer. They are nocturnal animals, which is why at night is when the domestic chinchilla registers more activity. To cover this activity, we can place an exercise wheel in its cage.

Domestic chinchilla mutations

exist more than 20 hybrid mutant species that come from the only 2 wild species existing in nature. In turn, each mutation is diversified into countless subtypes that not only differ in color, but also give them different phenotypes. There are large, dwarf and medium-sized chinchillas.

With colors ranging from black to white. Some have black eyes, others reddish and thus without limit to the genetic alteration introduced by chinchilla breeders.

If you decide to have a docile, clean and calm animal as a pet, you will be making an excellent decision by choosing a domestic chinchilla. But remember, pet stores are the ideal places where they will inform you and guarantee their quality and origin..

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