Why Little Chinchillas are the Best Pets!!

Chinchilla Puppy
Chinchilla Puppy

OMG   look at that cute little baby.  What is it you ask?

This is a wonderful little rodent called a Chinchilla or what I like to call them,  Sweet Chillies.

What makes a Sweet Chillie a Great Family Pet?

#1.  Chinchillas do Not shed their fur like a dog, cat, guinea pig, rabbit or have feathers as do birds.  Also they are much more interactive than fish. As far as Reptiles and snakes, well some of us just can’t go there.  Sorry reptile lovers. No offense.

#2.  Chillies actually have a very long life span of around 15 years but they can live as long as 20 to 22 years.  That is great, as they live as long as a cat or a small dog.  Other small rodents such as hamsters, rats and Guinea pigs as well as birds and fish have a much shorter life span than Chinchillas and most parents don’t like to have to bury a child’s pet every few years.

#3. Chillies need minimum care.  They are easy keepers.  You would need to clean the cage only about once a week.  They are not litter trainable like a cat ,but their poo and urine have almost no odor at all!  That is awesome!!

#4. They do need daily feeding and as always clean water. Which a child with supervision could do. What a great way for teaching kids responsibility.

#5.They do have one very interesting need of having to take a “Dust Bath”.  Chillies have too much Lanolin oil in their fur and must remove some.  To do this they just love to roll around in the little sand box you will provide for them.  How fun for kids to watch!

#6.  Lets talk about allergies!  These adorable animals are great for families that have allergies to dog and cat dander.  These mini sized love bugs do not have dander. Nor as I said before do they shed like a dog, cat, guinea pig or rabbit. At about 8 months of age they do loose their “puppy coat” and get their adult coat but after that they do not shed.

546780180Look at this cute pair!!

#7. You do not have to have a “Pair” male and female for them to  be happy creatures.  The best pairing is of 2 brothers from the same litter.  They can live happy lives without having babies!!

#7.  Look at those adorable big ears and that cute fluffy tail.  Unlike a rat who’s tail is well a “rat” tail, a Chillies tail is furry and fluffy like a feather.  It’s beautiful big ears are used for a cooling system for as a Chillie cannot pant, sweat or loose its coat, it cools its blood by circulating the blood thru the ears.

#8. They are a bigger size than a hamster or a rat.

Girl and chinchilla isolated on whiteThis is a great sized pet for kids!!

 

 

 

Sweet Chillies the Pros & Cons

Sweet Chillie Pros

  • Super Cute: Chinchillas as the most adorable pets. So fun to watch and they have such unique and interesting behaviors.
  • Super Soft: Sweet Chillies fur is the densest and the softest fur of any animal.
  • Super Personalities:  They each have their own personality but they tend to be very lively, inquisitive and very busy. Most will interact with their owners.
  • Super long life span:  Unlike other small rodents they live a very long time. They can usually live for 15 to 20 years in captivity.
  • Kept in cages:  They are perfectly happy being in their cage home. You don’t have to walk or exercise them. This is great for people who are not home a lot or live in a small apartment.

Sweet Chillie Cons

  • Higher cost:  Chinchillas are a bit higher in cost to purchase. You can find some around $80 and the colored ones that are show quality are more.  You can pay up to $300. But then again they have a long life so you aren’t replacing then every 2 to 8 years like you would be with smaller rodents.

Learn About Sweet Chillies!!

newborn puppy of a chinchillaCute Chillie Puppy or Kit

#1.  Chinchillas live in a nice cage.  They will be mostly in their home except for when you let them out.  As Chillies will get to be about 10 to 14 inches long not counting the tail they need a fairly big home.  You can have lots of fun with it and build different levels, platforms, ramps and hiddy holes such as what they would have in their natural habitat, in the arid rocky mountains of South America.

#2.  Chillies are nocturnal so they are more active at night.  All day long they are sleeping so they are actually happy that the rest of the family is away at work and school and they are left undisturbed. They do get really active at dawn and dusk so that is the best time to interact with them, which is normally when the family is around anyway.

#3.  When Chinchillas are handled from the very start at a young age they do very well around people and they do bond very closely with people too.  Supervision is always advised when any small child handles an animal but older children will find them fun to hold and interact with.  Some Chillie owners find they can teach them simple tricks with food treats.

chinchilla sitting in the hands of the girlPerfect size Pet

#4. Chinchilla are very active and playful!! Each one has it’s own unique personality and temperament.  Some are shy, some are more outgoing. Some Chillies are more playful and some are not.   The female is dominate so it is actually better to have 2 males together as buddies. Chillies do have to be carefully introduced to new Chinchilla friends and be kept separate at first as they need to get to know each other before being put in the same cage.

#5.   As they don’t shed their fur or get a summer coat they do need to be kept in a cooler area of the home no warmer than 77 F. They can overheat very quickly so that must be kept in mind when planning their living arrangements. Homes in climate where it can be hot and humid need to have air conditioning to keep them cool enough.

#6. You can get a Chillie in a variety of colors, from grey to brown to white and everything in between.  They are just beautiful and have very soft luxurious fur.  These adorable animals where once used to make coats and such but we hope that doesn’t go on any more.

#7.  If you go on vacation or are out of town you will need to have someone come and care for your special Chinchilla.  Your soft fluffy friend will have to be feed morning and night, make sure they have water and if you are gone longer than one week you will have to have the cage cleaned.

#8. Sweet Chillies teeth grow like Crazy!! Their teeth grow all of their life and can grow up to 12 inches in one year.  So to keep things under control they need to have special things to gnaw on. Check with the pet store and make sure they have what they need.

#9. Sweet Chillies are very acrobatic.  In their natural habitat in the high Andes mountains they love to climb, hop, jump and have fun with their friends as they live in “herds” of around 100 animals.