If you have decided to become a chinchilla owner for the first time, you will need prepare your house. It is important that you are fully prepared and do not wait until you bring you chinchilla back to its new home. Here is a guide for how to prepare your home for your new chinchilla.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Chinchilla Environment
The first thing you need to do is to go shopping for everything your chinchilla needs. It is essential that you have everything ready before the arrival of your chinchilla and it is set up ready for the chinchilla to begin settling in straight away. The essential items you need to buy include the following:
- A cage- The cage is one of the most important pieces of equipment as it will become your chinchilla’s new home where they eat, sleep, and play. It must have plenty of space and more than one level to keep your chinchilla active.
- A nesting box- Wild chinchilla’s nest in holes in the bark of trees and they like to hide in these. A nesting box will give your chinchilla a nice hiding space as well as somewhere to sleep.
- A dust bath- Chinchillas clean themselves using a dust bath. They usually do this once or twice a week. You will need to buy a dust bath to put in your chinchilla’s cage.
- Bath dust- Bath dust is the stuff you put in the dust bath for your chinchilla to clean itself. You can buy this either online or from a reputable pet store.
- Bedding- You can buy bedding made from a range of materials and each has its own pros and cons. Some types of bedding available include wood shavings, recycle paper formed into pellets, fleece, paper shavings, and corn cob.
- Toys- Chinchillas are playful creatures and need something to keep them entertained. The main accessory that people buy is a wheel, but there are plenty of other chinchilla toys available.
- Hay- The main source of nutrients for a chinchilla comes from hay. This also helps them to wear their teeth down. You will need to buy plenty of hay, so you can top up your chinchilla’s food supply regularly.
- Chinchilla Pellets- Chinchillas also eat two tablespoons of chinchilla pellets every day as this gives them extra nutrients they need to maintain health. You should buy some chinchilla pellets before bringing your chinchilla home.
- Water bottle- A chinchilla needs a constant supply of fresh water, so you will need to buy a water bottle that attaches to the cage to give them this.
Once you have bought everything you need to decide where your chinchilla will live in your home. You need to find somewhere with enough space to fit the size of the cage. In addition to having enough space for the cage, there are also some other factors you need to consider when choosing where to keep your chinchilla. These include:
- Windows- People often place their chinchillas close to windows, knowing they need good ventilation and a cool environment. They think that windows are a good place because they can leave them open. However, on sunny days, the temperatures close to windows will raise and this area is too warm for a chinchilla.
- Wires- Think carefully about what is on the walls close to where you will keep the cage. You do not want it too close to wires because if the chinchilla can reach it with its paws or mouth and pull the wire into the cage, it might gnaw through the wires. Not only does this do damage to your home, it could also kill your chinchilla.
- Heat sources- Avoid putting the cage close to a heat source, such as a fireplace or radiator. Chinchillas are badly affected by heat and can develop heat stroke, which is a potentially fatal condition for these creatures. Preferably, keep them in a room with no heat sources or isolate the heat source from the heating system so it is permanently turned off.
- Stable platform- If you plan to keep the cage on a raised platform, such as a table, make sure it is stable with no wobbly legs. Similarly, you should make sure the cage will not overhang the platform, so it does not get knocked off as this could kill your chinchillas.
Welcoming a chinchilla into your home is an exciting time, but you must make sure you are fully prepared for the chinchilla’s arrival. Take the time to think carefully about where you will keep the cage, both to accommodate the size of the cage and to keep your chinchilla safe and healthy. You must also buy all the equipment you need to make the chinchilla comfortable in their new home.