Unfortunately, for a number of years, the only reason anyone ever heard the word "chinchilla" was to discuss how their pelts were used to make coats. However, today these big furballs are popping up in pet stores and being sold by private breeders across the country! If you've been thinking of making a chinchilla one of your household pets, there are five major considerations:
- Expect a long term commitment - The sad truth about most rodents is they don't live very long. Rats, for example, typically only live a few years, which is barely enough time to give them the love they deserve. Chinchillas, on the other hand, can live for as many as 20 years. This means that your chinchilla could witness the birth of your child and his or her high school graduation. Keep this lengthy commitment in mind.
- Chinchillas love interaction - If you decide to get a chinchilla, it's important to spend time with him or her. They're very loving animals and will take as much attention as you can give them. This interaction will keep them healthy and happy.
- Two may be better than one - As previously stated, chinchillas need a lot of interaction. If you're unable to devote ample time to socializing with your chinchilla, the best thing to do is to give him or her a playmate.
- Handle them carefully - Chinchillas are pretty fragile animals. If you're not gentle, they can be injured. For this reason, they're not recommended for small children, who may be a little too excited around the animal and could cause it to bite out of fear.
- They're fun to watch - These rodents are extremely playful and fun to watch. You can literally waste hours watching them run around and make noise, which isn't a bad thing!