Do chinchillas make good pets for young children?

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If you are thinking about buying an unusual pet for your young children then chinchillas are a great option. These animals are a bundle of energy, fun to be with, and fairly easy to care for. Below we explore why chinchillas make excellent pets for children in the small family home.

Great qualities

Chinchillas have many wonderful qualities. As well as looking incredibly cute, they have beautiful soft hair, they are inquisitive, fairly quiet, and very boisterous. They will give your children lots to see and do while being the perfect low maintenance pet.

General characteristics

These pets are fairly small and weigh on average only one and a half pounds. They can also live to ten years or more, so good news when you have little ones, as children do become attached to these pets. They are active and need to be entertained, so this is great news for the kids, as these pets are fully interactive.

The importance of the environment

The environment in which the chinchillas live needs to be both safe and entertaining. The metal cage should not have any toxic paint, be large, airy and have plenty of equipment for them to run and explore. It also needs to be robust, as chinchillas do love to chew! Cardboard and straw are essential as they will play, hide, and build dens with them. A large wheel will also provide lots of additional fun.

Rules to follow

Chinchillas should not be allowed to run free in your home. This is because they will chew through anything, such as electrical wires. Then there is also the risk of them being exposed to household chemicals and toxins.

The cage will need to be cleaned every couple of weeks, and ideally with bicarbonate of soda to keep your chinchillas safe and well. It is also important that the cage is not placed in direct sunlight, as chinchillas cannot cope with extreme heat, preferring the cooler climate.

The diet

So, what do chinchillas actually eat? Well, you can actually buy chinchilla feed and then supplement it with alfalfa and spinach. Food is cheap and easy to supply, and it’s a good idea to also give them a mineral block and of course a good supply of fresh water.

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