ellicott city maryland veterinariansVeterinary Well-Check

  • It is important to have a complete physical exam by your veterinarian on your new pet and then annually.
  • Your veterinarian will examine the eyes, ears, teeth, heart, lungs, and skin, and will palpate the abdomen and examine genitalia.


  • A fecal (stool) examination is also recommended to check for intestinal parasites.


  • Wire mesh cages may be used, but a solid floor must be provided to prevent foot pad injuries.
  • Platforms should be provided to allow for exercise and arranged in a way as to prevent contamination of the food and water bowls with feces.
  • Glass aquariums or plastic containers should be avoided due to poor ventilation. Wooden cages should be used with caution as these animals may chew through the enclosure.
  • Paper-based bedding is recommended (Carefresh).
  • Chinchillas may fight when housed together, with the females being the more aggressive gender. Unless in a breeding situation, solitary caging is recommended.
  • Chinchillas do not tolerate heat or humidity well. They should be kept in a cool, dry, well-lit area with adequate ventilation. The optimal temperature is from 60 to 75 F.

Bathing with Dust Baths

  • Dust baths should be provided several times a week to remove oil and dirt from the fur.
  • There are many types of commercial chinchilla dust available.
  • The dust bath should only be left in the cage for 15-20 minutes as excessive use may lead to eye problems.

Diet and Nutritional Supplements

  • Commercially available chinchilla pelleted diet (www.oxbowhay.com instead of a seed mix because they offer complete nutrition.
  • Timothy hay should also be offered as a source of dietary fiber.
  • Alfalfa hay is regarded as a treat and should not be the only fiber source due to its high calcium content. Excessive consumption of alfalfa hay may lead to urinary tract problems.
  • Treats should comprise no more than 10 % of the diet.
  • Dried fruits and fresh vegetables are excellent treats for pet chinchillas.
  • Fresh carrots, green vegetables, and raisins may be given in moderation.
  • Large amounts of sugar in the diet can be detrimental to a chinchilla’s health.
  • Fresh water should be available at all times. Water must be changed daily.

Common Medical Illnesses

  • Like rabbits, guinea pigs, and other rodents, if chinchillas don’t have enough fiber in their diet intestinal problems will likely occur.
  • In addition, overgrown molars can result from an improper diet or a lack of dietary fiber