The chinchilla is nearly synonymous with expensive fur. The interest of the fur trade can put severe pressure on a species though, especially when the creature in question is as small as the chinchilla. It can take 150 to 200 pelts to make a single chinchilla fur coat. Chinchillas are hunted in the wild even today, even if it is illegal to do so. Of the three species of chinchilla that have ever been in existence, trapping done by the fur trade has already driven one to extinction. The other two are listed as Critically Endangered. Picking out a chinchilla for a pet can be a good way to help the species pick up again. They make wonderful pets for a variety of reasons.
1. Chinchillas are beautiful, cuddly creatures
Artists drawing cartoons somehow manage to make even rats and mice beautiful. They draw them with large, Mickey Mouse ears, and give them big, vulnerable eyes and long eyelashes. If you’ve ever wondered where those artists might have got their ideas for Minnie Mouse from, you should take a look at a chinchilla. These creatures have the softest coat of any animal in the world, large heads, big ears and small bodies. Their big, innocent eyes can be impossible not to fall in love with.
2. Chinchillas are social animals
Chinchillas are highly intelligent creatures with real personalities. Chinchilla owners frequently point to a noticeable similarity between chinchillas and very young children. Chinchillas tend to play, squabble and look forward to human attention just the way children do.
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3. Chinchillas are low-maintenance pets
Chinchillas are used to living in herds in the wild. As pets, they are happiest when they are part of a group. If you get two or three chinchillas together rather than just one, you’re likely to have little trouble with them. They are likely to play with one another and entertain themselves. Your only job will be to make sure that your pets are well-fed. They need no specific exercise and aren’t prone to illness. They tend to be clean, too. The only concession that you’ll need to make is to spend on air-conditioning in summer.
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4. Chinchillas are odor-free
Unlike hamsters or other messy rodents, chinchillas are clean. While they do tend to poop a lot, it tends to be dry and odor-free. Their pellets are easy to sweep up. Chinchillas care about personal hygiene, too. They tend to keep themselves well-groomed.
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5. Chinchillas are great pets for small homes
Chinchillas do need room to exercise. They can be allowed to freely roam about any part of the house that you’ve made chinchilla-proof. Your chinchillas don’t need large enclosures. They only need a little room in their enclosures and to be let out to run about from time to time. They are great pets for those in small homes.
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6. You’ll never need to spend much money on your chinchilla
Chinchillas tend to be healthy animals, in general. You won’t usually need to spend much on regular vet visits, the way you would with a dog or cat. When health problems do turn up, though, you could expect to pay about $50 for a visit.
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7. You’ll never need to look out for skin parasites
One of the reasons chinchillas require no regular medical attention is that they have parasite-proof coats. Chinchilla coats are so dense that no parasite manages to get in. Any parasite that does, doesn’t survive for long. You will never need to worry about mites, ticks or similar problems that plague pets, in general.
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8. Chinchillas live long – you won’t have the heartbreak of losing one of these
Chinchillas tend to live at least 10 years. It’s easy even to hear of families keeping their chinchillas past 15 years. If you want a pet that will never die on you, you should consider a chinchilla.
9. Chinchillas make wonderful pets for children
Chinchillas don’t usually like to be held or petted. When they are adopted at 12 weeks, though, they do learn to trust humans. Such chinchillas love being held and being petted. They make lovely pets for children. As long as a child is able to take responsibility, a chinchilla should be perfect.
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10. The chinchilla – pet, not pelt
Adopting a chinchilla, you’ll know that you’re doing your part to help keep this tragic species alive. It can be a good feeling to know that living among people who exploit this creature for its health, you are someone who can take the right stand.
Are you planning to own a chinchilla? If you have one, tell us please, what are some other benefits of owning this amazing pet?