Chinchillas are small, South American rodents often kept as pets. They are known for their gray, extremely soft fur. Chinchilla supplies range from those covering the basic needs of the animal to more intricate supply choices intended to entertain or to enhance the life of the pet. Basic chinchilla supplies include a cage, bedding, proper food, chewing materials and dust for dust baths.
A chinchilla cage should measure at least 24 inches (61 cm) by 24 inches (61 cm) to give the animal proper room to move about. Keeping a chinchilla in a smaller cage might be possible if the pet has ample out-of-cage time each day. The cage should be kept in a cool, dry place. Hot temperatures are dangerous for chinchillas.
Bedding and dust for dust baths are also important chinchilla supplies. Bedding should consist of a moisture-soaking, animal-safe material such as pine tree shavings. Cedar chips generally are not recommended for chinchilla bedding, because the chemicals used on the chips can be harmful.
Chinchillas will chew through plastic, so cages should be constructed from small-spaced metal wire. Chinchillas should be allowed to bathe in dust — which is sold at pet stores — two to four times per week. The animals give themselves dust baths in order to maintain a healthy coat and skin oil levels.
Chew sticks are very important chinchilla supplies. Chinchillas use chewing to keep their teeth ground to a proper length. Without the ability to chew, chinchillas’ teeth can grow too long and prevent them from eating. Chew sticks designed for chinchillas can be found at pet stores and are most often made of wood or pumice stone.
Proper food should be a primary chinchilla supply. Pet stores sell chinchilla pellets that are safe and give the pet a balanced diet. Hay should also be provided to mimic the diet of wild chinchillas. The animals should not be given food or treats that are meat-based or green plant-based, because their digestive system often has trouble processing these materials. Water should be given in bottle that hangs from the side of the cage.
Other chinchilla supplies that can enhance the life of the pet include cage shelving and tunnels. Wild chinchillas enjoy jumping, and providing a pet chinchilla with in-cage shelving to jump onto satisfies this natural urge. Much like hamsters or ferrets, chinchillas enjoy crawling through tunnels and tubes, which are also sold at pet stores. Chinchillas also take well to running wheels.