How Do You Spell Fun New Friends?


Chinchillas are domesticated exotic rodents, originally from the Andes, known for their soft fur. They are companionable, active, fun pets. They enjoy playing, jumping and running and can be very entertaining to watch though they do not enjoy being cuddled like dogs and cats do. Like many pet rodents, chinchillas require an enclosed habitat. In fact, chinchillas require a very specific habitat to thrive. It should be multileveled with ramps and perches to allow for exercise. It should have a cool rest area (such as a marble slab) as chinchillas have a tendency to overheat. It should be placed in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight, and be in a room with a mild temperature (60º-70º). Chinchillas also need a separate area to take their baths. Yes, the fluffy guys need bi-weekly dust baths to ensure a clean, healthy coat. Specialty sand material (available at pet supply stores) is laid out and the chinchilla will literally roll around with wild abandon. It is fun to watch, but very messy.

Chinchillas also require a regular diet of pelleted food specifically for their species, which is available at pet supply stores. They also consume high-quality grass hay. They also need plenty of toys to regularly chew and gnaw, as their teeth never stop growing.

AWS currently has two pairs of bonded chinchillas – Rudy & Rudy, Jr. (seen here) are currently available at PetSmart in Biddeford, one of our satellite locations. Onyx & Blacki are at AWS in our small animal room. Both pairs are looking to find a new home. If you are interested in learning more, please give us a call to chat with one of our adoption counselors or stop by the Adoption Center.

Let’s hear it for the chinchillas!

C – Chews toys to keep teeth trim

H – Hides while resting and also likes to hide while playing

I – Interested and curious about surroundings

N – Nocturnal  – most active in the evening and before dawn

C – Cleans fur with regular dust baths

H – Handle with care, chinchillas are sensitive

I – Intriguing exotic pet

L – Luxurious soft fur

L – Long life span of 15-20 years

A – Active, agile Climber

S – Social – bonds for life with fellow chinchillas and human family members

Watch as Blacki and Onyx explore their cage.