Fact #1: They are nocturnalChinchillas are indeed rodents, even though they are closer to guinea pigs than they are to rats. However, like other rodents, they are nocturnal. This means that they are most comfortable sleeping during the day and waking up and being active at night. This means two things for you…First, if you have a tendency to make a lot of noise during the day and don’t have a quiet spot to put him, he may get woken up constantly and have a hard time sleeping. This will stress him out and can cause some health issues. Secondly, it means that he’ll be up at night running around his cage and getting exercise on his wheel, which makes quite a ruckus and can keep you up at night. This is why it’s not a good idea to keep your chin in the same room that you sleep (or your child’s room!) Fact #2: Dusty, dusty chinchillaChinchillas don’t take normal baths in water, it is actually unhealthy for them to ever get wet! The way they keep clean is by rolling around in special chinchilla dust. This dust gets into their fur and absorbs the excess oil and dirt, keeping them clean and dry. While it is a lot of fun to watch your little chin roll around and play in his dust bath, this means that they are always a little dusty so you will need to clean up after them. Plus if you have dust allergies you may want to reconsider. Fact #3: They may overheatBecause of their super-thick fur, chinchillas stay plenty warm in colder weather. But this means if they are put in a hot climate they have a tendency to over-heat. If the temperature in your home ever gets above 80 degrees F then your little chin will be at risk of getting heat-stroke.Also if your house is consistently above 75 degrees F it will not be good for him and he will be over-heated (which you can tell if his ears get red). While you can put a cold pack in his cage for him to lean against and cool down with, that is not a permanent solution. So it’s best to turn your air conditioning up, or consider another pet, maybe one that sweats.
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Tyson Faulkner is a chinchilla enthusiast and enjoys teaching others how to raise happy, healthy chinchillas. For more information and other chinchilla facts visit his website about chinchilla care where you can find more articles and info about raising chinchillas that will live a long, happy life.