Do you remember the last time you were bored? So bored you considered doing something drastic... like deep cleaning or exercising? Humans aren't the only ones whose minds wander when they get bored. Chinchillas, without anything to keep them occupied, are the same way. We want our chinchillas to be happy and healthy, right? Well, one of the best ways we can ensure our chin’s happiness is to provide them with plenty of time to run around, plenty of time to spend with us, and toys to keep their little bodies moving. Some chinchilla boredom breakers, if you will.
Chinchillas have tons of energy. But, you already know that, right? Give your chin plenty of play time (outside of the cage) that will allow for exercise and exploring. Ideally, a chin will have at least four hours outside of their cage each day. You’ve got two options for play time: a pen and free run in a chin-proofed room. Either way, you’ll want to supervise your little one whenever they're out.
An exercise pen will allow you to confine your chin to a fairly large space. Since chins can jump pretty high, consider opting for a pen cover so she can’t jump out. Pens come in a variety of heights so your best bet might just be to buy the highest you can.
Free run is one of the best chinchilla boredom breakers around. Allow your chin total freedom (under supervision, of course) in a thoroughly chin-proofed room. Free run also gives you and your furry little one the opportunity to bond. Choose a room then get to work chin-proofing it. The last thing you want is for your chin to chew on your lamp or smartphone cords (super dangerous for your pet).
Whether you opt for a pen or for free run, make sure your chin has plenty of toys inside and outside of the cage. (Don’t just take her toys from the cage and put them in her play area or pen. Mix it up.)
What About The Rest of the Time?
Play time’s probably the highlight of your chin’s day, right? Kind of like when we were kids and recess was absolutely the bomb. But, even if your chin is out for four hours or more, that leaves a whole lot of hours to find things to do.
Keep your chin mentally and physically stimulated by providing them with plenty of fun toys. Let’s take a quick look at some popular toys for chins.
- CHEW TOYS. Chins naturally chew. If your chin doesn’t have safe things to chew, they're going to start eyeing things they shouldn’t (think baseboards of cords) when they're having playtime. Find safe chew toys, such as a wooden play table), a mobile, or a willow toy.
A word of caution: always make sure the toys you purchase are not made with pesticides or chemicals that can harm your chin.
- HIDING BOX. Give your chin several places to hide in their cage (and play area). They can curl up inside the hidey-hole when they want to take a nap. If the hidey-cave is made of a safe wood, they can also chew on it for some extra fun. (Bonus? Chewing on the right stuff is good for your chin’s dental health and will help fight against malocclusion.)
- EXERCISE WHEEL. Ever notice your chin get a sudden burst of energy? Perfect time to jump on the exercise wheel and start running. Take care, however, when choosing what type of exercise wheel to put
in the cage. Avoid using any wheel that has spokes or a horizontal bar, both of which can cause injuries if your chin’s legs get caught.
- TELEVISION/RADIO. Yep. You read right. Many chin parents swear by leaving the TV or radio on for their little ones. Leave the television or radio on a low volume to keep your chin company any time of the day or the night.
Need some great toy ideas?
And there you have it! Just like us, chinchillas need plenty to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Chinchilla boredom breakers are a totally necessary part of the #chinlifestyle. Your chin will certainly reward you with lots of love when they've got plenty to keep them happy.