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Bonding with your Chinchilla

Bonding with your chinchilla

With special thanks to Katherine Milligan

Many potential pet owners, regardless of species, tend to think that introducing a young animal to their furever home is a more straightforward process than the adoption or rescue of an adult animal: "babies" haven't yet been trained, they're a clean slate and we have the benefit of molding their personality. While this can sometimes be true if done correctly, ALL animals can learn to be happy. As responsible, proud pet pawrents, it's up to us to help them do so. So, today we will talk about bonding with your chinchilla when you adopt at any age.

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Bonding with your chinchilla

Bringing a new chin into your home is a decision not to be taken lightly. Like any animal, they require time and lots of attention. Chinchillas are prey in the wild, and because of this, their instincts frequently are defensive. Don't be discouraged if your new chin is reluctant and hesitant about its new surroundings; this is common. They have a keen sense of hearing, smell, and touch (interestingly, through their whiskers!), and so, as their humans, it's up to us to calm these senses. Chinchillas do not respond to negative discipline, and this would likely have an undesirable effect (antisocial behavior stemming from fear and stress). If you find your chin displaying this behavior, watch closely and observe its characteristics to understand what's causing the underlying issue to course correct it. With love and patience, your chinchilla will be reassured that he is secure in his or her new home.

I Picked up my Rescue Chin: Now What?

Introductions can be confusing and scary: What is this new place? Who are these strange people? What are these peculiar smells and noises? There's no shortcut: spend time around your new family member and allow them time to adjust to their new surroundings. Talk to them; let them get to know you, and get to know them. Feelings of comfort take time for humans, and the same is true for our precious pets. Therefore, take it slow when bonding with your chinchilla.

Pet chinchilla in hammock

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Establishing a routine is critical for your new chinny family member to help transition into their furever home.

  • Feeding. Because your chinchilla is a rescue, he or she will likely have to be introduced to a new diet. If possible, ask your chinchilla’s rescue facility to supply you with a stash of their old food/hay to gradually make the switch, as a chin's digestive system is sensitive and can add additional stress on them, making their transition more difficult. And because the digestive system is sensitive, a rapid change in diet could potentially cause serious digestive issues. Therefore, it's recommended to use 75% of the old diet mixed with 25% of the new. After a few days, increase the new diet to 50% and 75% until the diet transition is complete. Take care to monitor your chinchilla's behavior; if they stop eating, go back one step. Be patient with your chin; they're going through a lot of change.
  • Bathing (Dusting). This is an excellent opportunity to bond with your chin. Touch them softly (if they're ready), reassure them, and quietly laugh with them. Use this time to continue establishing your relationship.

All paths lead to L-O-V-E

The more love you give and show, the more love will be reciprocated by your fuzzy friend. However, bonding with your chinchilla doesn’t happen overnight. So be realistic: don't be discouraged if your rescue chin doesn't fall head over heels for you on day one. Stay conscious that your chinchilla is in a brand new place, and it will take time for them to become accommodated. Remember, relationships take time to build, and trust isn't automatically given; it's earned.

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DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

VETERINARY DISCLAIMERWe are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.  If your pet is acting unwell, you have concerns for their well being, or before adding any new product, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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