CHARLIE -- our boom pet of the week!!
CHARLIE is a 5-year old chinchilla brought in to the ottawa humane society as a stray. chinchillas typically live about 15 years, but 18-22 years is not uncommon. with gentle handling, from a young age most chinchillas will become quite tame and bond closely with their owners, although sometimes they do not like to be held or cuddled. they are very active and playful. chinchillas can be kept singly, and usually will do fine as same sex pairs especially if they are litter mates or introduced at a young age.
chinchillas are largely nocturnal so will be most active at night. sometimes they are called crepuscular, meaning their activity peaks at dawn and dusk. in any case, they should be kept in a fairly quiet area during the day. they prefer a consistent routine for handling at feeding times and may be stressed by changes to their routine. since they are so active and playful, chinchillas need a roomy cage for exercise as well as daily playtime. warm temperatures are more of a concern for chinchillas than cool temperatures, so care must be taken that pet chinchillas do not become overheated.
chinchillas require a lot of roughage, and the diet should mainly be made up of a good quality grass hay along with pellets made for chinchillas. treats should be given in moderation. the digestive system of chinchillas is fairly sensitive so any diet changes should be gradual. chinchilla cages must be large, multi-level cages with platforms, ramps, and perches. along with regular access to a dust bath, chinchillas need a variety of toys to keep them busy and active, especially items for chewing to keep the incisor teeth in good condition.
if you'd like to meet CHARLIE, or the many other animals that are currently available for adoption at the ottawa humane society, please call 613-725-3166 ext 258, or visit the adoption centre at 245 west hunt club road. online at www.ottawahumance.ca