American Veterinary Hospital

2109 Tapo Street #3
Simi Valley, CA 93063

(805) 581-9111


Monday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:30am-6:00pm
Wednesday: 8:30am-3:00pm
Thursday: 8:30am-6:00pm
Friday: 8:30am-6:00pm
Saturday: 8:30am-4:00pm

Chinchilla Care 101

Are you looking for a small pet that has a big personality? Chinchillas are super cute, and can make quite charming animal companions. These little guys aren’t hard to care for, but they do have some specific needs. Read on as a local Moorpark, CA vet discusses basic chinchilla care.


Chinchillas live with their friends and family in the wild, and are definitely much happier with some buddies and playmates. Playmates will keep your pet from getting lonely. We recommend getting same-sex pairs.


These little furballs are very sweet and lovable. They are easily frightened, however, so they aren’t always a good match for energetic children. Stress is very bad for chinchillas, so keep your little pal in a calm, quiet environment.


A comfy habitat is crucial! We recommend picking a cage with multiple stories, so your furry buddies can climb. You’ll need to add suitable bedding; a dust bath; food and water dishes; a hayrack; and some hidey-holes. Ask your vet for more information.


Your adorable pals will need lots of fun toys. Some good options are tunnels, wood blocks and ladders, and the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls. You can also give your chinchillas an exercise wheel. Just be sure to choose one with a solid bottom: wire wheels can be very dangerous! These little guys also really enjoy climbing, so offer your pint-sized pal climbing branches. Choose safe woods, like pear, willow, or hazelnut. Avoid pine and cedar products (including substrate) as they are not safe for chinchillas.


Keep your tiny furballs in a room that never goes above 78 °F. The ideal temperature is right around 68 °F. Chinchillas can get very sick in rooms that are too hot or too cold!


Your chinchillas will need a varied, nourishing diet that includes fresh grass hay, pellets, supplements, and treats. For snacks, you can offer rose hips, nuts, dried fruit, and blackberry leaves. Cuttlebones are also suitable snacks. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is very important! At home, keep a close eye out for signs of illness. Diarrhea, respiratory issues, lack of appetite, watery eyes, drooling, and lethargy are a few red flags. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us with any questions about chinchilla care. As your local Moorpark, CA animal hospital, we are here for you!

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