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Chinchilla Enrichment

Chinchillas are a less common laboratory animal. As such, their enrichment needs may be less understood. They are social animals, and do better when housed in compatible groups. A dust bath is essential for chinchilla health, and also serves as enrichment. As rodents, they need to chew; items such as chew sticks, manzanita wood and nylon chews are some options. For variety, try hay cubes. Chinchillas like to climb and jump, so a-multilevel cage or shelves and perches will facilitate exercise. A den or private area, such as a tube, allows the animals a choice to be social or not. There should be ample floor space for the above items and open space for these active animals. Running wheels can also be provided, but not all animals will use them, and they must be “chinchilla safe” with a smooth surface. Bedding is needed for animal comfort and also allows animals the opportunity to forage. See the recent blog posting on dust baths for more detailed information.

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