Most of the pets moved by PetRelocation are "traditional" ones like dogs and cats. Every once in a while, though, we relocate a bird, a horse or a snake, and lately we've worked with a couple of chinchillas, as well.
Beyond the obvious fact that they're pretty dang cute, most of us don't know much about these furry little guys. As we've gotten to know them better lately we've learned a few things, however:
-Chinchillas are from the rodent family and originate in the Andes region of South America, and over the last few years have grown more popular as pets.
-They require exercise and chew toys, and in fact need to gnaw on a regular basis so their teeth are kept to a comfortable length.
-Chinchillas need (and like) to clean themselves by taking dust baths; water isn't good for their thick coats, and dust works well to absorb oil and dirt. In the wild they find dust from fine ground volcanic rocks, and in captivity they should be provided with the chance to take dust baths regularly (check out the video below to see a bathing chinchilla in action).
-Chinchillas are actually hypo-allergenic, making them popular pets for people sensitive to the dander of other animals.
-Because they have sensitive digestive systems, it's important to keep chinchillas on careful diets. Fresh fruits and veggies should be avoided, for example.
In terms of traveling with chinchillas, there are a few things to keep in mind. As always, it's important to research the country to which you're traveling well in advance of departure to find out about any specific rules and regulations.
Many countries require a document issued by a government authority certifying that the chinchilla is captive-bred. We recently moved Norvay (see the cutie below below) to Hong Kong, and that's how he was able to be imported. It's also very important that chinchillas are housed in a travel crate that's both safe and airline-approved.
Contact us if you need some help moving with your Chinchilla, and be sure to share your own stories and tips if you have any!