Chinchilla make cuddly little pets

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The most important thing to know about chinchilla is that they are high on the cuddle chart.

"He's a little nervous, cuz he just got here today," Rhonda McGraw says of the chinchilla she is holding, "So he doesn't quite know us yet. But, they can be very cuddly. They'll curl up with you and hang out."

Mcgraw says chinchilla don't stay at the Flint Petsmart very long, "As soon as we get them, we sell them within a week or so."

As adorable as they are, chinchilla are still often overlooked by people who want smaller pets- for one big reason.

"If you get a hampster or guinea pig, something like that, they're easy care. These guys take a lot, they have higher requirements," Rhonda tells me.

Chinchilla are a little on the delicate side so, Rhonda says, they don't make great the beset pet for little kids, "They have a floating bone system, so their bones are- they can be crushed easier than a guinea pig can. They'll squirm away and bite, but these guys don't like to be held tight."

Speaking of delicate, that gorgeous fur can not get wet. On the up-side, chinchilla have a unique way of bathing, and they do it themselves..

"They take a bath in a dust.," Rhonda says, 'So we have these little housed. We put dust in them, and they just kinda go in there and twirl around and have fun in it. And that's how they clean themselves."

That's in part becasue chinchilla are from the dry, arid, mountainous Andes region.

Rhonda says that's also why they're very sensitive to heat. "So, they can't be by a window or somewhere by a furnace. They couldn't be in those areas. They have to be cool at all times- below the 70's."

If you get a chinchilla, you probably just want one, unless you get them when they're young, and then you can put them together. Otherwise, they're kind of lone wolves.... or, lone chinchilla.

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