Chinchillas are gentle, delicate animals that require careful handling. Improper handling can cause them unnecessary stress or even injury. When picking up or holding a chinchilla, there are some important guidelines to follow.
- First, move slowly and speak softly when approaching your chinchilla. Sudden movements or loud noises will startle them. Place your hand gently under the chest, and then support the hindquarters as you lift. Never pick up a chinchilla by the tail.
- Hold your chinchilla securely but don’t squeeze too tightly. Support all four legs and feet if possible. Restricting their movement can cause anxiety.
- Limit handling sessions to about 10-15 minutes, and allow your chinchilla to rest in between. Too much activity can raise their heart rate and temperature.
- Keep handling low to the ground. Dropping from even short heights can lead to broken bones. Chinchillas are fragile and lack collar bones.
- Supervise children carefully when handling chinchillas. Their smaller hands can grip too tightly. Show them proper technique before each interaction.
With the proper gentle hold and minimal restraint, most chinchillas will relax into handling over time. Always support their feet and provide a secure grip to avoid falls. Handling is important for socialization and bonding, so follow these tips to make it a safe, calm experience for both you and your chinchilla.