I have many people ask about exercise and playtime. Is it necessary to allow chinchillas play time? I think much of this discussion may result from us being conditioned to walk the dog, exercise our dogs and even train our dogs to compete in agility, herding, and other such trials that replicate a dogs natural ability to “work.”

We definitely want to keep our chinchillas as healthy as possible, but we have to realize that chinchillas are vastly
different from dogs and other animals. They do not need the level of exercise that many animals do. In the wild the only exercise they get would be running back into their home or hiding spot from predators. It is a short burst of energy then they are sedentary again. And looking at how they are made up, their strong rear legs
that are suited for jumping and makes this burst of energy very effective. They then return to a more sedentary movement as they search for grasses to eat.

Our domesticated animal feels very safe in their cage.  This is their home, this is freedom from  predators, it is essential for their well being.  Most of you keep your chinchillas in a cage with places for them to jump on, hanging chew toys for activity which allows them to jump and stretch and move about. You are providing the movement they need for good muscle tone and health.

To read the rest of this article, more articles like this and to learn more about showing and caring for chinchillas, please log in and view the November 2017 issue of the Breeder Magazine. Non-members can join by visiting our “Membership” tab.


Share This