If you live somewhere that gets hot or humid at any time of the year, you need to make sure your chinchilla doesn't overheat.
Chinchillas don’t have sweat glands, so if the temperature or humidity get too high, they can’t cool themselves down and become very susceptible to heatstroke and other heat related problems.
They’re totally reliant on you to keep them cool and provide them with a suitable living environment all year round which means:
- Keeping the temperature of the room your chinchillas stay in between 60°F and 75°F (15.5°C and 24°C)
- Keeping the humidity of the room your chinchillas stay in between 40% and 50%
Fortunately, even if the temperature is soaring outside, there are lots of things you can do to keep your furry friend safe and cool.
In this post I’ll be sharing 10 things you can do to prepare for the hotter times of the year and keep your chinchilla cool and comfortable when the temperature rises…
An air conditioner is the best way to keep your chinchilla cool when it gets hot and is an essential item if you live somewhere where the temperature goes above 75°F (24°C).
The easiest way to keep the temperature of the room in the ideal range for your little fluffball is to buy an AC unit with a built in thermostat.
A programmable timer is another useful feature to look out for when buying an air conditioner if the room only needs cooling for a few hours each day.
If you live somewhere where the humidity levels normally go above 50%, you may also need to buy a dehumidifier to keep your chinchilla comfortable.
Most air conditioning units do have some dehumidification capabilities but if you live in an area with very high humidity, you’ll probably need to buy a separate dehumidifier too.
Even with an air conditioner and dehumidifier running in the room, your chinchilla will still appreciate having shaded areas inside their cage during the hotter times of the year.
Dark, shaded areas don't heat up as quickly as other parts of the cage and give your little fur baby a cool spot where they can chill, sleep and escape the heat.
To add some shaded areas to your chinchilla's cage, get them a wooden hideout with a small opening that doesn't let in much light or hang hammocks on one side of the cage to create a dark, shaded spot for them.
Electrical equipment emits a lot of heat and can cause the temperature of the room your chinchilla lives in to rise.
Ideally, the only pieces of electrical equipment you should have turned on in your chinchilla’s room are the air conditioner and the dehumidifier.
If you have other active electronic devices in this room, move them to a different room or only use them when absolutely necessary to keep the temperature under control.
Direct sunlight can cause your chinchilla to overheat very quickly, even if the average temperature in the room is below 75°F (24°C).
To avoid direct sunlight, make sure your chinchilla’s cage is placed in a shaded area of the room and away from any windows.
Blackout blinds block out the warming rays of the sun and are a great way to stop your chinchilla’s room getting too hot.
They can also be beneficial in winter if you live in an area where the temperature dips below 60°F (15.5°C) because they help keep the heat in the room during the colder times of the year.
Chinchillas can’t sweat and so heat up very quickly when they’re physically active. This isn’t usually a problem during the cooler times of the year but when the temperature starts to rise, too much physical activity can lead to your chinchilla overheating.
To protect your little fluffball from overheating, it’s best to keep their physical activity to a minimum during the hotter times of the year. This means reducing or stopping any exercise outside of their cage and removing any exercise wheels from their cage when the temperature is above 75°F (24°C).
The grease that builds up in your chinchilla’s fur between dust baths can contribute to overheating during the hotter times of the year. Dusting your chinchilla daily or every two days will keep their fur clean and help them stay cool when the temperature increases.
When changing your chinchilla’s dusting routine, make sure you check their skin for any rough patches. Excessive dusting can dry out their skin out, so if you notice any rough patches, stop the dust baths for a couple of days and then give them shorter dust baths when you resume the dusting schedule.
During the hotter times of the year, your chinchilla is likely to drink more water because it helps them stay cool. This means you need to be checking their water more frequently when the temperature increases and make sure they always have plenty of water available.
You may also want to consider buying a larger water bottle for your chinchilla which you can use when the temperature rises above 75°F (24°C). This will make it much easier for you to keep your little fluffball hydrated when it gets hot.
A thermometer will tell you when your chinchilla’s room is getting too hot and when you need to start taking action to cool down the room.
Keep the thermometer in your chinchilla’s room all year round, check it daily and whenever the temperature goes above 75°F (24°C), implement all the steps above to keep your furry friend cool.
Do you have any additional tips for keeping your cool? Do you live somewhere where the temperature goes above 75°F (24°C)? Let me know by leaving a comment.