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Exercise


Exercise is essential to your chin’s health. If possible, get your chinchilla a wheel. They can be pricey but it’s worth it to ensure that your chin can exercise safely in it. I prefer the 'Flying Saucer' wheel. I think they give a more natural running surface to the chins, and don't strain their backs as much. If mounted correctly, I feel they are safe. There's room enough for a chin to be under the wheel while one is running on it.

If you get a traditional wheel, make sure it has a solid, non-plastic running surface, is at least 15" in diameter, and has no cross-bars. Even if it's 'recommended' for chinchillas, it isn't truly safe if all the criteria aren't met. A great example of a safe wheel is the 15" Chin Spin made by Quality Cage Co.

You can also let your chin out to run at night in an enclosed room where they cannot get hurt. Make sure you always “chin-proof” this room, getting down on your hands and knees and making sure there is nothing that they can eat, chew or get hurt on. Wires and cords are very dangerous for your chinchilla, because they love to chew so much. Anything you do not wish for them to get hold of needs to be removed from their area of play. Don't forget to cover the baseboards, they love to chew on them. Also, remember that you MUST be in the room supervising at all times your chin is loose! Free run is not recommended unless you have a room that can be totally safe for your chinchilla.

Remember, if you choose to allow free run, never chase them. This causes your chin a lot of stress, and will teach him not to trust you. Be careful not to startle them by grabbing them too quickly or they will release a handful of fur. This does not hurt them, it is merely an escape mechanism, but it will let you know that you have scared them.