Choosing the right chinchilla is the first step toward happy chinchilla ownership. Keep the following in mind when selecting your chinchilla:
- Look for a chinchilla that appears alert and has bright, clear eyes.
- Do not choose a chinchilla that looks sick, even if you feel pity for the animal.
- Examine its ears to make sure they are not red or filled with an excessive amount of wax, because this could be a sign of infection.
- A healthy chinchilla will not have discharge from its nose, mouth, eyes, anus or genital area.
- Check for sores or other injuries on the chinchilla’s body.
- A healthy chinchilla will move quickly when startled.
- Examine the animal’s teeth to make sure they are not overgrown. Misaligned teeth cause health problems.
- Spend some time with the chinchilla to determine if it is friendly and interested in its surroundings.
- The right chinchilla will not appear aggressive or try to bite.
- A chinchilla that has been handled frequently should be friendly and somewhat receptive to human touch.
- A healthy chinchilla will not feel fat or thin. You should be able to feel its ribs with a thin layer of fat over them.
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