How Much Do Chinchillas Cost?

While the fur trade and industry is continuously flourishing primarily because of chinchillas, the number of people that regards them as good pets is also increasing. A lot of people tend to purchase chinchillas to make a good pet out of them. Apparently, chinchillas are a low-cost kind of pet which makes them somehow a desirable pet for many.

As far as most American households are concerned, owning a pet holds a greater meaning into the collective lives of each resident. After all, the 2017-18 Pet Owners Survey estimates private pet stewardship to be worth $69.4 billion, catering to the holistic needs of up to 85 million families nationwide.

chinchilla in a basket

Of all the 6.7 million households that own small animals, there is a visible portion of this category that chose chinchillas as a member of their family unit. Native to the Andes region of South America, the chinchillas are a distant rodent cousin of rabbits and hares that are currently classified as critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Growing at an average length of 12 inches, these creatures can live up to a total of 20 years. Interestingly, domesticated chinchillas have a longer natural lifespan than those living in the wild. However, their relatively comfortable life as pets is predominantly dependent on the level of preparations invested by their owners.   

Average Cost and Price Factors

Speaking of investment, how much do chinchillas cost? When one purchases these rodents from breeders, the price range could be anywhere between $80 and $300 per animal. There are a number of genetic and market factors that determine the variations for the exact costs. However, the most concrete and obvious modifier is the color of its fur. Here is an index of estimated price ranges based on the following natural fleece pigments:

  • Chocolate: $250 to $300
  • Dark ebony: $200 to $300
  • White ebony: $180 to $250
  • Homo beige: $180 to $250
  • Pink white: $170 to $230
  • Tan white: $150 to $255
  • Brown velvet: $150 to $200
  • Tan: $150 to $200
  • Light ebony: $140 to $190
  • Mosaic: $130 to $180
  • Hetero beige: $130 to $160
  • Gray: $80 to $150

Where to Get Chinchillas

The pet chinchillas cost alone is not a good indicator in terms of knowing the quality of the animal’s domestic predisposition. When it comes to getting chinchillas, the best source of acquisition is animal shelters. These are the main reasons why:

  • Pet shops are often run as breeding mills that relegate, if not outright denies, the basic welfare of the pets in question.
  • Anonymous breeders do not have the same level of expertise and working knowledge or animal physiology than the staff of animal shelters and rescue groups.
  • Compared to price range set by pet shops and individual breeders, potential owners only pay around $50 to $75 adoption fee.
  • Nearly all (if not all) animal shelters are affiliated with non-profit rescue organizations. Hence, every penny coming from the adoption fee goes to the basic needs of the animal under their temporary custody.
  • Animal shelters may include giving away freebies like carriers, toys, food bowls, et al.

While adopting chinchillas from animal shelters are cheap, the process is relatively more lengthy and painstaking. Case in point: a non-profit organization called Forever Feisty Chinchillas presents a number of regulations and standards that potential pet owners must comply before being allowed to pay the adoption fee. These are the current examples of chinchilla rescue centers in the United States for reference:

Home and Environment

There is more to chinchillas prices alone in terms of ensuring the pet’s quality of life. One of the crucial elements of achieving its longest potential lifespan is fine-tuning its new habitat. In terms of choosing steel cages, the ideal measurement for one chinchilla is 30 x 18 x 48 inches. This specific enclosure dimension can already accommodate a number of recreational accessories as well as an ample leg room for mobile activity.

Chinchillas cannot live in hot and humid climate. Maintaining an indoor temperature of no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit is tantamount to keeping chinchillas from suffering a deadly heat stroke. Being a rodent means that chinchillas could not help but gnaw at any object they can find. If one feels releasing chinchilla/s outside the cage, it is would suit best for homeowners to replace wooden furniture with other material variety and remove all wirings.

Diet, Lifestyle, and Health Care

In terms of feeding chinchillas, good nutrition is defined by the simple balance of formulated pellets and processed dried grass. Chinchillas are crepuscular nocturnal creatures. With their peak energies scheduled at sunset and dawn, chinchillas are more likely to play hide and seek or run around the exercise wheel during these polar waking hours. As for their water supply, the ideal volume of the container should be roughly no less than 8 ounces.

Ironically, keeping the chinchillas well-fed, hydrated, and active is the easier part. Knowing which type of wood is non-toxic, however, requires careful study. According to The Spruce, all chew toys must be made from the following wood materials:

  • apple
  • arbutus
  • ash
  • aspen
  • bamboo
  • blackberry
  • blackcurrant
  • cholla
  • cottonwood
  • crabapple
  • dogwood
  • elm
  • grapevine
  • hawthorn
  • hazelnut
  • magnolia
  • manzanita
  • mulberry
  • pear
  • pecan
  • poplar
  • quince
  • rose hip
  • sycamore

Medical needs also comprise an important part of the pet chinchillas cost. Homeowners can benefit from pet insurance to cover expensive veterinarian fees if chinchillas get sick or injured. Among the most highly recommended providers suitable for relatively exotic pets is Figo Pet Insurance.

Conclusion: Overall Upkeep Outlay

In terms of the question how much do chinchillas cost,’ the price of keeping the creature alive is practically more important than the cost to get them out of animal shelters. One should account these expenses on top of the chinchilla’s prices:

Initial upkeep is anywhere around $413 to $843. Among the items strictly categorized in the preliminary spending include the new cage, food bowl, water bottle, bedding, accessories, and toys. Ongoing upkeep comprising the essentials such as a bag of food (pellet and hay), a bag of litter, and a unit of bathing dust could run an average of $35 per month.

Medical costs may range from $50 to $100 depending on the severity of the case. If pet owners temporarily experience financial difficulties that impede funding the costly vet bills, they can apply for relief programs like the Red Rover.

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