The chinchillas make children’s eyes light up with their fluffy fur and huge ears. When seeing these animals, many children often want their own chinchilla.
One thing should definitely be clear to you and the children: chinchillas are not a suitable birthday or Christmas presents! The purchase of these animals should be well thought out and not happen in the course of the annual Christmas stress, e.g. because you haven’t found a better gift yet. In general, however, children and chinchillas can become good friends. If your offspring repeatedly expresses a serious desire for a pet, you should call a family meeting. Although children older than six years can already take on many of the tasks of caring for the chinchilla, adults are always primarily responsible for the animals. You must invest the necessary time to ensure species-appropriate husbandry and feeding and support your child in handling the animal.
Once you have decided on chinchillas, you need to explain the peculiarities of these rodents to your child. The most important thing your little one needs to understand is that these animals are nocturnal and want to sleep during the day when your little one is at their most alert. Let them help set up the cage and take them with you to buy food. In this way, your child learns what the chinchillas need and how to take care of them. Once the animals are in the house, the first encounters between your child and your new housemates must take place under your supervision. Explain to the child how to approach the chinchillas and how to pick them up. If your child is old enough, you should also involve them in caring for the pets. Your child can do the feeding in the mornings and evenings once you have shown them how much the chinchillas get. Older children can also do the daily cleaning of the cage under supervision. Through these tasks, your offspring learns to take responsibility for living beings at an early age. However, infants and young children should never be allowed near the chinchillas unsupervised. Small children are often overwhelmed by the lively rodents. Your movements are still too uncoordinated. They cannot hold a chinchilla properly and often squeeze too hard. Although the animals are very good-natured, you can bite at such moments. Young people are usually able to bear a large part of the responsibility. However, they still need your support. If your child ever loses interest in the animal, you will have to look after the chinchillas and, if necessary, find a new, species-appropriate home for them.