As a chinchilla fan, you might have already read our recent article about how important the dust bath is. We have also written one about the chinchilla diet, which is an important aspect if you own such a pet. In this article, we decided to offer some information regarding the costs that having a chinchilla implies.
That is right! Having a pet requires you to invest time, love, to make sure you can offer high-quality living conditions, but it also implies various costs. There are multiple factors that should influence the decision to get a new pet.
First of all, what type is the right one for you? Are you prepared or do you even have enough time to dedicate? Are you able to provide a safe environment? And last, but not least, are you prepared to manage the financial obligations that come from owning a pet?
If your answer is yes to all the above questions, and your heart is set on a chinchilla, we are going to break down the costs for you to get a clear idea of what is expecting you from the financial point of view.
Getting a chinchilla
The price of a chinchilla can vary a lot depending on where you get it from, and what color you want. Usually, pet stores sell standard gray chinchillas starting from $150. The price for colored chins is higher. Breeders ask for a similar price, but you can find one as low as $80 in areas where lots of these pets are sold.
If you want to get yours from a breeder, you should know that the price is considered according to pedigree or fur quality. Therefore, a show quality chinchilla will cost much more than a no-show one. While there are numerous places you can get your pet from, adopting a rescue one would not only be cheaper, but you would be doing a good deed.
However, if adopting a chinchilla is not an option for you, the typical price range based on the above factors can vary between $150 and $350.
Besides the chinchilla itself, the most important item you need to get is the cage. A high-quality safe chinchilla cage can cost anywhere between $100 and $300. How much more you are willing to spend on this product is totally up to you.
If you want to reduce the cost a little, you can also look for used cages, but make sure the one you get does not come with any defects, and you need to clean and sanitize it properly before putting it to use.
The food dish is an item that should not be missing from your pet’s cage. It is recommended using metal or ceramic, as chinchillas can chew plastic. This type of product costs around $4 to $9. We suggest getting a bowl with hooks to attach to the sides of the cage in order to avoid tipping over.
The water bottle is just as important as the food bowl, as hydration is essential. The material for the bottle should be glass, and the price can vary between $5 and $25. As chinchillas require regular dust baths, you will also need to get a dust bath house, which usually costs around $10-$15.
These pets are also very active, so keeping them entertained is very important. Chew toys should not be missing from the cage, and they cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per piece. It is also recommended to provide your small companion a hideaway house, or a nesting box.
This accessory comes in a wide array of materials, so make sure you avoid plastic or any unsafe woods. You will be able to find a suitable one for $10-$15, but you can also pay around $40 for a metal nesting box. Again, this is up to your preference and budget. Hay feeders come with a huge range of prices starting from $4 and going up to $30.
This being said, the initial costs can be anywhere between $200 and $450.
Besides the initial costs, there are the ongoing costs that will last all throughout your pet’s life. For starters, you need to get quality chinchilla pellets. If you have only one pet, the recommended portion is 2 or 3 tablespoons of food per day.
A five-pound bag should be enough to last you for two months. You can find such a bag at around $10, which means you will be spending an average of $5 per month. Treats are just as important as food in a chinchilla’s life and there are plenty to select from on the market.
The brand and type totally depend on you and your chinchilla. Still, you should be spending somewhere around $5 on quality and healthy treats for your small companion. Another product you will be spending on is bathing dust.
Again, there is a variety on the market to select from, but a three-pound container should last you a long time, as you only need to replace it a few times per year. You can find such a container at around $9. Safe hay is also a necessity for chinchillas. Timothy hay is the most popular choice and it is incredibly affordable, especially if you purchase it in a bulk.
Of course, the amount you use depends on your pet’s preference. This will cost you around $5 on a monthly basis. Last, but not least, you should also get your chinchilla chewing sticks or blocks. The amount you will need to buy depends on your small friend’s habits, but it is safe to say that it should not cost you more than $5 per month.
In total, you should not be spending more than $35 a month and still offer your pet a healthy and safe lifestyle at the same time.
Although we would like our pets to stay healthy and happy for the longest time possible, that is not always the case. Besides the necessary check-ups from the veterinarian, your beloved companion can get sick and may even need treatment.
This will make you get more money from your pocket, but if you take good care of your pet, these events should be as few as possible.