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Safety Considerations

ANY PRODUCT CONTAINING ANIMAL INGREDIENTS OR BY-PRODUCTS:  Except for the occasional insect in their native habitat, chinchillas are strictly vegetarian.

CHOCOLATE:  Harmful to the digestive and nervous systems.

CLOTH WITH STRINGS, FRINGE OR LOOSE WEAVE:  Cloth such as terrycloth can clog intestines if ingested.

ROPE:  Any kind of rope, including hemp can be ingested and become lodged in the intestines.

COMMERCIAL CARDBOARD:   Cardboard pet products are presumably safe, but cardboard used commercially for items such as paper towel and toilet paper rolls, soda pop carriers and postal boxes may contain: wax, lamination, glue or chemical pre-treatment.

CORN:  Except as a binder in feed, is prone to molds & fungus in the manufacturing & storing process.

ELECTRICAL WIRES:   Chins who bite into these friendly-looking "vines" get a real, usually lethal, shock.

LETTUCE, CABBAGE, PEAS and CORN:  Among other fresh greens, can cause painful, and sometimes fatal, bloating.

PEANUTS and SUNFLOWER SEEDS:  Because of the high fat content, they cause liver damage over time.

PLASTIC, HARD OR SOFT:   Can clog intestines if ingested.

Basically, use common sense in what you place in or near your chinchilla's cage, and you should have a happy, healthy and long-lived chin! 

Remember to keep anything that is a "no-no" well away from your chins cage...they can (and will) reach out through the cage and pull things closer for better inspection!

Please be very cautious when transporting a chin in warm weather.  Chins are very susceptible to heat stroke!   Chinchillas do not sweat, and are not able to cool themselves as we humans do.   If it's necessary to transport a chin on a warm (hot) day, please make sure they are in a large, well ventilated travel cage, and use your air conditioning in the car.  Only make very brief stops, if necessary, and always park in the shade.  Place the travel cage in an area of the vehicle where it is not in direct sunlight, and keep in mind that when you change direction, where the sun comes into the vehicle also changes.

Most information contained on this page courtesy of:  For a more thorough list, please visit the chin-care site!