sample wheel

“Mam this should not be over 75 fix now”

Stitch and I would like to share some important info on overheating, recognizing it, treating it, and preventing it in the wake of this seemingly never ending blazingly hot summer.

Chinchillas’ native environment is the Andes Mountains, a cool and dry climate. It should never be over 75 for long in the room they live in without options to cool down, nor should it be very humid. A good rule of thumb is to add the relative humidity to the temp, and if it’s over 150, quickly try to lower both. Their incredibly dense fur makes it very easy to overheat!

Signs of overheating/heat stroke:
Red, warm/hot ears
Very red tongue
Laying on their side
Sluggish/no movement
Heavy breathing
Seizures when severe

If you notice these signs (in conjunction with high heat) IMMEDIATELY take action. Heatstroke can result in permanent brain damage and death shockingly quickly.

How to cool down your nugget:
-Wrap in a cool, damp towel or submerge up to the neck in lukewarm/cool water (NOT COLD, they will go into shock) if very severe. Obviously it’s bad to get your chin wet, but that’s easier to fix than death.
-If you’re noticing it early and you have a car with AC, take them in their carrier to sit in the cool car

After you get them cooled down, take them to the vet as soon as possible. They may need to give them fluids for dehydration and will check them over for any permanent injury.

If you don’t have AC and can’t afford a single room AC unit (I HIGLY recommend saving up to do so), there are still things you can do for your precious puff during hot days. These aren’t permanent fixes, if their room will be consistently hot, you should ask around to see if someone with AC can take care of them for the summer.

-Keep their dust in the freezer for cooling baths
-Ice chips in their water bottle
-Heavy duty ziplock bags of ice wrapped in cloth to snuggle, or to put under or on top of ceramic/stone houses, like Stitch’s cat bowl. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t chew on the bag. I don’t recommend chemical ice packs; too easy to chew through.
-Freeze water in mason jars and put in their cage to snuggle
-Keep a marble tile available to nap on, it’s naturally cool. They’re around $6-$10 on Amazon, or sometimes free from tile shops as samples.

-Remove their wheel from the cage during the hottest hours

Note that putting a fan near your chin’s cage won’t do anything on its own as fans work to cool you down through sweat evaporation. As chinchillas don’t sweat, the fans won’t do anything but make an annoying draft.

Stitch and I thank you for reading this; hopefully you learned some things. I’d love to get some more ideas to keep chinchillas cool in the replies/reblogs!