Chinchilla Supplies (everything you need!)
Buying a chinchilla, or any pet for that matter, is the least of your expenses. Chinchilla supplies are where your money will go. Why do you think pet stores have so few pets these days?
Chinchillas are much less expensive than other pets, but you can still save money. You'll need to start with a cage, and you can find my recommendations here. Once you have one you can outfit it with an exercise wheel, food dish and water bottle.
Get a ceramic dish. They're easy to clean, they're heavy enough to resist being tipped over (saving food) and chinchillas can't chew them. It's not worth saving money with the plastic bowl, what you'll save in food costs the first month will pay for the difference.
You should consider your water bottle the same way. Chinchillas jump around and chew, so leaky and soft plastic water bottles are throwing your money out the window. No leak water bottles are nice (less mess in the cage), but unless you get a glass water bottle, consider purchasing a metal chew guard as well.
The Edstrom is my favorite bottle (although I'm moving to glass ones now) because it does not operate on a vacuum (meaning there is no backwash) and it is operated by opening and closing (done by the chinchilla) so there is no dripping!
Any durable water bottle will be fine, though. Just wash once a week or so. A slightly larger size will mean changing it less often.
If you have a wire bottom cage you don't need bedding. Just make sure you give your chinchilla a piece of wood to rest their paws on!
You have generally have three choices in bedding... pine, aspen or Carefresh. Carefresh is expensive, and doesn't last any longer, so it's a waste of money. People have been moving to Aspen lately, as it's reported to cause fewer respiratory problems. If you are willing to pay a few dollars extra for the piece of mind, that's fine. It's still reasonable, although not always easy to find.
The inexpensive standby is pine bedding. Generally available everywhere and relatively inexpensive, this is the choice of many chinchilla owners.
Just make sure you remember NO CEDAR! It's toxic to chinchillas in large amounts (check the safe woods).
One of the cutest things a chinchilla does is the nose rub after a dust bath! I've never seen chinchilla dust that was unsuitable. If you're a pet owner, just go with what you can find. Discriminating breeders will generally use Blue Sparkle or (mostly) Blue Cloud, but they are not always easy to find.
For a dust pan you can use anything... a large fishbowl, a breadpan, a kitty litter pan... I've used them all. Don't waste money on a plastic petstore version.
Chinchilla are curious animals and always chewing, so they need lots of toys.
Also, some other chinchilla supplies that might be helpful.
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