How Much Does A Pet Chinchilla Cost?

Are you wondering some of the same things I did? I had a lot of questions about cost when I started looking into adding a chinchilla to my home. I am hopeful that this information helps you answer those questions. 

How much does the Chinchilla cost? The chinchilla itself can vary in cost from $80-$350 depending on several factors. A few factors are sex, age, color, fur quality, the area you live in, and the reliability of the party you get it from. You may also consider checking if there is a chinchilla rescue near you or check with your local pet shelter, this may help you save some of the cost and help a pet that needs to find a home.  

Getting the home all set up and ready for your new chinchilla is the most significant expense you will have. Some things can be added to as you go, so long as the essentials are covered.  It will cost more than if you have set up for a smaller rodent and requires more consideration because of the chinchilla’s chewing habits.

The Cage: A right size cage will cost between $100.-$300 for the cage itself. It should have a floor space of at least 24×24. It needs to be taller with several ledges and ladders for your chinchilla to climb around and rest on. The cage should be metal as chinchillas are known for chewing and will destroy a plastic cage in short order. 

You can check and see if you can find a used cage in good shape, just be sure that it is cleaned well. Then there are the additions that must be added before you can put a chinchilla in it. 

Here comes the fun part of the setup.  Are you like me seeing $$$ rolling by your eyes. You get to make lots of choices that will personalize the space for you and your chinchilla. You can go cheaper now and upgrade a little as you go to keep things new and fresh for both you and your chinchilla.

Accessories

Water Bottles This will cost $5.-$25. They just depend on your choice. Your chinchilla must have fresh water available at all times. They are prone to overheat, and their health depends on them staying hydrated. Food Dishes The cost range here will be $5.-$10. I prefer the ones that attach to the cage to prevent tip-overs, this helps keep the cage cleaner, which keeps me, and Mr. Chin both happier and healthier.

Now comes the part where you can save some of the cost. Start with just 1-2 ledges and add more as you go. Spreading out the cost some.  You can change things around as many times as you want, and watching your chin may let you know that he wants them changed. 

Ledges

Ledges: Cost $10.-$17 per ledge, with some wood ledges running upward of $30.  A variety of sizes and heights are needed to exercise your chinchilla and have several places to sit. Dust Bath House: In the wild, chinchillas bathe in volcanic ash. This dry bath helps evenly disperse their natural oils. This item is essential as chinchillas require a dust bath. It will cost $10-$15. Bathing dust is an ongoing cost. You should plan on spending roughly $30 a year on this item.

I put an old wicker basket in upside down as a ledge and he jumps all over it. With a hole in just the right spot it will also make a nice hiding spot. Like me I’m sure you like Free. You can save cost here and use something just sitting around like and old coffee carafe or a small fish bowl.  

A Hideaway

Sleep is essential to keep them healthy. These little furry pets are entertaining when well-rested. If your chinchilla becomes lazy and lethargic it may not be getting enough sleep. These can range from $10-$40, metal ones can help your chinchilla stay cool, as they are temperature sensitive. Hay Feeders: can range from $4-$30 Chinchillas need as much hay as they can eat throughout the day. It is the important part of their dietary needs. Without enough hay they can develop digestive problems. This Item is an absolute must. 

Money saving tip, PVC piping also gives them places to hide, especially the Y and L shaped ones. Or a piece of carpet tubing can be cut, and you can usually pick them up free at a local carpet dealer. Free is a good price.

Remember that nothing that you choose now can’t be changed and upgraded as you go. That is what helps keep the cost down to start. Changing to an upgraded item later spreads the cost out over time.

Start-Up Cost

  • Cost of chinchilla, $150.-$350.
  • Initial Cost for the cage all set up will range in the area of $150.-$450.
  • Food, Treats, Chews, Bath Dust, and Litter an average of $85.-$150
  • Total Start-up on average $435-$900.
  • This cost is if you buy everything new and do not use any cost-saving tips.
  • Much of the cost is a one-time, or a once in a while cost.
  •   Others are ongoing month to month. I found this information very helpful for long-term planning.

Pellets

Pellets come in such a wide range of sizes and quality that the cost is hard to break down.  The average cost will be around $5. a month.  Hay: Such as Orchard grass or Timothy hay, Should be offered at all times. If they do not get enough roughage it will be very detrimental to their health, most of their diet will be the hay. There are many forms of hay and if you should budget $5. a month for this item. It is important that hay is always available for a chinchilla. Treats: Do not overdo it with treats. Be very careful with the treats that you choose.  You will be safe budgeting $5. a month for these. Dried fruit like raisins and banana chips is another another thing they like that isn’t just a pet treat. Test you chinchilla to see what vegetables they like and how they react to them. 

Toys and Chews: Are two things in one. They will be an ongoing expense. These can range from $3.-$10.  An average of $5.-$8. a month should be a safe range for this item. You can learn what trees like apple, aspen, birch are around and you can get twigs for chewing just by picking them up. 

Veterinary Costs

You should have your new chinchilla checked by a vet within a few days of getting it. This will ensure that your new pet is in good health and it will help inform you on caring for it. You should plan on annual vet visits thereafter.

Vet visits can range from $30.-$100. just depending on your area and if your vet has exotic animal rates. 

Be sure to find one that has experience with chinchillas. Chinchillas are known to have respiratory problems if left untreated it can turn to pneumonia. Gastrointestinal stasis is a condition they get when they are not getting enough hay and will cause constipation.  

Insurance is a recommendation. For an exotic pet, it will vary, but the average is less than $10 a month. 

Ongoing Costs

On the average range from $25- $45. per month

Enjoy your new pet and have a lot of fun. Love it and treat it well.

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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