Category Archives: Care Sheets

Chinchilla Care Sheet

Little Critters Animal Hospital, Jill Patt, DVM





NATURAL ENVIRONMENT: South American Rodent

LIFESPAN: 15+ years

SEXING: Males: the penis is separated from the anus by a small space of skin Females: the vaginal opening is immediately adjacent to the anus

HOUSING: A flat bottom cage is safest for their toes and feet but will require much more diligent cleaning. Wood shavings are not recommended for rodents and the best choice for bedding is hay or recycled newspaper pellets. The cage should be the largest that you have room for and the use of a multiple level cage will increase their area of activity. Chinchillas are very active animals and are most active at night. They should be provided with monitored time out of the cage daily to allow them to run and play. A chinchilla wheel should always be available in the cage. A typical rabbit water bottle and food bowl should also be provided. Also, a hide box should be provided to allow them a feeling of security and a means of escaping if startled or stressed

NEUTER: Male chinchillas should be neutered to prevent reproduction & aggression.

DUST BATH: All chinchillas should be allowed access to a dust bath on a regular basis. Special chinchilla dust can be purchased at most pet shops and should be provided daily in a container. Common containers are litter boxes (covered work well) and large mouthed class jars big enough for the chinchillas to freely move around in. The container should be removed after the bath. Chinchillas have a very thick coat that does not dry quickly when wet. Dusting is their way of having a water free bath. Dusting allows them to remove oil and debris from their coats and truly seems to be a source of enjoyment.

DIET: Chinchillas have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract and should be given a routine diet that doesn’t vary on a daily basis. I recommend feeding them a mixture of chinchilla pellets, grass hay and some alfalfa hay for additional calcium.

WATER: Fresh clean water should always be available.

SUPPLEMENTS: It remains undetermined as to whether or not chinchillas can make their own vitamin C. The safest course of action is to supplement their diet with a chewable vitamin C tablet of about 100-200mg/day. A calcium supplement may also be needed if the diet is low in calcium or for pregnancy.

MEDICAL CONCERNS: Heat stress, dental disease, skin/fur disease, respiratory infections, eye infections, leg trauma and fractures

FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr. Jill M. Patt’s web site at:

Sugar Gliders Care Sheet

Little Critters Animal Hospital, Jill Patt, DVM

Sugar Gliders

Back Camera



Australia – woods/forests, Nocturnal

LIFESPAN: 12+ years

SEXING: Females have a mid-abdominal pouch

Males has a pre-penile scrotum

HOUSING: Gliders are social animals and should never be kept alone. A large cage is needed to allow these athletic animals to explore. Bird cages are frequently utilized. Larger is better, but ensure that the screen is small enough to safely keep your glider in the cage. A sleeping pouch and hide box are needed as are a variety of perches for climbing. Parrot toys can be provided for additional stimulation as can a rodent wheel.

DIET: Diet is extremely important for sugar gliders and an improper diet can literally kill your glider. I recommend one of the 2 options below for providing the best nutrition for your pet. As with any exotic pet, it is important that you research and understand the needs of your pet both in the wild and in captivity.


50% Protein:

insects, hardboiled egg with shell, newborn mice, lean meat, high quality cat food, monkey chow

50% Sugars/gums:

fresh nectar, maple syrup, honey, acacia gum, gum Arabic, commercial lory diet, Glideraide


50% Leadbeaters Mix

150 ml warm water
150 ml honey
1 shelled hard boiled egg
25 grams high protein baby cereal
1 teaspoon vitamin supplement

50% Commercial Insectivore diet
Mazuri® Insectivore Diet
Zupreem Omnivore Diet

TREATS: Small amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, baby food, and dairy products can be offered.

SUPPLEMENTS: A combination of a vitamin and mineral supplement such as Rep-Cal Herptivite should be sprinkled over food. The calcium supplement should be phosphorus free.

WATER: Clean/fresh water should be available at all times. A water bottle is typically provided.

MEDICAL CONCERNS: Hind limb paralysis syndrome, Nutritional disorders, Obesity, Cataracts Trauma, Respiratory disease, Parasites, Gastrointestinal disease, Stress-related disease, Pouch disorders, Dental disease

FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr. Jill M. Patt’s web site at:

Sugar Glider Net:

Mazuri Insectivore Diet:


Rep-Cal Herptivite: