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Handling Your Chinchilla

While chinchillas need to be handled with care, you should not be afraid to hold your chinchilla, as this is a big part of them bonding with you. Above, Aston demonstrates a very relaxed chinchilla being held by me. He knows and trusts me and is comfortable in this position.

Some say that the proper way to handle a chinchilla when first picking one up is to hold on to the base of their tail, and slide a hand under their belly. This is okay, but can tend to stress a chinchilla and potentially cause harm if the wrong part of the tail is held. I use both hands to gently grasp their middle then cradle them against my body. True, most of them do not like to be held around their rib cage, but if your chinchilla has been handled from birth he should be used to it, and you will soon discover the best way of handling your chinchilla. Remember to go slow and earn their trust first.

If you choose to pick them up by the base of their tail, never, under any circumstances hold them upside down by grabbing their tail. Chins tails are very delicate, and if they were to begin struggling, it could break their tail. Before you attempt to pick up your chin, let him get to know you. Start by letting them get to know your scent and go from there. You may want to check out the bonding section for more information on how to get close to your chinchilla.