Almost every Petsmart sells chinchillas, and every single one that does puts them in danger that could kill or impact them for the rest of their lives.
Chinchillas are dying within a week of being brought to their new home from Petsmart because of how dangerous these "habitats" are!!
Many employees are aware of the dangers, but are unable to do anything because they are required to follow the harmful rules set by corporate. Here are the simple things we urge Petsmart to change to stop life-threatening chinchilla abuse.
1. NO PAPER BEDDING: Colorful paper bedding may make chinchillas look "more fun" but the fun ends when the chin dies from inevitably ingesting these harmful substances. Safe aspen wood shavings (also sold at Petsmart) should be used instead.
2. NO PLASTIC: Chinchillas notoriously chew on everything and anything, especially in a stressful and boredom-inducing environment such as a pet store. Plastic obviously cannot be digested and causes blockages, leading to death. Metal saucers or solid metal wheels without any spokes or bar in the middle should be used instead of a plastic wheel, along with safe, untreated wooden hideouts. These things are also sold at Petsmart, why aren't they being used??
3. SAFE WHEELS: It is unacceptable that the only form of exercise these extremely active animals are provided can maim or kill them. The only wheels Petsmart sells are too small and/or made of unsafe materials. Wheels must be solid metal and a minimum of 14 inches in diameter with no spokes or bars in the middle. Smaller wheels and wheels with spokes or bars cause damage to the spine. Mesh metal wheels are commonly known to cause broken legs and toes. An alternative is a saucer which must be made of metal and not plastic.
These are basic things most chinchilla owners are aware of. They are the first things I learned after having my own. Using these unsafe materials promotes new chinchilla owners to also use them.
Chinchillas can live for 20 years on average, but many are dying in their first couple of years of life due to unsafe practices. How many more chinchillas have to die before taking proper care of animals becomes mainstream?