site map/ about us, copyright/ pet chin resources (clubs, books, all star sites)/ critical points

make a difference: fur-free pledge, fur-free society/ confronting cruelty/

*Safety Intro, Product Reviews Link
*Site Safety And Need-To-Know Index
*Pet-Safe Cleaners
*Safe Litter or Bedding (what's unsafe; safe litter/ bedding suppliers)
*Safety Items
*Safe vs. Hazardous Chews (safe, effective chews: examples, cleaning and reusing cholla and pumice; safe wood: specifications, the list, cleaning and storing; toxic wood: toxic factors, the list, cyanogenic glycosides; chewing hazards)
*Safe vs. Toxic Metals
*Chinchilla Collectibles
*Search, Shop Chinchilla Supplies (quick links, international suppliers & google search)


Unfortunately, there are some products marketed at pet owners as "good for"
Product Reviews
Chinchilla Product Reviews
their pets when in truth what's being promoted as cost-effective, eye-appealing and
convenient for PEOPLE can present serious health and safety hazards for their PET.

Manufacturers are in business to make money, they profit from the people who
buy the product, not the pet that uses it.
This has led to products featured on store
that are actually harmful or potentially lethal to chinchillas: plastic igloos,
huts, or shelves; wheels with spokes; pellet mixes that are more "treats" than
pellets; cages with unsafe mesh width and "odor-reducing"
cedar bedding to name
a few. Exercise balls are inadvisable for several reasons: their plastic construction,
the largest size is still too small for most chinchillas, there is a strong possibility for
overheating and if the chin pees, he'll be rolling in his own urine.

Often the safety issues attached to these items has not yet reached a level of greater
public awareness, which is compounded by the prevalent assumption that anything
that is widely marketed and sold in reputable pet stores must be safe and suitable
for the pet named on the packaging. Until there is a lawsuit or a boycott of the
product, chances are it will continue to be stocked and sold to more well-intentioned,
unsuspecting pet owners.

Because the pet isn't the one doing the buying, it is the chinparents who need to be
cautious, self-educated and aware of safety issues on their pet's behalf! If pet owners
were to put their foot down the way parents do with unsafe items marketed at their kids,
then there would be some quick changes made, indeed. Spread the word and think
SAFETY FIRST when you shop for your chin!

Feel free to post this page's safety info on your site, per our Copyright Notice, it could save a life!


Also see: Pet & Animal World's natural disaster and emergency preparedness advice

Adoption contract/ qualification assessment (.doc)
Antibiotic and penicillin warning, cures that kill, probiotics and prebiotics
Avoiding Tragedy: Don't kill your chin with "kindness!"
"Before You Buy" considerations
Behavioral rehabilitation: addressing biting and urine-spraying
Bonding and relating, hands-on approach and first contact procedure
Breeding basics for the surprised new chinparent
Chewing hazards
Cleaners, safe for pets
Compatibility with other animals and children
Dangers of "Free to Good Home"
Distilled or Filtered water, importance of
Electrical cords as chewing temptation, see cord protectors
Environmental stress factors
Essentials, The
Fights, potential causes of
Fur, causes if fur is missing
Hay, absolutely vital to a chin's diet
Health maintenance/ detecting illness
Heat and humidity limits, chins especially susceptible to heatstroke
Introductions, if improperly conducted can result in injuries or death
Litter or bedding, what's safe for chins
Malocclusion, dental disease
Medical supplies, online info
Mesh width requirements for chinchilla leg and foot safety
Metals, safe vs. toxic info
M.F. Chapman, the hoax
Misinformation and Care Myths Index
Plastic is a potentially lethal chewing hazard
Playtime precautions: chin-proofing, escape artists, if a chin is stepped on
Treats and other dietary extras that are potential health hazards
TV, benefits of
Viruses, colds can be passed to chins
Wood, safe vs. toxic info
Wheel safety requirements


Also see Cage Cleaning on Health and Lifestyle, internet cleaning tips-,,, Hot Spot For Birds and an example of a chinchilla care schedule by

Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Inexpensive and commonly found in stores, do not dilute to use. Will disinfect cage and wooden cage accessories and chew toys- allow them to dry completely before returning them to the chin.

Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar
nexpensive and found in grocery stores, add one cup to one gallon of water for cleaning and rinse well afterward. Will disinfect cage and wooden cage accessories and chew toys- allow them to dry completely before returning them to the chin. Apple cider vinegar is said to be effective on Ringworm fungus (ref- Darlene Cheek, Vinegar is a disinfectant: "The disinfectant properties of vinegar have been verified by numerous studies including those conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, as reported on 48 hours (on CBS) in 2000. A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses, however in the USA, it cannot be declare a disinfectant without registering it as a pesticide with the EPA."
(quote-, ref-

Lemon Juice WITH Vinegar
nexpensive and found in grocery stores, add one half cup of lemon juice and one half cup of vinegar to one gallon of water for cleaning and rinse well afterward. Will disinfect cage and wooden cage accessories and chew toys- allow them to dry completely before returning them to the chin. This natural, acidic solution works wonders on tough grime.

Inexpensive and commonly found in stores, add three-quarters of a cup of bleach to one gallon of water to make a disinfectant cleaning solution. Bleach should only be used on METAL, like metal cages or wheels, NEVER use bleach to disinfect anything else that the chin comes into contact with. If you choose to use bleach, bear in mind that it will eventually disintegrate cloth, such as clothes and carpet, even when diluted. Cloth that comes into contact with bleach should be immediately rinsed well in warm water to help avoid further damage. Before cleaning with bleach, the chin must be removed from the cage and returned only after the cage has been thoroughly rinsed and is completely dry.

Alpha Tech Pet, Inc. products
Cage Clean Deodoriser Petutopia
Enzyme Cleaners Enzyme Solutions
Formla H and Pet Wizard Petlife International Limited
Kage-Care Exotic Nutrition Pet Company
Keep It Clean Supreme Petfoods
Nature's Miracle Products Best Little Rabbit, Rodent and Ferret House
NILodor products
OdorSol Alpha Omega Pet Products
Organic Stain Remover BioControl Network
Nature's Miracle Doctors Foster and Smith
Conficlean2 SPH Pet Supplies, UK
Virkon S, Vanodine, and Genie recommended by Ebony Dragon Chinchillas, UK

(what's unsafe, safe litter/ bedding suppliers)

What's Unsafe

See photos and read dire warning about "Yesterday's News" litter

Fresh pine or cedar (ref- 1, 2)
"Experts and veterinarians have known of the dangers for years— pine and cedar shavings contain
aromatic oils that have been associated with respiratory and liver problems in small animals." (ref- VetCentric)

Bedding to avoid, especially if the chin is in direct contact with it (by, now defunct)
"Any bedding or litter that clumps or expands when it gets wet. This is important because if your animal eats the product, and it expands in the digestive tract, it can cause an impaction. Impaction means a very expensive trip to the vet which can lead to death for your chinchilla. If you choose to use some of the odor absorbing litters, ensure that your chin does not have access to them, and limit it to use in the pullout pan. If your chin can touch the litter, or sit in it, they can eat it.

"Any litters made of clay or that have been fragranced. Chin noses are sensitive. We need to remember, just because it smells good to us, doesn't mean it smells good to our pets.

"Corncob bedding. It is uncomfortable to sleep on, can get stuck in "private" places and is dangerous if ingested." [Corn also molds easily!]

Safe Litter/ Bedding Suppliers

Safe litter, or bedding, includes: aspen, kiln-dried pine or a commercially made substance that is all-natural, non-clumping and contains no dyes or fragrances. (Pine must be kiln-dried, if it doesn't specifically say so, then it is NOT)

Suppliers of safe litter/ bedding:
(NOTE: if your chin eats a certain brand/ type of litter, then it is no longer safe for him, it becomes an impaction risk)

K&D Exotic Pets, Doctors Foster and Smith
Care Fresh: BunnyLuv, CritterStore, Leith Petwerks, Pet Company, UK, Supreme Petfoods
Cell-Sorb Plus: about, where to buy, review of product
Kiln-Dried Pine: Lonestar Chinchilla, Ontario Chinchilla Association, Seward Ohio Pet Chinchilla, Tractor Supply Co.
Pet's Preference Litter: BunnyLuv
Harlan Teklad Bedding: Kim's Ark Rat Rescue Store
Woody Pet's Pet Litter: site lists retailers


Animal emergency stickers should be present on both the front and back doors of the home AND there should be enough carriers standing by to take all chinchillas to safety in the event of an emergency.

Cord Protector: Cats & Rabbits & More
Crittercord Protector: Critter Store
Emergency Stickers: FOLT, Doctors Foster and Smith, Bunny Bunch Boutique
Wire Wrap Cord Cover: Bunny Luv

(safe, effective chews: examples, cleaning and reusing cholla and pumice; safe wood: specifications, the list, cleaning and storing; toxic wood: toxic factors, the list, cyanogenic glycosides; chewing hazards)

Safe, Effective Chews
(examples, cleaning and reusing cholla and pumice)

Chinchillas MUST have something to chew, to gnaw on, for the sake of keeping their continuously growing incisors trimmed and preventing dental problems such as malocclusion. A variety of chew toys will encourage gnawing interest and, in addition to a cage wheel and TV during waking hours, will provide environmental stimulation that prevents problems (fur biting, cagemate conflicts, etc.) associated with
stress and boredom.

Note: Chins do not normally swallow what they gnaw on.
The incisors (which gnaw)
are separated from the molars (which grind in preparation for consumption) by a large gap called the diastema, and folds of inner cheek extend into this gap and allow the chin to have control over what is merely gnawed (photo) and expelled, and what is actually swallowed. However, accidental swallowing is still possible, and that is what makes some indigestible (e.g., the chin GI system can break down some woody plants, but not things like plastic) chewing hazards particularly dangerous.

Appropriate gnawing material is both safe and effective in filing bone (teeth):

Safe... Clean, of natural origin, nothing artificial with questionable chemicals, no animal by-products or ingredients that could compromise health when chewed, see Hazards

Effective in filing bone... Of adequate hardness, to keep a chinchilla's continuously growing incisors (about 2-3 inches or 5.5-6.5 cm per year- ref) teeth from becoming overgrown. For example, commercial cardboard is NOT appropriate gnawing material: it's processed and pulpy, not hard, it's also mixed with glues, chemicals or bleaches that can be secreted into the mouth when chewed on.

Available from ebay and suppliers listed below

Calcium chews, cuttlebone (see Supplementing Calcium)
Cholla (choy-a is dried cactus)
Hay cubes (timothy-only, alfalfa-only, and mixed hay cubes)
Lava Bites
Mineral stones (limit offering to 1-2 times weekly and attach to cage with wire, not plastic)
Pumice stones
Safe wood and houses, shelves, etc. made of that. For hanging toys made of safe wood: wood colored with food coloring and sisal, cocoanut and seagrass ropes are safe

Safe but not very effective chews, use these with chews that have a harder consistency:
Cardboard products made for pets
Loofah (dried gourd)
Maize and seagrass mats, toys

Cholla (choy-a is dried cactus)
and pumice can be cleaned and reused once your chin has had it for awhile; it's important to always provide clean chew toys. Put the pumice and/or cholla chews that you want to clean into a large bucket and fill it halfway with apple cider vinegar and the rest with cool water until the bucket fills up. Push down the chews (they'll float to the surface) five or six times to ensure they all get swished and wet, then let them soak for five minutes. After that, drain the water/ vinegar out and then fill and drain the bucket twice more with cool water to rinse.

After the second rinse take the chew toys out of the bucket and hand rinse them one last time under the faucet before placing them onto a towel; the first towel collects most of the excess water. When all the chew toys are on the first towel, pick it up and take it to another towel that's sitting in front of a fan. Spread out the chews on the second towel so that they're not touching and turn the fan on a high speed to expedite the drying process. After about 12 hours flip all the pumice and/or cholla so that the flip side is exposed to the air for drying, then allow another 12-15 hours to finish drying. If you have thick cholla allow it to dry for a total of at least 48 hours, pumice usually dries quicker. Cholla and pumice can be reused several times by following this cleaning process.

Safe Wood
(specifications, the list, cleaning and storing)

Also see article on safe/ toxic woods by Chinchillas2Home

Safe wood specifications: must be organic and untreated, with no pesticides, chemicals or paint
"Any pesticide residue shall render all safe wood to be dangerous wood instead. Never use any wood with pesticide residue, even if the bark was removed. Pesticides can penetrate into wood through bark. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides (including dormant spray), and miticides.

"Beware of any chemical residue on stems. Chemical residues that may be overlooked include moss control chemicals that splash off the roof, anti-desiccant sprays used on new plant material or holiday season foliage, deck treatment over-spray, and possibly dried mist residue from painting buildings or fences... many roadside right-of-ways have been treated with herbicides. Likewise with railroads." (ref-

"You may even consider calling your cities urban forestry or maintenance departments to find out if street trees in your area are sprayed or injected with growth regulation chemicals." (ref-

Safe wood "can contain 'not so safe' properties"
"Willow - a very well known and safe wood - (but keep to weeping, goat or pussy willow). All willow contains salicylate (nature's aspirin) under the bark - but white willow is mainly used for this and produces the most (although you're chinchilla would have to go through a very large tree over a short period of time to relieve a bad headache!)."

"Elm is safe - but a lot of Elm can be treated with herbicides that create arsenic in the bark (some parts more dangerous that others). Injection herbicides are legal... so use natural, organically grown elm and not specifically grown elm in forests for timber yards (organic in your back garden type elm!!! - although in the UK this would be very difficult to find because of elm disease)." (ref-

"Elm is on safe wood lists. But in Portland, Oregon, and other cities, elm trees are highly susceptible to dutch elm disease. As a result, many, many elm trees are sprayed and injected to control the disease, which includes insecticides to kill the insects that spread dutch elm disease." (ref-

From correspondence with CA Chins:
"Check with your local Agriculture department, poison control center, horse breeders/owners and parrot breeders/owners. If it is NOT SAFE to have in your horse pasture, it WON'T be safe for your chinchillas. And if parrot people WON'T use it for perches and toys, then DON'T use it for chins."

Note that this guideline *does not necessarily* work in reverse!
There are many chinchilla "safe woods lists" out there that are really just lists of what is safe for birds. While it is true that you should NOT give your chinchilla wood that is considered UNsafe for horses or parrots, there are some woods regarded as SAFE for birds that are in fact NOT SAFE for chins! For instance, BIRCH and FIR show up as "safe" on bird lists, apparently birds are not affected by resinous woods (sap, gum, resin, pitch) the way chins are. Birch and fir contain pitch and pose a hazard for chins just the same as fresh (not kiln-dried) pine does.


The safe and toxic woods lists are the result of researching and cross-referencing many www references, such as:
/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8. Unless specified, "kiln-dried," the reference is to fresh wood. We used our sources very conservatively, if there was any question about safety, the wood went on the toxic list. Don't assume a wood is safe unless it is specifically listed as such, varieties can vary within a species and there are plenty of known safe woods to choose from.
Chinchillas2Home also has a great article on safe/ toxic woods. Also see FYI list of safe/ toxic PLANTS.

arbutus/ aspen/ bamboo/ barberry/ bois d'arc or horse apple/ chinese dogwood- cornus species/ cottonwood/ dogwood/ elm/ fruit trees: apple, pear, kiwi, grapevine, lyches, loquat, longan- ref/ java wood- ref/ horsewood/ hazelnut/ hawthorn/ larch/ magnolia/ manzanita/ mulberry/ pecan/ pine that's kiln-dried, pine cones that have been washed, baked and dried- ref/ poplar/ willow

Do not store wood in a tightly sealed container. Wood has inherent moisture and it needs some ventilation, some air circulation to prevent mold. A cardboard box or paper bag is more "breathable" than storing in a plastic bag or container. Place appropriate container in a dry, cool place with no exposure to dampness or direct heat. Chinchillas2Home has an excellent article on how to safely clean wood, and about the difference between kiln and air dried.

Toxic Wood
(toxic factors, the list, cyanogenic glycosides)

Also see article on safe/ toxic woods by Chinchillas2Home


Poisonous- Some wood is simply poisonous by nature: china berry, oleander, hemlock, etc.
Ingestion- Resinous wood (sap, gum, resin, pitch) is extremely harmful to the digestive system: birch, fir, maple, etc.
Inhalation- Aromatic wood
(oils, phenols) will damage the liver and respiratory system: cedar, eucalyptus, pitch pine, sandalwood, etc.

TOXIC WOODS LIST (staggered for easier reading)

The safe and toxic woods lists are the result of researching and cross-referencing many www references, such as:
/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8. Unless specified, "kiln-dried," the reference is to fresh wood. We used our sources very conservatively, if there was any question about safety, the wood went on the toxic list. Don't assume a wood is safe unless it is specifically listed as such, varieties can vary within a species and there are plenty of known safe woods to choose from.
Chinchillas2Home also has a great article on safe/ toxic woods. Also see FYI list of safe/ toxic PLANTS.

almond/ andromeda/ apricot/ aralia spinosa (hercules' club or devil's walkingstick)/ avacado/ ayan/ azalea/ beech/
benjamin fig/

Betula pendula, silver birch, white birch contain a "high proportion of pitch in the bark" and, "The extracted pitch is a useful glue." (ref) -and- "Tar from birch was used for waterproofing and glue as early as 4500 B.C." (ref)

black locust/ black lotus/ blackwood/ box elder/ boxwood/ buckthorn/ cannabis/ cashew/ cedar/ cherry/ chestnut/
china berry/ chinese snake tree/ chinese popcorn or tallow/ chokeberry/ citrus woods such as orange, grapefruit,
lime or lemon/ cocobolo/ cocus/ common sage/ crabapple/ cypress/ dahoma/ datura/ daphne/ dieffenbachia/

ebony/ elderberry/ eucalyptus/ euonymus/ euphorbia/ fir/ firethorn/ flame tree/ foxglove/ ginkgo/ golden chain tree/
greenheart/ ground cherry/ guarea/ hemlock/ holly/ honey locust/ horse chestnut/ huckleberry/ hydrangea/
iapacho or ipe/ iroko/ ironwood/ juniper/ katon/ kentucky coffee tree/ kumquat/ laurel/ mahogany/ makore/

man-made board: plywood, chipboard, blockboard, hardboard, fibreboard (mdf), stirling board (ref)/
maple/ mesquite/ mock orange/ monstera/ mountain laurel/ myrtle/ nectarine/ oak/ obeche/ oleander/ opepe/
peach/ peroba/

pine that's fresh OR fresh pinecones:
"It was the source material for turpentine and has VERY high levels
of phenols. Contact with the wood can cause rashes and the fumes from burning it have been known to cause lung
and eye disorders." (ref)

plum/ privet/ rain tree/ ramin/ red maple/ redwood or s
equoia: "has long been associated with rashes and the dust with lung and eye disorders. It contains high levels of volatile oils that are known toxins." (ref) -and- "The oils the wood [redwood] contains are toxic. But the biggest problem is if they get a splinter, redwood tends to block the immune response and they become infected quite easily." (ref)

rhododendron/ rosewood/ sandalwood/ sassafras/ satinwood/ sloe/ sneezewood/ spruce/ stavewood/ sucupira/
sumac/ tan oak/ teak/ tomato/ umbrella tree/ walnut/ weeping fig/ wenge/ wisteria/ witch hazel/ yew/

!! Toxic: Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Sloe. These members of the Prunus species contain cyanogenic glycosides which release CYANIDE if (accidentally) ingested, and there is obviously great risk posed when an animal gnaws on wood that contains poisons that can be secreted into the saliva and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Note that although the wood of some trees may be toxic, this warning doesn't necessarily transfer to the fruit or nuts of the tree. Chins can have (offer sparingly) SMALL pieces of almonds or dried apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, etc., as detailed on A Guide to Dietary Extras.

"Apple belongs to the Malus species. Apple SEEDS contain cyanogenic glycosides which release cyanide when ingested. It is not necessary to core apples before giving them to your birds. The small amount of cyanide that would be released from ingesting a few seeds is very unlikely to cause cyanide toxicity in birds. If they were to ingest a large number, cyanide poisoning could occur. My birds love apple seeds and get one or two daily as a treat. All other parts of the apple including the wood, is nontoxic. Apple branches are safe to use as natural wood perches. All parts of plants/trees belonging to the Prunus species, with the EXCEPTION of the fruit itself, contain cyanogenic glycosides.This includes apricot, peach, nectarine, plum and cherry. The kernels inside these fruits should not be fed to birds, nor the wood used for perches." ref
- Gillian Willis (pharmacist and toxicologist) Vancouver, B.C. December, 1996

Corroborating sites:,,,
More about Prunus species: Prunus chart, Evergreen Gardenworks and Rosaceae family, which Prunus belongs to.
Veterinary technical reports by EMEA (.pdf) and IVIS on cyanogenic glycosides
Additional Articles: Transformation of Cyanogenic Glycosides, About Cyanogenic Glycosides

Chewing Hazards

This list isn't all-inclusive. Chinchillas are curious and will attempt to explore their environment by taste,
you MUST supervise what they come into contact with and could potentially gnaw or consume. Also see: Treats vs. Hazards and AVMA Pet Owner's Guide to Poisons. While chins do not normally swallow what they gnaw on, accidental swallowing is still possible, and that is what makes some indigestible (e.g., the chin GI system can break down some woody plants, but not things like plastic) chewing hazards particularly dangerous.

Anti-Fungal Powder if Improperly Administered
DO NOT USE anti-fungal powder in a daily dustbath when there is NOT a positive diagnosis of fungus! Anti-fungal powder warning labels make it clear that the product is for external use only and can be dangerous if ingested, which it would be, and cumulatively, if continually added to dustbath in a misguided "prevention" effort, see Care Myth: Anti-Fungal Prevention
. Anti-fungal powder (Desenex, Tinactin, Gold Bond- be sure it is medicated, it must have an anti-fungal agent like Miconazole) should be used ONLY to treat a diagnosed case of Ringworm, and then there are precautions to follow.

Cloth with Strings, Fringe or Loose Weave
Fleece is a good fabric for hammocks and hideaways, and gnawing on cloth is fine as long as it doesn't have strings, fringe, or loose weave (like terrycloth). Cloth with strings, fringe or loose weave or bits that could come off (like fuzz from felt) present a choking hazard or, if accidentally swallowed, could cause a fatal intestinal blockage.

Commercial Cardboard
Cardboard pet products are presumably safe to use as chew toys, but cardboard used commercially for items such as paper towel and toilet paper rolls, playing cards, soda pop carriers and postal boxes may have a wax or laminant coating and often contain glues, dyes, bleaching or chemical pre-treatment that can be secreted into the mouth when chewed on.

We sometimes inspect and use clean, heavy commercial cardboard boxes for our chins to jump on and nibble at in their playroom, but that's it, we don't put it in their cage where it would be the focus of intensive gnawing because even the cleanest commercial cardboard is still not effective gnawing material.

Information on pulping production, chemicals and bleaching, etc: Indian Institute of Science (scroll to view)

"Chemical pulps are used in the manufacture of paper and cardboard..." and additional information
"Chemical pulp is subdivided into the following groups: sulfate pulp sulfite pulp semichemical pulp linters
mechanical pulp (MP, TMP, CTMP) in each case fully bleached, semibleached or unbleached."
(Transport Information Service, scroll to view)

Electrical Cords
Chins who bite into the tempting, soft rubber coating of electrical cords get a real, usually lethal, shock.

Plastic, Hard or Soft
According to exotics specialist vets and many chinparents who found out the hard way, plastic, either hard or soft, not only presents a serious choking hazard but is indigestible (e.g., the chin GI system can break down some woody plants, but not things like plastic) and can easily cause a FATAL intestinal blockage if accidentally swallowed. C
onstant exposure to plastic (wheels, toys, cage parts, dustbath houses, igloos, etc.) greatly increases the risk of accidental swallowing and death. There are other risks posed by plastic too, view photo. Giving plastic to your chin is like putting him in a game of Russian roulette: some chins luck out while others die very young, but in any case, plastic is always an entirely preventable cause of death.

Chinchillas are strictly vegetarian and they should not be given anything that contains animal ingredients/ by-products.

Talcum Powder
Talc is a respiratory irritant and a suspected carcinogen: "Experimental toxicology studies have suggested carcinogenicity (the ability of a substance to cause cancer) of inhaled, asbestos-free talc powder in some rodent species but not in others." (ref-

Safe vs. Toxic Metals

Be aware that some chins will gnaw metal, as described in this article with photos by Fuzzy Chins. The following safe vs. toxic information is intended to inform chinparents of what their chins should and should not be exposed to, because some metal chewing is possible as chins test what might be good, interesting or different to gnaw in their environment. For those chinparents whose chins resort to gnawing metal frequently, it's adviseable to provide more chew toys in the hard consistency range, such as pumice, manzanita wood or cholla (choy-a is dried cactus).

"Zinc is dangerous to birds and small pets if ingested. When buying a new home for your pet it's important that the wire is galvanized after weld. It's also a very good idea to wash the cage first. We have recommended on our site to neutralize the cage with 50% white vinegar and 50% water. Just like we wash our new items before using them in the kitchen, a pet's new home should be washed just to make sure there's no dirt or manufacturing dust on it from being manufactured." (ref
- quote in email from Martin's Cages) [Note from ChinCare: This warning does not apply to the mineral zinc that is found in some vitamin/ mineral supplements]

CHINformation Organization:
Aluminum is safe, but can bend and break easily, leaving sharp edges.
Stainless steel, gold plating and silver plating are considered safe.
Nickel as plating is considered safe, but is toxic if ingested.
Brass, copper and zinc are toxic.
Stainless steel or galvanized screws, bolts, nuts, wires and clips should be used
for making your own toys.


a.cosenzo and Angela's Art/ Brisky/ Camphor Chins/ Chin Knights Chinchilla Club/ Chinchilla Cove/ Chinchilla Creations
Chinchilla Villa/ Chinchilla's Homepage/ Chinchillas-n-Things/ ChinNet
Chinnie Soaps/ Chinnies-R-Us/ Chinnitude/ ChinStamps/ Creative Critters
Crystal Chinchillas/ Cuddlychins/ Cuddly Critters Exotics/
Deena's Chubbichins
Etsy- Chinchilla Collectibles/ Fluff & Stuff/ Greeting Cards/ JPChinchillas
Megan's Designs/ Kritters in the Mailbox: Chinchilla Stamps/ Manalo Chinchillas
Ontario Chinchilla Association/
PetPro/ Pets & Wildlife/ Pocket Pet Series Video
Pom Pom Chins/ Pony Trail Chinchillas/
Sacre's Store/ Stuffe & Nonsense: Chinchilla Plush Toy
The Chinchilla Corner/
Winking Cavy Store/ Pet Art & Portraits by Pam Snider/ Pet Portraits by Karen Scott, UK

California Chinchillas/ Chinchillas For Pets Not Pelts/ chinchillas2shop Chin Charity/ Cheeky Chinchillas Online Shop
Bunny Bunch Boutique/ Swansea Small Animal Rescue

(quick links, international suppliers & google search)

The supplier sites listed in this section fall under the terms of our site disclaimer and principle. It is the responsibility of the chinparent to shop carefully: we strongly advise reading the safety precations on this page before making a purchase! For more supplier resources, input key words to a typical internet search engine like Google, search by "chinchilla" on ebay or see UK Always consult your exotics specialist vet before treating your chinchilla and see Antibiotic/ Penicillin Warning.

Quick Links

For Particular Items:
cages, some cage accessories, pet-safe cleaners,
grooming accessories, safe litter or bedding,
burial or memorial wares, safe exercise wheels,
harnesses, water bottle springs for escape artists,
chinchilla collectibles

pellet and hay analysis, treats, special diets

Medical, Health or Holistic Sites, Not Necessarily Chinchilla-Specific: Holistic Health: Pets/ Holistic Pet Supplies, UK/ Only Natural Pet Store/ PetMeds/ Pet Pharmacy/ VetAmerica/ Vetark Professional, UK/ VetMed Direct

Vitamins and Minerals:
Our exotics specialist vet advises only occasional access (1-2 times a week) to mineral wheels, stones or blocks, which should then be attached to the cage with wire, not plastic.

Vitamin and mineral pellets search: Total Enhancer, Animax, Calf Manna. These can be beneficial, especially to pregnant/ nursing or poorly chins (underweight, malnourished, ailing), but they should be limited to ˝ teaspoon of pellets given 3-4 times a week at most on a temporary basis, do not overfeed, these are high in protein and excessive protein can cause liver disease.

Vitamin C and calcium: see these articles, calcium deficient chins are at risk for malocclusion

Liquid vitamins: Avitron Liquid Vitamin Supplement for Birds, Oasis Vita-Drops with Vitamin C for Guinea Pigs. Large variety of vitamin and mineral wheels, stones, chews, etc. from Pet Discounters, key word search: vitamin C, calcium or mineral, etc.

International Chinchilla Supply Stores & Google Search

= offers medical & health-related items that are chinchilla-specific.... = purchases benefit rescue!

Alpha Omega Pet Products

Amber's Fleece Creations

American Pet Diner ships worldwide

Applewood Chinchillas

Aristocats & Dapper Dogs UK

AZ Chins

Best Little Rabbit, Rodent & Ferret House

Best Pet Supply

Big Apple Chinchillas

Braintree Scientific, Inc.


Bunny Bazaar UK

Bunny Bunch Boutique

Bunny Bytes ships worldwide


Bunny Mail UK

Camphor Chins

Canadian Pet Connection

Carolina Chinchilla Connection

Cats & Rabbits & More

Chewy Chins Canada and USA

Chillin' Chinchillas


Chinchilla City

Chinchilla Pet Store E-store ships worldwide


chinchillas2shop UK


Chinchillas In Michigan


Cuddlychins ships worldwide

Custom Cage Works

Doctors Foster and Smith ships worldwide

Dreamweezle UK


Exotic Nutrition Pet Company

Flower Town Chinchillas ships worldwide

For Other Living Things

ForCHINate Chins Chinchilla Rescue: Chincessories

Forever Feisty Chinchilla Rescue

Fuzzbutt Cage Comforts ships worldwide

Galen's Garden ships worldwide

Hammocky Hammocks ships worldwide

Herbal Hay UK

Herbal Healer Academy, Inc.

John Hopewell Marketing UK

Just Tomatoes, etc!

Keep Your Chin Up- Quality Nebraska Wood

Kim's Ark Rat Rescue Store

Kingdom Chinchillas (msn) UK

Kleenmama's Hayloft

Kline Feeding Program from Carole Kessler

KW Cages

Leith Petwerks Inc ships worldwide

Little River Pet Shop ships worldwide
Lonestar Chinchilla ships worldwide

Martin's Cages

Midland Hutches Pet Store UK

Midwest Exotics

Mountain Rose Herbs ships worldwide

Nick's Animal Place

Only Natural Pet Store

Only Natural Pet Supplies UK

Ontario Chinchilla Association ships worldwide

Oxbow Pet Products ships worldwide

Paul Spooner UK

Paws Button Canada

Penstone Pet Store UK

Pet Boulevard

Pet Chauffeur Store ships worldwide

Pet Chinchilla Toys

Pet Company ships worldwide ships worldwide

Petlife International Limited ships worldwide

Petmart New Zealand

Pet Mountain

PetPlanet UK


Pet Products By Nature

Pet Sticks Naturals

Petutopia UK

Quality Cage Company ships worldwide

Quest Haven Pets

Rachels' Exotic Pets and Supplies

R&J Mobile Pets Pantry UK

Rocky Top Farm

Rodent Runway

Rodent World

Ryedale Pet Homes & Furniture UK

Seward Ohio Pet Chinchilla

Simply Chintastic!

SPH Pet Supplies UK

Strictly Pet Supplies


Surepets Ltd UK

Surrey Pet Supplies UK

Sweet Meadow Farm

Tanzy's Chinchilla Rescue, NZ Store

That Pet Place

The Busy Bunny ships worldwide

The Ferret ships worldwide

The Hay Experts UK

The Willow Warren UK

TJ's Chinchilla Supplies

Under the Chinfluence

Valley View Chinchillas

Vitakraft NZ New Zealand

West Coast Pet Supply

West Michigan Chinchilla Ranch

Wisconsin Chinchillas