The standard pets for Belarusians are cats, dogs, fish, but in no case raccoons or chinchillas, as in our situation. If you see a fox on a leash, then many questions immediately arise. One of which is "Why exactly this animal?"
We talked with Nelly Hvalko, the owner of one of the “non-standard” pets, and found out why the choice for cats or dogs is becoming less and less.
– You need to walk the dogs, but I lived in the apartment alone and I did not have time for this because of study and work, and I don’t really like cats. Plus, all these animals molt, and chinchillas molt only in the first year of their lives, as, say, at an early age children change their milk teeth. They are also hypoallergenic.
I don’t have an allergy, but you never know – everything can manifest itself. For a very long time I wanted to get a rabbit, but when I was ready to buy it, I began to read on the Internet, watch different videos on YouTube about them and I realized that everyone advises better to buy a chinchilla, because the rabbits are very noisy, aggressive and stink, and the chinchillas are calm .
They grow in the first year of life to their maximum size. In general, they live 15-20 years, so we bought a 50 by 70 cm cage, it’s enough for a lifetime.
It should also have different shelves, a wheel, because the chinchilla must move and run, because she has a tendency to obesity. I wanted to note that this is a nocturnal animal. I bought it because I wanted to play with someone, see how someone runs, moves.
According to the girl, chinchillas can cost 50 rubles and 1000. It all depends on the breed, on where to buy the animal and whether it has a passport. The heroine did not want to buy at a pet store, so she acquired a pet "out of hand".
– I bought for 200 rubles, I have a chinchilla breed Black Velvet. I wanted to buy from people’s hands – this is just my opinion.
There are situations when a person cannot raise an animal and in order not to throw it away, he sells it or there are people who breed them.
My aunt breeds cats, and I understand her perfectly – this is a very good business. People who do this, love their animals and look after them, they will give you complete instructions. And if you come to the store and buy, then they can give false information – they don’t worry about the animals they sell, and people who take things from their hands, they are responsible for this.
They give their animal like a child, they will tell you everything in detail and will still call you. The grandmother from whom I bought was from Grodno.
I accidentally found her on the Internet, immediately called, she incidentally sent a chinchilla to Minsk in a carry.
My grandmother gave me full instructions; he has a passport, various information about his parents. She said when there would be questions to call, because he was small, and he had to be very carefully looked after, because if chinchillas are often ill, they may die. I called the hostess only twice.
Many are most interested in the cost of keeping unusual animals, because it is not just a hamster or a rat. Nelly said that her chinchilla is picky in terms of food, but still does not eat everything, throws some ingredients out of the feed.
– At the moment I’m buying food that says “Nature is a home. The best food source for chinchillas is the world in which various vegetables and herbs grow … ”Actually, this is a very good food, it lasts a long time, it costs 12 or 16 rubles, there are 700 grams.
My chinchilla loves him. But when it ends on sale, I can buy another for 6 rubles. They, in principle, are no different, just a slightly different content.
When he was 2 to 5 months old, I fed him a special, not very hard food, because he had soft teeth and gave me dry apples. And so it all depends on the animal itself, everything is individual. Some may like the food, but some may not. He drinks only water, you can’t give anything sweet, because he won’t eat regular food.
Be sure to give small pieces of wood, straw so that it constantly nibbles, and if they are not there, then it begins to gnaw shelves, they are wooden and I feel that I will have to change them soon …
The cage itself cost 100 rubles, but we still need a barrier with sand so that it can rub against it, and how to shake a dog.
It turns out that the main costs go to food and accessories in the cage. The hostess notes that trips to the veterinarian are expensive, so I haven’t applied there yet, I just called, because they can consult for free on the phone. And it takes a little money to care for him, because it is strictly forbidden to wash him.
– The chinchilla does not smell at all, and any contact with water, moisture, even wet wipes spoils his coat.
By the way, the wool is just awesome. Not a single animal has such a beautifully velvety, delicate fur. Probably everyone loves him for that.
The only thing is he will run at night. At me, he silently jumps from shelf to shelf, with a wheel he will make a little noise. Over time, you get used to everything.
You don’t need to walk the animal on the street, but Nellie took Bonya out a couple of times – that's the name of the chinchilla – in her arms outside, so that he could breathe fresh air. True, you can not do this every day, the animal does not want to sit in a cage. The hostess shares that the chinchilla has a good memory.
“They are very smart creatures — remember everything you do.” You can take it out of the cage once and put it on the bed, he will remember where there is a way out, where you can jump and run away. He also remembers how you close the cell. I have several ways, I try to alternate them.
There was such a case when I closed the cage, and as he left right away with his nose, he pushed out the valve with his paws, opened it and got out, ran away from me.
Chinchillas are not quite like cats or dogs in terms of communication, but they can also make sounds. Chinchillas have no attachment to the owner, unlike dogs.
– Suppose he does not purr, but can make such sounds as if the baby was crying when it runs out of food or water – this is very convenient.
Sometimes he makes pitiful sounds, which seems to me that something hurts him. Chinchillas are not vindictive, but not like hamsters, their memory is not one-day, they know that you are its owner.
If you disappear from their lives, they will not care. I can leave for a week or two, and when I arrive, he does not run to meet me like a dog, but when I start to feed, he goes to the arms, hugs me.
You can’t often feed them with your hands, because they can bite by the fingers, mistaking them for food. They are kind if they don’t put fingers in their mouths, as my father does. They can bite, but it doesn’t hurt, it’s just unpleasant, there’s definitely no blood.
The girl does not see the minuses in this animal for sure, she thought for a long time before buying. The mistress got used to the fact that chinchilla is a nocturnal animal. But Bonya still does not make noise, does not cry, eats little and does not wake up in the morning. Even friends take chinchilla well.
– Everyone who visited me took Bonya in his arms, everyone likes him because of his coat and because he has nice eyes. He can run on his shoulders or climb on his head, but no one is afraid of him.
It is worth saying that the girl’s chinchilla does not like other animals, at least rats.
– Once my friend left me rats so that I would look after them, and Bonya could smell rats, his behavior immediately showed that he did not like it. Therefore, I do not know how he will be in contact with other animals.
The girl will definitely not start anyone else. She likes chinchilla, and in the near future she will only look after her. This is understandable, because in addition to the cost of the animal, there are no shortcomings in it.
Photo: from the personal archive of the heroine