Do chinchillas get along with dogs? Do Not Make These Mistakes!

Do you have a dog and now you want a chinchilla?  Or is it the other way round?

Or are you some dog owner who accidentally came across a chinchilla and now wondering if your dog could get along with it?

Well, just wait! 

Don’t be so hasty in keeping your dog and chinchilla together. They do not get along, but not in a we-are-enemies sort of way, but I-am-a-big-animal-you-are-my-food kind of way.

Let’s see what happens when dogs and chinchillas are kept together!

Chinchillas vs Dogs

Size

chinchilla

Chinchillas are species of rodents that are related to guinea pigs and degus. They are essentially small (a bit larger than your average squirrels) and playful creatures who love running around.

Whereas dogs, we all know, are quite large and related to wolves. 

Habit

  • Chinchillas are crepuscular, nocturnal creatures who are known to spend their days sleeping off. They are mostly active at dawn and dusk when they are seen going for food. 
  • Their bodies require long periods of undisturbed sleep and it is during this time they are most vulnerable. They sleep and reside in deep burrows underground and run away if attacked.
  • Dogs on the other hand are aware and diligent creatures at all times of the day. Even while sleeping they are known to sleep with one ear open! No wonder they are known as the best security guards in all households. Dogs are often aggressive, are mostly in attack mode and they have a penchant for marking their territory and will fight other creatures tooth and nail for it.
  • With both these fields of difference, we understand that Chinchillas and dogs are completely different types of animals. While the often cute Chinchillas are pretty species who are easily scared. Dogs are natural predators (even the cutest looking ones).

Do Chinchillas Get Along With Dogs?

Do chinchillas get along with dogs

The simple answer to this question is a big NO. Chinchillas DO NOT get along with Dogs. They should not be even kept near each other.

In other words, if you have a pet dog, we suggest you do not think of getting a chinchilla and if you have a chinchilla do not bring a dog into the same house.

Due to the innumerable differences between the two creatures, it is almost impossible for them to live together. 

Here are some reasons why chinchillas do not get along with Dogs.

Reasons Why Chinchillas CAN NOT Get Along With Dogs 

why Chinchillas and Dogs do not get along

Predator-Prey

As we already read that dogs are natural predators and chinchillas are a prey species. So if you keep a dog and chinchillas face to face where the dog is most likely to go on the offensive. It will chase, catch and kill. Even the most well-behaved canines are prone to such behavior.

And the chinchillas? They will run. And what do we know about running from predators? Yes, if you turn tail and run, the predator’s chasing instinct is triggered and they will give a thorough chase. Because the chinchillas are so easy to scare, their instinct is to run and hide from the dogs.

The problem with this is, that the chinchillas are unlikely to outrun the dog, and most often than not the dog will end up catching it. Now I don’t need to elaborate on why that can get very ugly very fast, right?

Nosy Dogs?

What is the first thing a dog does if it smells something new? Be it a person, a thing, or another animal, the dog will try to smell it by directly putting its snout almost on top of the newbie. 

This spells danger for the chinchillas. Why? Because firstly chinchillas will get scared anyway and secondly, without even meaning to, your dog might hurt or topple over the chinchillas with its wet snout. And chinchillas have relatively delicate bones that can be easily harmed.

So you see, how without even trying to, the dogs can cause harm to chinchillas!

Chinchillas Stressed?

Yeah, well you see that is a thing. Chinchillas can get stressed. And that is not healthy for them. Reports have mentioned that increased levels of stress in chinchillas can lead to heating up of their bodies making them prone to heat strokes that in turn can be fatal also.

Overkill much? Well, that is a hard truth. Chinchillas can die from stress. And you know what is most stressful for them? Living in constant fear is stressful. Trying to outrun the resident predator is stressful. Always moving with measured steps in case their owner’s other pet lunges on them is stressful.

So to ensure a safe environment for your chinchillas where they feel comfortable, you need to keep dogs away from them.

Is There Any Way For A Chinchilla-Dog Friendship?

Again, the simple answer is NO. But if you HAVE to keep a Chinchilla and dog in the same house, we suggest keeping them far apart. Do not let them near each other.

And a way to the Friendship between the two would be, getting a puppy. The logic is that puppies are naturally warm furry creatures. They are not that big and thus the chinchillas will not be that intimidated by their size. Also, you can train the puppy to put up with the Chinchilla. 

Though there is no guarantee that the training will override the puppy’s instincts, it still has a better chance than the adult dog.

Final Words

It is an ardent plea to not keep dogs and chinchillas together. For the health of your chinchilla and the peace of your mind, do not get them together.

If you have no choice but to keep them on the same premises, then use opposite ends of the area. Do not let them cross into each other’s territories. This will keep the chinchillas safe and stress-free and the dog’s territorial attitude and dominance away from the vulnerable Critter.

I hope this article helped answer your question!