It can make a big difference where you get your Chinchilla.
The easiest would seem to be big pet stores.
But do stores like PetSmart even sell chinchillas?
I don’t remember ever seeing any there.
Well, PetSmart does sell chinchillas.
But that does not necessarily mean you should get yours there.
Keep reading to learn why stores like PetSmart are not the best places to get a chinchilla, and where you should get your new pet instead.
Does PetSmart Sell Chinchillas?
After going through the process and frustration myself, here’s what I can tell you on this topic.
Yes, PetSmart sells chinchillas. But they do not have a large selection of chinchillas available at any given time, and the chinchillas cost around $150.00 if adopted from PetSmart.
If you are anything like me, that answer only provided you with about 20% of the information you want to know.
Luckily, as I stated previously, I’ve been through it, I’ve been frustrated, and I have been raising a chinchilla for the past 5 years, so I’m confident I know the other information you are looking for.
Even more good news.
That’s what the rest of this post is designed to cover and break down for you.
I want you to not only know your adoption options but the facts behind the different paths you can take.
You also need to know what to watch for during the adoption phase whether you choose to use PetCo, PetSmart, or a local breeder near you.
Buying Chinchillas At PetSmart, Petco And Other Pet Stores
Buying a chinchilla has become much easier in recent years. They are a rodent growing in popularity and finding them is relatively easy using a local breeder or a pet store.
As far as cost goes, you are looking at about $150.00 to purchase a chinchilla from a pet store locally.
One of the most significant problems I encountered when trying to find my chinchilla was availability.
They sell fast when they are in stock, and the Pet Stores tend only to keep about 1 to 4 on hand at maximum.
My advice would be to contact your local pet store in advance.
Ask if they are willing to do anything, such as give you a call or place you on a waiting list informing you of when they do get a chinchilla in stock.
A common question I get is: “how old are the chinchillas at PetSmart?”
The good news is that the chinchillas sold at PetSmart or even Petco are young. They are not baby chinchillas. But they are certainly still capable of being socialized and can learn to enjoy being held.
Typically, they are not too many weeks removed from their mother, which is excellent for adopting young and having time to mold them into being more social with family and yourself as the owner.
Most of the time this will be about 9 to 10 weeks of age.
Now that we know that we can, in fact, use the local pet stores such as PetSmart and Petco to our advantage to adopt a chinchilla, let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of doing so.
Explaining The Adoption Process For Chinchillas From PetSmart
Please note, that any of this information I’m about to provide does not in any way mean not to adopt a chinchilla from a pet store.
I’m a firm believer they would still make great pets. Just maybe not as good as purchasing a chinchilla from a local breeder.
One of the arguments typically made in forums and online communities is that chinchillas adopted at the pet store may be a bit more challenging to socialize in the beginning stages.
This does make sense.
With a breeder, chinchillas are often in a room with dozens of other chinchillas, either sharing a cage or in cages that are backed up against each other.
Not to mention, a chinchilla from a breeder is going to get some fantastic care from the breeder who is likely more of an expert on chinchillas and how to properly care for them than any pet store employee.
It is also considered more likely to end up with a chinchilla that is predisposed to issues such as ringworm when adopting from a pet store, possibly due to shipping and the nature of the pet store business.
Is this true?
I honestly have no idea because I adopted my chinchilla from a breeder and not a pet store.
I do believe somewhat in the socialization argument because I witnessed my chinchilla’s environment when I adopted her.
She was surrounded by other happy and well cared for chinchillas, and the breeder was an expert in about every fashion possible.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you need to avoid pet store chinchillas at all cost. Most likely you would not notice a difference.
That said, if you do live close enough to drive to a local breeder, I would adopt a chinchilla there. It’s just more likely that you’ll have fewer issues down the road.
Cost, Alternatives And Inside Details
We still have a few other things to touch on when it comes to adopting a chinchilla from the pet store such as PetSmart and Petco.
First and foremost, the cost between a breeder and a pet store is very similar.
However, when it comes to ensuring you have the right food, timothy hay, and other dietary needs, a pet store employee is unlikely to know as much as a breeder.
In many cases they know noting about chinchillas at all.
If you do buy from a pet store, I urge you to use resources like this blog to provide you that information, as opposed to using the pet store employees.
Look at it from this standpoint.
I own a chinchilla and have been through the questions and the issues myself. A pet store employee likely has not.
Another news flash!
Just because you see a chinchilla on the picture of treats, a toy, or another accessory does not make it chinchilla safe.
That’s merely bad advertising on the manufacturer’s end.
Again, use resources such as this blog to guide you towards the correct and safe items that you need for your chinchilla.
I’ll provide you with another quick gift.
Here are some additional resources directly below that could prove handy for you if you are close to pulling the trigger and adopting a chinchilla soon.
To find out which fruits and treats to offer your chinchilla, you can view my post here.
To learn about the best accessories that your chinchilla needs to be happy and healthy, you can see my guide here.
Here are my recommendations for the best chinchilla cages.
And lastly, for a guide to get your chinchilla used to being handled and trusting you quickly, view my post here.
Those posts, along with the search bar on this site or the other links I place within the blog posts, should give you all the information needed to be a great chinchilla owner.
Trust me, it’s taken nearly 5 years for me to get all this information “on paper” for all of you, so I hope it will provide at least some help.
Pet Smart Selling Chinchillas: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, I think chinchillas make for one of the best family pets you can adopt.
And adopting from a pet store like PetSmart or Petco is definitely an option you have.
But breeders are a better option, if there is one in your area.
If not, go ahead and buy from a pet store, but do your homework and don’t rely on the employees working in the store to provide you the information to care for your new chinchilla ethically.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming adoption, and we are always here to answer your questions and concerns.
What do you think about adopting a chinchilla from a PetSmart or Petco, as opposed to using a traditional breeder?
Are you considering adopting a chinchilla from a pet store such as PetSmart or Petco?
Why are you considering pet stores? Do you have any reservations?
How can we help at Planet Chinchilla?
Share your thoughts, concerns, and stories by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading, and we will see you next time. Thanks again!