Chinchillas are capable of creating a vast range of sounds, like when they’re happy your chinchilla will chirp or squeak. However, if your chinchilla is upset, frightened, or feels threatened, he or she will make a different sound. Some people call it a “bark,” but it isn’t the same type of bark you would hear from a dog. A chinchilla bark is a deep, fast squeak that sounds similar to someone having a bad case of hiccups and can’t stop to catch their breath.
When Your Chinchilla Barks, Give Them Space
You may not know this, but if they’re in a bad mood or not feeling well, there will be potential for your chinchilla to bite. If you reach out to them and they respond by snapping and barking, it’s best to pull away and give them a moment to calm down. Ask yourself what started this behavior, and consider these factors:
Your chinchilla could be injured. If you’re unable to hold them, try to see if there is any bruising, swelling, or any visible signs of blood. Look closely at their eyes, nose and mouth for mucus or moisture, they could also be ill.
There have been changes to the environment; you’ve moved their cage, play area, or shifted their routine. Sometimes this can create stress for chinchillas, give them time to adjust. They’ll probably continue barking for a little while to express discontent.
They’re just feeling a little grumpy. Chinchillas have their bad days too and sometimes they just want to be left alone. If this seems to be the case, let them be. Sometimes they’ll want a bit of quiet time to themselves, they should be back to normal in no time.
Beware of Pairs That Start to Bark At Each Other
If you sense conflict arising, it’s time to separate your chinchillas. Once they begin to bark and growl at one another, there is a good chance that a fight is going to happen and a very real possibility that one or both of them could end up injured. Another problem that could arise is an issue with territory, or one chin being a more dominant than the other. Either way, it’s best to take precautions and keep them apart, better safe than sorry.
Once Your Chinchilla Is Relaxed, Try Giving Them Affection
Your pet will be more likely to accept your advances for attention if they’re already in calm state. Most of the time they’ll come to you first; your chinchilla may squeak and approach you to be pet and scratched. Once you oblige, they’ll sometimes squint their eyes to show that they’re happy. At this point, barking will cease.
You’ll Know If Your Chinchilla Is Upset
Generally, if your chinchilla is happy and healthy, they’ll show you! They’ll hop around, explore and play. They’ll have a regular appetite and eat as usual, while enjoying a snack every now and again. Your chinchilla will be happy to climb and perch on your shoulder and greet you when you walk through the door. If your pet is pleased to see you, barking won’t be a noise that you hear very often.