The subject itself is very painful but unfortunately, there comes a time when we need to deal with the loss of our beloved furry friend. Since people usually outlive their pets, we are in charge of making sure that their resting place is an appropriate choice and depending on your point of view, you might go for a burial or cremation.
The passing of a chinchilla will not only be stressful to the owner but also the other chinchillas it has shared its life with.
When one of your chinchillas die, you will have to take a couple of steps to make sure that your other chinchilla or chinchillas are coping well and you will have to help them with the grieving process. While taking care of the emotional needs of your remaining pets you will have to overcome the loss as well, which is obviously not easy and it will take time.
What to do when one chinchilla dies
Although it is a painful subject, this is an everyday possibility. Once your pet dies you will want to give it a sendoff that feels appropriate and respectful, knowing that you have lost a dear and beloved friend. There are several options available for your consideration, depending on where you live.
1. Burial in a garden
If you live in a house with a backyard or a garden, burying your pet in a secluded part of the yard could be an option. This way you can visit the grave of your pet for comfort and know that it is there whenever you miss him.
The proper way of disposing the little body is to put it in a plastic bag and then in a box, dig an at least 2-3 feed deep hole and lay your friend there. This way a scavenger animal will not smell the decaying body and will not disrupt the grave.
You can also put a marking on the grave or even have an engraved small plate with the name of your pet, forever marking its spot.
Instead of marking a grave in the conventional sense, you can maybe plant a small tree or plant on top of your chinchilla, so that your friend can continue living through the plant.
If you do not have a garden, you can ask a close friend or relative if they would be willing to allow you to use a part of their yard for this purpose.
2. Pet cemeteries
If burying your pet in a yard is too uncertain for you, not knowing if you would eventually move and you feel reluctant to leave your friend behind, a Pet Cemetery would be a more convenient option.
Pet cemeteries are becoming a necessity and there is a good chance that you might have one close to your town, currently there are around 400 pet cemeteries in the US. Although this would be an expensive option.
Similar to human cemeteries you would have to purchase a pet burial plot and some cemeteries request that the pet’s body is placed in a casket before being buried. You can also opt on having a tombstone and a full memorial service to send off your pet. For details on where you can find a pet cemetery you can contact your veterinarian.
You can ask your vet about the option of cremating your pet. This is a widely accepted practice and you can take the ashes in an urn to have with you or you can ask your vet or the crematorium service to spread the ashes in a memorial garden such as the ones in pet cemeteries.
Cremation itself can allow you to take your pet with you in case you are moving, you can either keep the urn in a special place in the house or spread the ashes in a meaningful place for you.
How to Get Over my Chinchilla’s Death
One day you might come up to your pet’s cage and see your chinchilla cuddled up in its forever slumber. This is a heart breaking moment for every chinchilla owner and the scariest part is that chinchilla death can come without any warnings.
Your pet can pass away due to illness that was treated or an underline illness that you were not even aware of, whichever the case is it is very important that you do not blame yourself for your pet’s demise.
Chinchillas are highly sensitive animals and can fall ill even at the slightest changes in their everyday life. Even if your pet had optimum living conditions, it can still die seemingly without any cause. Chinchillas can sometimes also pass away peacefully in their sleep.
Grieving is a natural process that you will have to go through, the process itself is healing and it will help you make peace with the passing of your beloved pet.
If you have another chinchilla, it will help you move on because this chinchilla still needs your love, care and affection even more so because it will have to cope with the loss of their friend.
Do Chinchillas Grieve?
Yes, chinchillas do grieve. If you have two or more chinchillas in one cage, they would be interacting on a daily basis, sleeping together, eating together, playing and even bickering.
Losing a roommate either by just removing him from the cage or him actually passing away would be a very stressful event for the remaining cage mates.
Your remaining chinchillas might lose their appetite and will refuse to drink water, they will not come out of their homes and they will not engage in playtime or any exercise.
Some chinchillas can turn aggressive and start biting and shaking their cages, and barking loudly – trying to call their friend. This is a very stressful time for you and your chinchilla, a time when your pet will need emotional support.
How to Help the Other Chinchillas when their Cage Mate Dies
1. Let your chinchillas say goodbye to their friend
Your other chinchillas need to know that their cage mate is no longer with them. You should leave the body of the chinchilla in the cage in order for your other chinchillas to sniff him and feel that their friend is no longer with them.
After your little pets have said their goodbyes – which means they will move away from the body and most likely go into hiding, you can finally take your deceased pet and lay him/her to rest.
2. Thoroughly clean the cage
After removing the pet, you will have to clean the cage completely to remove any threats from spreading germs or illnesses.
The best way to clean the cage and the equipment in it is to remove all of the chinchillas from the cage and wipe it with a white vinegar solution.
This way you will also partially remove the smell of the dead chinchilla and your remaining chinchillas will not be confused and tempted to find him/her.
Read our latest popular post to find out how to clean a chinchilla cage thoroughly.
3. Comfort your pet with a toy
After you have cleaned the cage it is now safe to put your chinchillas back inside. At this time it will be important that you spend a lot of time with them, talking softly and giving them comfort, to try and make their grieving process a little less painful.
If you have multiple chinchillas in one cage, you will notice that they will seek each other for comfort, cuddling up and being cozy.
If you only have one remaining chinchilla you can find a felt or a short plush toy (that does not have any plastic or stringy parts on it) and put it next to the place where your pet sleeps. You will probably notice that your pet cuddles up to it and sleeps, this way you will know that your pet is coping.
4. Look out for signs of distress
Just like any other traumatic or stressful event in a chinchilla’s life, you will have to look for obvious signs of distress: loss of appetite, no water intake, being lethargic or aggressive, hiding and avoiding exercise or even playtime.
Keep an eye on your pet and do not allow this kind of behavior to last longer than a few days. You should be there for your chinchilla giving it scratches, cuddles, affection or just sitting next to its cage while it sleeps, so it does not feel alone.
If your chinchilla is displaying signs of prolong distress, we recommend that you check out our helpful post about how to help a stressed chinchilla. In that post, we detailed how to spot signs of distress and many helpful tips to help your chinchilla get out distress.
5. Get a new chinchilla
Although it will seem as an impossible thought to get a new chinchilla, you have to keep in mind that eventually you will have to do so. Chinchillas are very social animals and being alone will make them miserable.
When you lose a chinchilla give yourself and your pet time to heal before getting a new one. The time needed to heal varies for people and pets a like. Once you are ready and you see that your pet is back to its usual routine, having a happy and bouncy attitude, it will be the right time to introduce a new buddy and spread some more love.