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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Pet
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Experience:  2003 Graduate
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I have two chinchillas. I need to leave for about a week for

Customer Question

I have two chinchillas. I need to leave for about a week for work. Normally I have a neighbor come into my house to check on my pets. However, she is away this week as well. I am wondering if i should fill up two food bowls, which should be enough for at least 5 days. in the event that my return plans change, approximately how long can chinchillas go without food and/or water? they have 5-6 days' ration in both. I hope to be back in five days.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

1) How long have you owned these two chinchillas?
2) Have you considered a pet sitting service to check on them?
3) How about boarding at a vet clinic?
4) If you need help finding someone who can watch them, let me know your city, state and zip code and I'll see what I can find.

Chinchillas can go a few days without food or water, but 5-6 days would be far too much. Our biggest concern here is that the water become tainted, knocked over or evaporate where the chinchillas are left without fluid and would, thus, dehydrate and die. Depending on the temperature at your home, it could happen as quickly as a day or less. Food they can go slightly longer without but, again, we'd be concerned that the food source might become tainted and require replacement. Ideally, they'd go no longer than 24 hours without food.

I'll be standing by if you have more questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
their food bowl is kind of like a dispenser where food comes out onto a tray as they consume the pellets. they have water bottles. in this way, they have about 5-6 days' worth of food and water. would it be okay to leave them like this
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

If absolutely nothing went wrong, in theory, yes. However, if something did go wrong no one would be there to help either of them and chances are when you returned they would be deceased. 5-6 days without care and without any observation is extraordinarily risky. I would not advise doing this if it can be avoided.

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