If you live in a warm climate, it's important that you have a backup plan to keep your chinchillas cool in case your A/C unit fails. We keep a couple of frozen jugs of water in the freezer during the summer months. So far, doing so has come in very handy.
Remember the blackout that hit the Northeast? On that day we had nighttime temperatures in the 90's. It was also very humid. This is the kind of weather that can kill a chinchilla, and with no power, we had no A/C.
Too keep our chinchillas cool, I moved them into a small cage we have. I did this so that they couldn't run around. I then placed one of the frozen jugs of water on top of a cookie sheet, both of which I placed on top of the cage. I used a cookie sheet to catch the condensation from the bottle so that the chinchillas wouldn't get wet.
Using a thermometer I was able to determine that the temperature in the cage below that frozen jug of water was around 80 degrees. That was a whole 10 degrees lower than the rest of the house.
Although I haven't used these techniques myself, I have read that others have had success with them:
- Keep stone tiles in the freezer and put them in the cage or attach to the sides of the cage when needed
- Put ice cubes in your chinchilla's water bottle.
- Put ice cubes in a dish for your chinchilla to chew and lick.
- Drape damp (cold water), not dripping wet, towels on the cage.
- Freeze empty food tins and place in the cage. Make sure there are no sharp edges.