Chinchilla Books

There are several chinchilla books available, but not all are equally good. Some even contradict what we consider to be good practice. The following paragraphs provide brief descriptions of the books we've read and our recommendations as to which books are worth purchasing.

A New Owner's Guide to Chinchillas
by Audrey Pavia
128 pages

This is our most recent chinchilla book purchase. It also happens to be the newest one on the market that we know of (published in 2003) and thought worth purchasing. We found this book to be the most comprehensive of all the books we have listed here.

The book starts off with questions about whether a chinchilla is the right pet because of the time and money commitments. But it doesn't dwell too long there and quickly moves on to helpful ideas of how to acquire, house, feed, handle, and otherwise care for a chinchilla. The health care section is particularly good in that it covers common and some not so common chinchilla ailments.

We highly recommend this book.

The Guide to Owning a Chinchilla
Anmarie Barrie
64 pages

This is a somewhat old book published in 1997. It covers the basics of chinchilla care and includes a couple of closeup photos of teeth and paws that we thought were useful. It's one thing to read a description of something and to actually see a picture of what is being described.

However, this book doesn't stand out from the others described on this page. We also disagree with the suggestion that chinchilla pairs shouldn't be the same gender. The book actually suggests having a male and female as a pair because same sex pairs will fight savagely. This is contrary to our own experience and research.

Lastly, we didn't like that the featured chinchilla products all came from one company. It made us suspicious that the recommendations were probably biased in favor of a sponsor.

We don't recommend this book.

Pet Owner's Guide to the Chinchilla
Natalie Kirkiewicz & Gary Broomhead
71 pages

This guide to chinchillas seems geared towards children which we like. Throughout the book, photos include a child caring for chinchillas. We think this sends a good message to youngsters that with some effort they can enjoy having chinchillas of their own.

One thing that is different about this book is a brief description of a chinchilla run along with a photo. We've often thought about how we could safely take our chinchillas outside and this was the first book to offer suggestions on how to pursue that goal.

We recommend this book.

Chinchillas: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual
by Maike Roder-Thiede
64 pages

This book provides a decent introduction to chinchillas. It's fairly old having been first printed in 1997. And although there isn't a lot of new research being done with chinchillas, we think it makes more sense to buy the latest book available.

The structure of the book might make it appropriate for younger readers as it makes heavy use of checklists and tip boxes rather than long-winded paragraph-style descriptions.

We recommend this book for young readers.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)


  1. She has a number of pages on understanding chinchilla language. Most importantly, she stresses strongly that chinchillas are social animals who do not thrive if kept alone.

  2. I did a lot of internet research before adopting our chinchilla Dave. I assume all the info we got was good, as we are going on three years of him in our lives, and its wonderful!

  3. I have found it enjoyable to read the books available. Unfortunately there are not many. Much of the information is repetitive, but that is useful, too. Books I have particularly found useful are those by Sharon Vanderlip, David Alderton (Animal Planet Pet Care Library), Karen Zeinert, Audrey Pavia, and Juliana Bartle. Bartle is a vet in Germany. She has a number of pages on understanding chinchilla language. Most importantly, she stresses strongly that chinchillas are social animals who do not thrive if kept alone. She is emphatic about this. It seems to me that if you do keep one chinchilla it is important to do your best to fill the role of a companion, even more than you might otherwise.

    This is the single most substantive difference between her views and those of the others. What do you think of this view? This seems like an extremely important thing to discuss!

    • Bartl is spelled without an "e" at the end. Bartl. And the books can easily be found on Amazon.

  4. Maggie:
    The best places to get them are Petco, Pet City, or Amazon.

  5. where could i find these books? i want to get a chinchilla and i'm learning about them!

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