I hope, with this post, to maybe help people understand where I'm coming from for some items on the adoption form. I'm not trying to be a pain or to make anyone's life harder, when I ask for more information... but some answers are vague, or are not detailed enough for me to know, ok, the chin will be going to a good home, and of course, I want to make sure of that. This has been going on for some time, to various degrees (some people do this for every question, some put it for one, other adoption forms are awesome!), but moreso lately, I have had people filling out the adoption form like so:
Name what food you're going to feed: food from the pet store
Name what bedding you're going to use: bedding from the pet store
Name what toys to use: toys from the pet store
In case you're not sure what's exactly wrong with those answers, let me inform you -- there's quite a few different types of chinchilla food, bedding, and toys at the pet store. Some safe, some not.
For food -- if you can find Mazuri or Oxbow, great! If you pick up Kaytee Max, Kaytee Fiesta, Charlie Chinchilla -- foods chock full of ingredients your chin should not eat -- you're going to shorten the life of your chin.
For bedding -- if you pick up pine or aspen bedding, great! If you get cedar or carefresh -- with cedar, the phenols can damage the respiratory system of your chin. With carefresh, the chin can eat it and get impacted.
For toys -- if you pick up an all-wood one that really is chin-safe, great! If you pick up one with plastic, leather, himilayan salt rocks, or any of the other many things that aren't chin safe, you're endangering the life of your chin.
What it boils down to -- you may totally have the intention of picking up Mazuri, aspen bedding, and a completely wood toy. But with those answers, I don't know that. So, if you happen to answer the adoption form questions like this, I will be asking you to elaborate. And I should note, I mean no offense by that, I just want to ensure that the chin is going to a knowledgeable home that plans to care for them in a way so that they will live as long as possible.
Oh, and just for easy access, since we're talking about it:
Our care packet (talks about safe food, treats, toys, etc) -- http://www.nwichinchillas.com/chinchillacareinfo.htm
Our list of safe pet store products -- http://www.nwichinchillas.com/safe-pet-store-products
...and of course, I'm always happy to help if anyone ever needs help picking out what's safe. I've been called by people who are standing in the pet store, more times than I can count, asking me to remind them which bedding / food / etc they should get. Always happy to help. :)