When you have an exotic animal such as a chinchilla, because they're in the exotic animal family, they need special care. So if you're going away, you'll need someone to take care of your pet. However, it can't be the same kind of person who can pet sit dogs or cats. They have to be someone who is experienced in taking care of exotic animals such as chinchillas. Where do you find someone who fits that mold?
If you don't know anyone offhand, you can start by checking out a professional pet sitting service. See if you can find one that deals with exotic animals. It may take you a little more time than usual because these types of services are not common. You'll want to start your search at least several weeks before you leave; that is, if you know that far in advance that you're leaving.
You can check with Pet Sitters International and The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for more assistance. You would probably have them do a few more additional tasks, like get the daily newspaper and check the mail. You may also have them maintain the lighting by turning them on and off at different intervals of the day.
Getting a referral is a great way to get a sitter for your pet. Make sure they know enough about exotic animals before you consider them to take care of yours. In addition to professional pet organizations, ask around to see if anyone knows of people that are experienced in taking care of exotic pets such as chinchillas. If by chance, you happen to know someone that has a chinchilla, see if they're available and willing to watch your pet.
Just because they have the same kind of pet doesn't mean they're willing to take on the extra duties. Ask your veterinarian if they know of anyone who can and are available to be a pet sitter while you're gone. Or even try the pet store. Ask the employees if they can recommend someone.
Once you do have a candidate available, ask them questions to make sure they are knowledgeable about chinchillas. Make sure they know how to take care of them, what to feed them, etc. When you do find that person that will be able to take care of your pet, the next step is to find out the setup. If you can move your chinchilla and the cage, then you may be able to transport it to a facility or take it to the sitter.
There is a downside to this: if you do have to transport, beware that they may come in contact with other animals that have contagious diseases. Also, since chinchillas don't adapt to change well, especially an abrupt change, it may cause them to be stressed. You can also have the pet sitter come to your house if you feel comfortable with that. At least your pet will be in familiar territory. They already know the surroundings, and they would be able to thrive. If you use this option, you must be able to trust the person to stay in your home.
When you have found the right person, make sure you provide them with detailed instructions on how to care for your pet. This is very important, because you want them to care for your pet like you care for them, so the chinchilla won't notice a difference in that. You should also leave detailed instructions and information for the pet sitter in the event of an emergency.
If your pet needs treatment and you can't get back right away, then you may want to give them permission to get treatment for them. Leave a contact number for your veterinarian as well as a contact number where you can be easily reached.
It may take time for this process, but once you find the right person, your mind will be at ease.