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If you have recently adopted a chinchilla or you have been constantly thinking about buying one, and want to know how to take care of their hygiene, then you have come to the right place as you will learn the complete procedure of giving a bath to your pet chinchilla.
Chinchillas are unique animals, but like every other animal, it is important for them to stay clean.
Chinchillas have a temperament and they tend to get aggressive if they are not provided adequate care.
So, if you want to make sure that your pet chinchilla doesn’t end up getting aggressive towards you, then you need to take care of their hygiene properly.
Other than this, lack of hygiene can cause them to get ill which would make them extremely uncomfortable and lead them to be aggressive too.
Through this guide, I am going to help you in learning the dos and don’ts when giving a bath to your pet chinchilla.
Why is it important to take care of chinchillas’ hygiene?
First and foremost, I will tell you the importance of making sure that your chinchilla gets a proper bath.
If you don’t give your pet chinchilla a bath more often, then it would lead to some severe health issues.
If they are not given a bath frequently, they tend to develop a serious fungal infection.
It is observed that when you don’t clean a chinchilla a lot of oil gets stored in their fur which can cause bacteria and fungus to produce which will result in the chinchillas losing their fur hair leaving irritated skin under it.
Furthermore, I have observed that when you give a dust bath to chinchillas, they shed excess hair off to reduce the amount of moisture and oil present in their fur.
Therefore, if you don’t give them a proper dust bath, they might end up consuming the excess hair, which can cause hairballs to form.
As chinchillas can’t vomit, they would start to feel pain and depression.
Why can’t chinchillas have a water bath?
Before getting into how to give your pet chinchilla a bath, you need to know that you can’t use water to clean them.
Yes, as strange as it sounds, it is crucial to keep water away from them and not give them a water bath.
Chinchillas are not like other animals as they have an extremely thick coat of fur.
Unlike other animals, they can grow between 50-70 hairs per follicle.
Therefore, if water touches their fur, it would get hard for them to dry off.
I have seen chinchillas that had to stay wet for several hours before they could get fully dry, which can lead to fungal infection.
In a nutshell, say NO to water baths for your pet chinchillas and allow them to remain clean by giving them a dust bath.
If you have never heard about dust baths, then keep on reading as I have explained how to give your pet chinchilla a dust bath and I have also mentioned all the vital things that you need to know for giving your pet chinchilla a bath.
Why do chinchillas take dust bath?
Now the question arises that if chinchillas can’t get a water bath, then how would you take care of their hygiene.
When we look into how chinchillas would clean themselves in the wild, we get to know that as chinchillas would clean their fur by rolling around in the dust.
Therefore, being a pet owner, you can mimic their natural grooming process and give them a dust bath to take care of their hygiene.
The dust will absorb the unwanted amount of moisture and oil from the chinchilla’s fur.
Best time to bathe your pet chinchilla
As chinchillas are most active at night and sleep in the morning and throughout the day, therefore the best time to give them a dust bath is dusk or dawn.
You should avoid giving your pet chinchilla a bath during the day as they are nocturnal animals and have a temperament which could lead them to be aggressive.
Being nocturnal animals means that chinchillas are the most active during the night and tend to do all their tasks at night time.
How long should a chinchilla bathe?
You should not leave the dust in their cage forever and only give them access to have a dust bath twice a week.
Bathing too much with dust can make their skin dry.
If you leave the dust in their cage, they would most likely roll around in it which would result in drying out their skin.
Thus, give them a dust bath two times a week only for 15 minutes maximum.
However, if you feel that your pet chinchilla’s fur has started to look oily, then you can give him a dust bath more than twice a week.
Especially when the weather gets humid, the fur of chinchillas gets rough and dry.
Thus they should be given a bath more frequently during that time.
How to give chinchillas a dust bath?
You won’t have to do much as chinchillas are independent animals.
All you need to do is provide them with a container of dust and let them follow their natural instincts.
Also, make sure that you fill the container up to two or three inches of dust as more won’t be needed.
Once your pet chinchilla finds the dust container, he/she will step into the container and start to roll around till they feel clean enough.
Yes, it is a pretty simple process and won’t take a lot of time.
Things that you will need
As evident from its name, the things required to give your pet chinchilla a dust bath include dust and a container to hold the dust.
Other than these two items, you will not need anything else for allowing chinchillas to have a dust bath.
There are many pet stores where you can easily find bathhouses for chinchillas, which are small plastic containers.
Using a plastic container that is open from the front and closed from the sides can help in keeping the surroundings clean as the dust would remain in the container and not fall outside.
If you are not able to find a bathhouse for your pet chinchilla, then you can also use a simple bowl to give the chinchilla a dust bath.
How often should chinchillas bathe?
I think that there is no fixed number of times to give a bath to chinchillas.
It totally depends on the area where you are living.
If you live in a warmer area where the climate is humid, then you will need to give a bath to your pet chinchilla daily or every other day.
However, if you live in a cooler area, then bathing them twice a week would work perfectly.
Bathing too much can make their skin too dry as dust helps in removing the excess oils in the fur.
If they bath too much, then they would lose a lot of oils from their fur making their skin extremely dry.
Why should you not dust bath chinchillas excessively?
Giving your pet chinchilla too much dust bath can lead to fur disorders, which usually occur due to dust that is recycled a lot of times.
By fur disorder, I mean that bald patches would start to appear on your chinchilla’s skin.
Other than this, bathing too much can make their skin super dry.
Small flakes would start to appear on their skin.
As you all know that anything that is used excessively only does more damage than good so, make sure that you don’t let your pet chinchilla use too much dust to clean themselves, otherwise, they would end up having to face its side effects.
Why is it crucial to replace the dust?
It is extremely essential to replace the dust every time you give a bath to your pet chinchilla.
Therefore, if your pet takes a dust bath twice a week, then you will need to replace the dust two times a week.
As dust helps in absorbing the excess oils and moisture from the fur of chinchillas, therefore it is important for the dust to be fresh and not reused otherwise it would not perform in the right way and lead to different health issues.
Another reason why you should replace dust every time your pet chinchilla baths is because these animals don’t have any control over their urine, which can result in them peeing in the dust thus making it dirty.
Rolling around in their own urine can cause different health issues and diseases.
Therefore, if you notice wastes in the dust then make sure to replace it as soon as possible.
How can you get chinchilla dust?
As chinchillas have access to mountain ash in the wild they use it for cleaning purposes.
Therefore it is important to find a kind of dust which matches the volcanic dust.
You can find this kind of dust at different pet shops as it can help in removing the extra moisture and oils from your pet chinchilla’s fur.
Make sure not to use sand as it can be harmful to your pet.
The best tip for finding dust for chinchillas is to make sure that there are no additives in the dust as it can irritate their skin and eyes.
How to choose dust for your pet chinchilla?
Being a pet owner, you need to know that every chinchilla is not the same and would not react to specific dust in the same way.
Therefore, make sure to observe how your pet chinchilla reacts to a certain brand of dust.
There are brands that have come out with chinchillas dust to allow chinchillas to have a great bathing experience.
The most common kind of dust that is used by chinchillas comes from the Blue Cloud Mine in Southern California because volcanic ash can be found there easily.
Different brands of chinchillas dust
If you have no idea about the brands of chinchillas dust and want to know what the best dust for chinchillas in the market these days, then I can help you with this as I know many people who own chinchillas.
Lixit Blue Cloud Dust
It is a popular brand which is 100% natural and contains no additives.
As mentioned earlier, it is the most common kind of dust because it comes from the Blue Cloud Mine in Southern California.
It consists of aluminum silicate, and you can find no signs of sand, glass, and limestone in this dust.
Using this dust to remove excess moisture and oils from the fur of chinchillas is comparatively easier than other dust.
Another great thing about this dust is that it comes along with a scoop that would help you transferring the dust in your pet chinchilla’s bathhouse.
Oxbow Chinchilla Dust
Oxbow is another brand that sells chinchillas dust that is free from additives and is 100% dust.
Using dust from this brand can make the cleaning process easy for your pet chinchilla.
In a nutshell
chinchillas have a dense and thick fur, which is why they cannot bath in water as it would take them several hours to get dried down completely.
Sitting several hours in moisture can lead them to have several health issues such as fungal injection.
Thus, to keep your pet chinchilla safe from health problems, you will need to give them a dust bath.
There are different brands that sell dust free from additives.
Chinchillas are self-sufficient animals, and they won’t need your help in bathing.
Just place a little amount of dust in a container, and as soon as they spot the dust they will start rolling around in it to get rid of the additional oils and moisture in their fur to stay clean and healthy.
You can also check out our care guide for chinchillas that will help you in having enough knowledge about chinchillas and how to make sure that they remain healthy for a long time.