If you own a pet chinchilla for a long time, then you must know what a dust bath for a chinchilla means.
However, if you don’t have a pet chinchilla yet and are planning to get one soon, then it is crucial for you to know what a dust bath is so you know beforehand what you are getting yourself into.
Today I will educate you about dust baths as being a chinchilla owner, it is important for you to take care of your pet’s hygiene.
Chinchillas are quite unique animals, and it can be proven from the fact that instead of using water to clean themselves these cute and fluffy animals use dust to get rid of all the dirt from their bodies.
Why don’t chinchilla use water to clean themselves?
Chinchillas have an extremely thick and dense fur coat, and they can produce more than 50 hairs per follicle.
Their thick fur makes it nearly impossible for them to get dried after taking a water bath; therefore, they will have to stay drenched in water for several hours before their fur can get completely dry again.
Staying wet for a long time will make your pet chinchilla sick.
Thus it is incredibly important to keep water away from your pet chinchilla.
Why do chinchillas use dust for bathing?
Even though chinchillas can’t take a water bath to clean them, still taking care of their hygiene is crucial.
If you don’t take care of their hygiene, then they will get ill and may even get a fungal injection.
Staying dirty for a long time can cause bacteria and fungus to form on their fur, which is you need to bath them and make sure that they stay neat and clean.
Now, this is where a dust bath can help chinchillas.
Even in the wild chinchillas have access to volcanic ash to clean themselves.
Therefore, chinchillas roll around in the dust to get clean in their natural habitat also.
Dust helps to remove the excess amount of oils and moisture present in the fur of chinchillas, which makes it essential for chinchillas.
As chinchillas shed hair when rolling around in the dust, it helps to remove the extra oils and moisture too.
How does a dust bath works?
Now you must be wondering how to give your pet chinchilla a dust bath and what steps are involved in it.
Well, don’t worry as I have good news for you.
Chinchillas are quite self-sufficient animals, and they won’t need much of your help to clean themselves when taking a dust bath.
All you have to do is put a small but ample amount of dust in a container, and when your pet chinchilla notices the dust container, it will naturally move towards it and start rolling around in the dust to remove the extra oils and moisture in their fur and remove all the dirt to clean themselves.
What does your pet chinchilla need for a dust bath?
There isn’t much that your pet chinchilla will need to take a dust bath.
As obvious from the name already, your pet will require dust to clean themselves.
Make sure that the dust is as similar to the volcanic ash as possible.
Dust that is mixed with other things such as sand won’t be good for your pet chinchilla’s skin and fur.
When getting dust for your pet chinchilla make sure that it doesn’t contain any additives.
Always get dust from such a brand that matches your pet’s skin; otherwise, it will have to face the side effects.
Also, check whether there are any ingredients in the dust that your pet is allergenic to.
Other than this, you will also need to get a container for your pet in which you can provide him/her with the dust.
Instead of using a bowl, you should use a container for your pet as it can help in keeping the surroundings clean also.
You can also find small plastic containers known as bathhouses for chinchillas in different stores.
The most appropriate time for a dust bath
Chinchillas are nocturnal animals, which mean that they are most active during the night and lazy or sleepy throughout the day.
Therefore, it is wise to give your pet chinchilla a dust bath at dusk or dawn.
If you try to give your pet chinchilla a dust bath during the day, then it will most likely get aggressive with you as this species has a temperament and if you do anything that they don’t like, then you will have to deal with their troublesome behavior.
Duration of a dust bath
I would recommend you to not place dust in your pet chinchilla’s cage for a long time as bathing with dust excessively can be harmful to chinchillas and make their skin dry which can lead to bald patches being formed on your pet’s body.
Therefore, it is essential for a chinchilla to have a dust bath only two times for a week and make sure that their dust bath does not last longer than 15 minutes.
However, if you live in a warm area where the weather is humid, and you notice that your pet chinchilla’s fur has started to get oily, then you can give him another dust bath.
How often should you replace the dust?
It is crucial to replace the dust each time your pet chinchilla takes a dust bath.
As you already know that dust used in a dust bath absorbs all the excess moisture and oils from the fur; therefore it needs to be fresh.
If you reuse the dust then it won’t be able to perform in the right way and can cause different health issues to your pet chinchilla.
Other than this, chinchillas can’t control their urine, and they may end up peeing in the dust which can cause them several health problems and diseases thus you will need to replace the dust to take care of your pet’s hygiene.