You already have the dust, you have an enclosed bath bowl, and by definition, you are ready to give a chinchilla a dust bath. However, just as you are about to go ahead and give your chinchilla one, you realize that there’s one basic problem: you don’t know where to start.
It’s not your fault that you have no idea about giving dust baths. In fact, recognizing your inability to provide one is better, since you get to overcome the problem and address it now.
1. Check if your chinchilla is allergic to dust baths.
The majority of chinchillas are perfectly fine with dust baths. However, a select few are not welcome to the idea and worse, some are allergic to them. Before giving them a bath, check your chinchilla’s reaction to dust. Sprinkle some of the dust to its body and see how it responds. Popular dust variants are Blue Cloud, Blue Sparkle and Kaytee. To be safe, stay away from the scented ones, as they may infect your chinchilla’s sensitive sense of smell.
If the chinchilla keeps on rubbing its nose as the dust is sprinkled, you might need to train it to get used to the dust. Massage the chinchilla gently until it is finally ready for its very first dust bath.
2. Prepare the dust bath
At most, an inch of dust must fill the container, preferably a chinchilla bath house or a ceramic bath container. To give the dust better cleansing abilities, you may mix it with Arm & Hammer baking soda. Before placing the chinchilla in the container, make sure that the lid or enclosure is ready. Once it dives into the bath, it will tend to get unruly and scatter the dust all over the place.
3. Allow the chinchilla to bathe
While the chinchilla is inside the container, allow it to cleanse itself for about twenty to thirty minutes. There are pet owners that feel entitled to assist the chinchillas as they are having a bath. As chinchillas are independent creatures, stay out of the way and let them do the bathing on their own. If you put your hand in the container, it will consider the action an intrusion of its privacy, worsening your relationship with the chinchilla.
There is no telling if the chinchilla is through with its bath. It can keep on rolling over the bath for as long as it can. Stopping it from doing so is entirely up to you. If you don’t, your chinchilla’s fur will get too dry and unhealthy.
4. Clean the bath house
Once the chinchilla is done bathing, your responsibility is not over just yet. It ends once you clean the bath house. There are two things you can do to take care of the dust: either throw the dust away or use it for the chinchilla’s next bath. There’s nothing wrong with the second option; you can reuse the dust, as long as it is gives off no distinct odor and looks fresh. As a matter of fact, chinchilla dust can be reused to up to three times and, in some cases, four.
A chinchilla dust bath does not need to be stressful. It can be a lot of work for someone who has no idea what to do, but with the steps outlined above, you are bound to have a fun and easy time.