If chinchillas are known for anything, it has got to be their coat. And if you’ve never seen one up close, chinchillas have incredibly dense fur. How dense exactly? Well, let’s just say that their fur is so dense that fleas will suffocate if they burrow down to the skin, literally!
But this fur does have a downside that you should know about before you go out buying a chinchilla for yourself, and that is the fact that over time, natural oils tend to build upon the hair. And this presents a big problem, seeing as they can’t get wet! So what do they do?
Well in their natural environment they’ll roll around in volcanic ash. The volcanic ash absorbs all of the oil that builds upon the fur. So what do you do when you own one? Give it the same thing!
That’s right when you own a chinchilla, you have to remember that you can’t ever wash it like a normal pet. In other words: Never wash your chinchilla with water! If you do, it will wash away all of the natural oils that help to keep the skin healthy and the body at the right temperature!
Instead, you’re going to give your chinchilla a small bowl of this special dust, so it can bathe naturally like it’s supposed to do. You can find the dust at most pet stores and exotic pet stores. The frequency of dust baths really depends on what type of climate you live in. If you live in a dryer area then you’ll only have to give it a bath once or twice a week. If you live in a wetter area then you’ll have to it about three times a week.
When it’s time to give your chinchilla a dust bath, just leave the dish in the cage for about twenty to thirty minutes. Most of the time, they’ll be done before then. You want to fill the dish up with about an inch of dust.
As a special note, you can also use small glass containers. I use them so I can watch it roll around in the dust and if you’ve never seen one do it before, you simply have to see it in action! I use glass ones like I said because I’ve noticed that plastic ones get scratched after a couple of uses. And make sure that you get a heavy-duty container as you don’t want your chinchilla breaking it and rolling around in broken glass!
Another big thing that you should know is that you should never leave the container in the cage permanently. If you do, your chinchilla may get an infection in its lungs or eyes. If you leave it in their too long it might use it as a litter box too! In both scenarios, you probably would do best by avoiding it!
And that’s all you need to know about chinchilla dust baths! You should know everything, so you won’t have to worry about doing anything wrong and potentially harming your chinchilla! And remember to bookmark this article in case you forget something.