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Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

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Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?
How To Give Dust Baths
Types Of Dust
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Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

A chinchilla dust bath is essential for their well-being, as it eliminates dirt, old hair, moisture and oil.

The result? A velvety coat that glimmers in the light – every chinchilla’s goal! As an extra bonus to this luxurious cleanse of sorts, natural oils are evenly spread across its thick fur leaving your pet with a smooth skin texture and incredible shine.

Choosing the Right Chinchilla Bathtub Or House
When choosing a chinchilla bathtub or house, it’s important to consider a few things:
Size: The tub or house should be large enough for your chinchilla to move around in comfortably.
Depth: The tub or house should be deep enough for your chinchilla to submerge in, but not so deep that they can’t climb out.
– Material: The best materials are hard plastic or metal, as these are easy to clean and disinfect. Avoid any materials that may contain harmful chemicals or toxins, such as lead paint.
Design: Make sure the bathtub or house has a solid bottom and a non-slip surface.

How Often Do Chinchillas Need Dust Baths?

A chinchilla needs a dust bath at least once a week.

How Long Do Chinchillas Stay in Dust Baths?

Chinchillas will typically stay in their dust baths for about 15 minutes. However, some chinchillas may stay in their dust baths for up to 30 minutes.

How Often Should You Replace the Dust in Your Chinchilla’s Bathtub Or House?

Chinchillas should have a dust bath at least 2-3 times a week. The dust bath should be deep enough that your chinchilla can cover its self in the dust. If the tub or house is getting too dirty, then it should be replaced every 1-2 months.

What Type Of Dust Should You Buy for Your Chinchilla?


Blue Cloud Dust


– Sand


– Pumice Powder


Corn Starch


–  Sepiolite dust

Why do chinchillas take dust baths?

Chinchillas are fluffy animals with a lot of hair, about 60-75 hairs come out of each pore! This thick fur helps them stay warm in the cold, high mountains where they live.

Taking care of a chinchilla means you need to know how to keep their fur clean and healthy. One thing that some people don’t understand is that chinchillas need dust baths. It might sound funny, but it’s kind of like how cats clean themselves by licking their fur, or how dogs might roll around in the grass to scratch their backs.

When a chinchilla takes a dust bath, it rolls and wiggles around in special dust that helps clean its fur. This isn’t for fun – it’s an important part of keeping the chinchilla healthy. It makes their fur feel smooth, shiny and beautiful. The dust bath also helps spread the chinchilla’s natural oils throughout its fur, making their skin soft and glossy. [1]

So, giving a chinchilla a dust bath is a bit like giving a cat or dog a bath, but instead of water and soap, they use special dust to get all clean and shiny!

How do you give chinchillas dust baths infographic

How do you give chinchillas dust baths?

As earlier implied, dust baths are an effective means of washing chinchillas and keeping their fur clean. Let’s put you through the steps to give your chinchilla a dust bath.

  • Pour the chinchilla bath dust into a large container.
  • Then, place your chinchilla in the container.
  • Watch your chinchilla bathe correctly in the dust bathtub.

When the chinchilla is placed in the dust bath, it will flounder around in the dust. People who keep chinchillas as pets generally agree it’s an adorable sight. The dust bath should be inside the chinchilla cage for 10 – 15 minutes. If kept longer than that, the chinchilla tends to use it unnecessarily, making its skin dry and dusty. [2]

A chinchillas hiding in his bath in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Why can’t your chinchilla just bathe in water?

Bathing your chinchillas with water is not advisable because their dense fur makes them fluffy. Compared to humans, who only have one hair per follicle, chinchillas have 80 hairs in each follicle. If you were to bathe your chinchilla’s fur with water, it may lump together and become sticky.

Moreover, if you bathe your chinchilla with water, it may lose heat, become chilly, and become susceptible to illnesses like fungal infections. So, you should keep chinchillas clean by giving them regular dust baths instead of water baths. [3]

What should i do if my chinchilla gets wet?

As we have started in the previous paragraph, it is not ideal to bathe your chinchilla with water due to the density of its fur.

But if your furry friend does get wet, no need to worry. You should dry it before its fur starts clumping. [4]

You can dry your chinchilla with a towel or a blow dryer. But be sure to lower the dryer’s heat to prevent overheating your chinchilla fur. Do this until your chinchilla is completely dry. You can also learn how to take care of ferrets in the blog “Ferret Care: How to Keep Your Ferret Healthy” by Ultiblog.

A chinchillas sitting next to his bath in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

What is a chinchilla dust bath made of?

Chinchilla dust is kind of like a special powder made from volcanic ash, clay, and minerals. [5] It’s made to be like the dust chinchillas would roll around in to clean themselves in the wild, where they live high up in the mountains.

There are different kinds of chinchilla dust you can buy, made by different brands. They’re not all exactly the same, but they all do a pretty good job of helping chinchillas get clean. Some might be a bit rougher or softer than others, but they all work to help the chinchilla’s fur stay nice and healthy.

A table that outlines the suitability of different types of dusts for chinchilla dust baths

What type of dust should you buy for your chinchilla?

The most popular varieties are listed below; let’s put you through them.

Blue cloud dust in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Blue cloud dust

Aluminum Silicate, blue cloud dust is the best type of dust to buy and use on your chinchilla as it’s the most effective at cleaning the coat of your chinchilla. Due to its fineness, the blue cloud dust imitates the dust chinchillas used in the wild.

Most commercial brands of chinchilla dust have a range of blue cloud dust. [6] Although blue cloud dust is the best in cleaning your chinchilla’s fur, it may be harmful to their owners. When you inhale blue cloud dust, it causes inflammation of the lungs and other serious side effects, which might lead to death if ignored. [7]

Many chinchilla owners wear a respiratory mask when using the blue cloud dust to prevent them from inhaling it.

Sand in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Sand

Sand is usually used when blue cloud dust becomes too much and harms your lungs.

Sand cleans a little bit, but won’t be as effective as blue cloud. For this reason, pet owners complain that their chinchillas’ fur is still oily after using sand. To address this problem, you can consider providing longer or more baths when using sand.

Sand comes in varieties. Some have finer particles, while others are coarser and sharper. We advise using play sand for kids. Play sand absorbs oil more than other types of sand.

Sepiolite dust in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Sepiolite dust

Manufacturers make this dust from a purified form of meerschaum, and its more common in the UK than in the United States. Compared to silicate dust, sepiolite seems safer.

Sepiolite is preferable to blue cloud dust. Yet, depending on where you live, it might only be accessible online.

Pumice powder in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Pumice powder

This resembles a less processed blue cloud variant made from pumice powder and cleans up your chinchilla nicely. Even if manufacturers make it from powdered rock, you still should not breathe it in.

Corn starch in a post about Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Corn starch

This is a mixture of starch and ground corn. The fineness of this mixture makes it capable of cleaning the fur of a chinchilla.

We suggest slightly more frequent, prolonged dust baths using corn starch. So, consider doing it every other day rather than twice a week. You should also consider bathing your chinchilla for 30 minutes rather than 15 minutes. This might be a little tedious for you. If it tends to make things simpler, you can think about going from bathing your pet in the evening to the morning. You may also think about giving your chinchilla sporadic water baths. [8]

Video

A guide on choosing the right chinchilla bathtub or house

A chinchilla’s bathtub should resemble the resources they find in their natural environment. Whatever container you use, the dust needs to be at least a few inches deep for the chinchilla to roll around in it.

You can use a sturdy, tip-resistant bowl or deep dish that is larger than your chinchilla to provide room to wriggle. Additionally, you can use plastic houses with rounded bottoms, available at your local pet store. Chinchillas roll and make playful flips while taking dust baths, messing up the place. You can reduce the mess by getting your chinchilla an enclosed bathhouse.

How often do chinchillas need dust baths?

Chinchillas take dust baths 2 or 3 times a week. But you should give chinchillas dust baths more frequently in very hot, humid weather. A chinchilla may need to bathe close to 4 times a week in the hot summer. [9]

Although it is suitable for your chinchilla to take regular dust baths, over-bathing your pet chinchilla can make their fur lose its glossiness, thus, making them dry. Furthermore, you should decrease the bathing time of your pet chinchilla if it has itchy or dry skin.

How long do chinchillas stay in dust baths?

As a pet owner, you must watch and time your chinchillas while they take their dust baths because they might do it obsessively.

Therefore, chinchillas should stay in their dust bath for at least 10-20 minutes. This duration is enough to remove dirt from their fur and coat. [10]

How often should you replace the dust in your chinchilla’s bathtub or house?

The frequency of replacing the dust in your chinchilla’s bathtub or house depends on several factors, including the number of chinchillas you have and how often they take dust baths. However, a general rule is to replace the dust after every bath to ensure cleanliness and hygiene. Here are some general steps:

  • Once a week: Remove the used dust after a week. Chinchillas are clean animals, and reusing the same dust can lead to a buildup of dirt, oil, and moisture in the fur.
  • Clean the Bathing Container: Regularly clean the container or house where your chinchilla takes its dust bath to avoid the accumulation of bacteria or fungi that could potentially harm your pet. [11]

Conclusion

The skin of your chinchilla is what makes it unique and adorable. You need to take care of these small animals’ coats by giving them frequent baths with chinchilla dust, which resembles the dust they bathe in their natural habitat.

FAQ

Do Chinchillas Need Dust Baths Everyday?

Chinchillas don’t need dust baths everyday because it will make their skin dry and flaky. Chinchilla dust baths should be taken at least 2 or 3 times a week and should be taken at least 4 times a week in humid weather

Can I Use Sand Instead of Dust to Bath My Chinchilla?

Chinchillas can bathe insandor dust. Both can serve. Yet, stay clear of using water to bathe your chinchilla. Water shouldn’t be used to bathe your chinchilla to prevent them from catching a cold and to avoid fungal infections from molds.

References

  1. The Spruce Pets: Chinchilla Dust Baths
  2. The Chinchilla Notebook: How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath!
  3. Pets on mom: WHY CAN’T YOU GET A CHINCHILLA WET?
  4. Quality Cage Crafters: Wet Chinchilla? What do I do if they get wet?
  5. Planet Chinchilla: How Do Chinchillas Bathe? (This May Come As A Shock)
  6. LoveMyChinchilla: Is Chinchilla Dust Harmful to Humans?
  7. Planet Chinchilla: Is Chinchilla Dust Harmful To Humans? (The Type Matters)
  8. LoveMyChinchilla: Is Chinchilla Dust Harmful to Humans?
  9. Oxbow Animal Health: DUST TILL DAWN: CHINCHILLAS AND THEIR DUST BATHS EXPLAINED
  10. Planet Chinchilla: How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath (Step By Step Guide)
  11. PetMD: How to Give Your Chinchilla a Dust Bath

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