Giving Your Chinchilla A Dust Bath

Do you have a chinchilla? These adorable little furballs are gaining more and more fans every year. As you may know, one of the chinchilla’s defining features is their soft fur. They have very dense coats, which can contain up to 60 hairs in a single follicle. That fur isn’t really meant to get wet, however. So how do you keep a chinchilla clean? A dust bath! A local Michigan City, IN vet offers some advice on chinchilla beauty care below.

Basics

Dust baths may not sound clean, but they actually are a great way for chinchillas to get their fur clean. In fact, this is very similar to human hair care routines from Victorian times, which relied heavily on using pomade and powder. It’s also really fun to watch Chinchillas rolling around in their baths. These guys clearly really enjoy their spa sessions!

Importance

Chinchillas’ unique fur helps them stay warm in cold climates. In fact, these little guys originated in the higher altitudes of the Andes mountains. (Note: chinchillas do not do well in the heat.) Their soft coats are prone to getting matted, which can cause skin irritation. Dust baths soak up oil and dirt, and keep your tiny pal’s hairs from sticking together.

Bath House

Your little buddy will need their own bathhouse. These are typically made of ceramic or plastic. Choose one that is big enough to contain both your pet and his dust. We recommend getting one that is self-contained, as this will help keep the dust from getting all over everything.

Choosing Dust

You’ll need to pick up some chinchilla dust. This contains or is similar to volcanic dust, which is what wild chinchillas would use. Many pet stores stock these products, though of course you can also order them online. Ask your vet for specific dust recommendations.

Frequency

Most dust baths don’t take very long: after about five to ten minutes, your little buddy will be clean and refreshed, and will be ready to get on with their day. You’ll probably find that your chinchilla will need to bathe about twice a week. It’s best to put the bathhouse away between uses, though. Otherwise, your adorable pet may decide to use it as a litterbox!

Do you have questions or concerns about chinchilla health or care? Contact us, your local Michigan City, IN animal clinic, today!

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