Chinchilla Dust Bath

A chinchilla dust bath is an essential part of the chinchilla care. The lovely soft thick fur that makes chinchillas so appealing can also cause problems if natural oils and moisture is allowed to accumulate in the fur.  In the native environment, a chinchilla can roll in fine volcanic ash, which absorbs the oils and helps the chinchilla keep itself clean. Today, specialized chinchilla dust is readily available so owners can provide a chinchilla dust bath for their pets.

Although it is important for chinchillas to keep their fur clean, it is essential that chinchillas are never washed in water or allowed to get wet.  Water removes the natural oils that protect the delicate skin, and help the chinchilla to regulate body temperature.  Specialized chinchilla dust in a large container provides the ideal chinchilla dust bath for the chinchilla to roll around in.  A chinchilla can keep its coat healthy and soft if it has the chance to use the chinchilla dust bath one to three times a week.

50lb chinchilla dustChinchilla Dust 50lb
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chinchilla sandChinchilla Sand 1.6lb
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chinchilla bath 2.5lbChinchilla Bath 2.5lb
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Just exactly how often a chinchilla will need to dust itself depends on the climate it lives in – in a dry climate, a chinchilla needs fewer chinchilla dust baths than in a humid climate. Chinchilla-safe scented chinchilla dust is also available to make your chinchilla smell great throughout the week if preferred, below is vanilla bean, cucumber melon, original and raspberry.

The chinchilla dust bath needs to be use a sturdy, tip proof container that is larger than the chinchilla, and can be covered to keep the dust where it belongs.  If it is a glass container, rather than a plastic container, it will not become scratched over time, and will continue to provide clear views of the delightful sideshow being performed in the chinchilla dust bath. Of course, it will be even more important to have a strong, sturdy well-secured container if it is made of glass to avoid possible injury to the chinchilla.

ceramic chinchilla bathCeramic Chinchilla Bath
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Super Pet Chinchilla BathChinchilla Bath House
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The chinchilla dust bath needs about only two inches of dust in it, and can be placed inside or outside the cage. The chinchilla will probably use the chinchilla dust bath for no more than 10 to 20 minutes, after which time it should be removed to prevent it being used as a litter box.  Removing the bath is also important because it is possible that too much exposure to the chinchilla dust bath will cause the chinchilla’s eyes or eyelids to become inflamed or infected. Another sign of over-exposure to the chinchilla dust bath is dry, flaky skin, which may mean that the time between dust baths should be increased.

A chinchilla loves to have a good shake and groom after their chinchilla dust bath, so it is inevitable that dust will end up everywhere. A good duster and a positive attitude towards the benefits of dust bathing are necessary to off set this minor problem.

One of the charms of the chinchilla is the fun of watching its amusing antics, including when it is grooming itself. This enchanting behavior makes any work involved in providing a chinchilla dust bath more than worth while!



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  3. Mike Jackson · May 12, 2010

    I’m worried that my chinchilla will try to chew on the hard plastic dust bath houses. They look nice and see them in the pet stores, so I assume it isn’t a big issue, any advice?

  4. Chinchilla Cages · May 12, 2010

    I’ve had several of them over the years, they are made out of a durable translucent plastic that from my experience chinchillas tend to not chew on. I’ve heard of it happening, but it doesn’t seem to happen too often. It’s really the only plastic product that I would generally consider safe for chinchillas. My advice is to give it a try and watch how your chinchilla reacts to it. If you notice any chewing, remove it and consider a non-plastic dust bath alternative, like the ones listed above.

  5. new chin owner · May 12, 2010

    I recently noticed these spots on the back of my chins ears, and I have become worried. I give him his dust baths and groom him as much as recomended, but the spots wont go away. Is it due to stress? Or his baths? Or is it something medicaly wronge with him?