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Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths

why do chinchillas take dust baths

If you've ever cuddled a chinchilla, you know their coat feels like the softest velvet ever imagined. Or, maybe it's what a cloud would feel like. Light. Airy. Fluffy. Perfect! So, how do these palm-sized mammals keep their silky fur in tip-top shape? Dust! Yes, dust! These curious critters love to roll in organic material to keep their coats clean and healthy. Here's everything you need to know about chinchillas and dust baths

Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Over the years, chinchillas have developed dense fur coats to keep them warm during the cold winters in their native habit, the Andes Mountains of South America. If you were to wash your pet with soap and water, it would be difficult to get the ultra-thick coat fully dry. Lingering moisture on the skin and fur can lead to health issues. So, chins have learned to adapt and clean themselves with dust. Think of it like dry shampoo for our furry friends!

What Exactly Is Chinchilla Dust?

The not-so-magical dust that keep chins looking their best is made from ingredients that closely resemble volcanic dust from the Andes Mountains. Some of these formulas are quite fine and create a little dust cloud in the air around the pet when they roll.

Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand is sourced from natural volcanic pumice from the Andes Mountains and is less dusty than other commercially prepared chinchilla bath products. When paired with a colorful Kaytee Chinchilla Bath House, your pet has everything needed for a dust bath.

What Does A Dust Bath Do For A Chinchilla

When it comes down to it, the special dust absorbs excess oils on the chinchilla's skin to keep their fur clean. A roll in the powder also helps remove dirt, loose fur and moisture from their coat, giving it that velvety texture. Dust baths are a necessity to keep pet chinchillas healthy.

How Do I Give My Chinchilla a Dust Bath?

Offer a 2-inch deep layer of dust in a dust bath house to the pet two to three times each week, usually in the evenings. Simply leave the bath house in their habitat for fifteen minutes or so, or until they go in, roll around, and come back out. Expect a bathing session to last 5-10 minutes. Then, clean any waste (clumps of fur, clumps of oil-packed dust, feces, etc.) from the house and set it outside the pet's habitat until the next use. If you're thinking of adding a roly-poly chinchilla to your family, don't forget the dust! It's a grooming necessity for your thick-furred friend. Learn more about this unique bathing practice here.

Sources:
Extension Foundation, Companion Animals, How often should I give my chinchilla a dust bath, and what is the best way to go about that?
Lafeber Vet, Basic Information Sheet: Chinchilla
Squeak & Nibbles, Chinchilla Dust Bath Guide: Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Small Animals