Chinchillas

 

A Primer on Keeping Your Pet Chinchilla’s Coat Healthy and Fine Looking  

Chinchillas are popular pets because of their shiny and full coat, which calls for regular cleaning. In order to clean and maintain a chinchilla’s coat, dust baths should be administered regularly. A pet chinchilla rolling in the dust as it grooms itself is truly a sight to behold (and another good reason chinchillas are popular pets). A chinchilla rolling around in the dust is also a good indication that it’s healthy.

 

If you want to provide dust baths for your pet chinchilla, it’s important that you buy the bath dust that’s specifically made for chinchillas. The “chinchilla dust” that can be bought from pet stores have the same physical properties as the dust that these creatures use in the Andes Mountains when they groom themselves. This type of dust can get deep into the coat of the chinchilla and can seep into its skin.

 

The dust comes in contact with all the accumulated dirt and oil and once the dust is shaken off, so are all the dirt and the oil. It is recommended that the bath dust should at least be a couple of inches deep in the container in order for the bathing to be more effective.

 

There are many types of chinchilla dusts to choose from, with the “Blue Cloud Chinchilla Dust” and the “Blue Sparkle Chinchilla Dust” being the most popular ones. Not only are these dust types awesome to look at, they are also specifically manufactured in a way that will make the chinchillas feel that they’re in their natural habitat.

 

As for the container to be used, make sure that it’s bigger than the chinchilla. A smaller one runs the risk of getting tipped over, which will be quite messy what with all the dust. Glass fish bowls or big canisters should do the job. If you can spare the money, a plastic house type container with a round bottom should be more than capable in providing a good “bath house” for your pet chinchilla.

 

And here’s a fair warning: avoid over-bathing your pet chinchilla lest the creature’s skin becomes too dry. The only good reason to administer more dust baths than is usually necessary is when the climate is hot and humid. Twice a week is the norm when it comes to frequency of dust baths. Also, make sure that dust is cleared away from the cage since chinchillas are prone to using it as a litter box. The ideal time for dust bathing chinchillas is during the evening when they are most active.

 

If you notice, however, that your pet chinchilla’s fur looks lackluster and moist, you are justified in giving it more than twice a week of dust baths. Each dust bath should last for only 10-15 minutes - nothing more, nothing less. Cut back on the amount of dust baths if you start to notice some drying and flaking.

 

The bath dust you purchase from the store can be used several times until it gets dirty enough. You can use a duster to remove the waste that accumulates in the dust particles after repeated use. Once the dust particles get a deeper color, that’s the time when you need to replace it with a new serving of dust.

 

You might fancy the thought of using a covered bath, but it really won’t make much of a difference because chinchillas love to stamp and roll around, thereby kicking off the dust in many different places. As long as you always use a duster and continue to give your pet chinchilla dust baths on a regular basis, your furry little friend will always be fine.