Looking for chinchilla grooming tips?
Good grooming isn’t just for your chinchilla’s appearance. It also helps reduce the amount of fur that will be shed, cutting down on mess, matting, dirt and dander.
Still, some people prefer not to groom. This can be fine if your chinchilla is not kept in an area where dirt and allergens are a problem or where shedding could be undesirable. Like cats, most chinchillas will groom themselves. Of those that do, like cats, some will not tolerate self-grooming well. And while this is rare, these chinchillas should be groomed by their owners.
Chinchillas require regular bathing in a special substance called chinchilla dust. A good quality chinchilla dust is a natural powder which is used to penetrate the dense fur of a chinchilla. It works to protect their coat by removing excess oils and moisture.
Never bathe your chinchilla in water. If your pet becomes frightened by the water, this can cause ‘furslip’ which means they will drop hair as a natural defense against predators (similar to the way a lizard can drop its tail). If they get wet for any reason, it may cause fungus to grow beneath their fur as their fur is so dense that it cannot dry sufficiently on its own. If they do get wet, take care to dry them thoroughly to avoid fungus and mold growth.
Cleaning Your Chinchilla
Chinchilla dust should never be replaced with sand or any kind of soil as it can damage the animal’s skin and fur. Your dust bath should be deep enough and wide enough for your pet chinchilla to roll around freely without colliding with the walls or falling out. A depth of 10cm should be sufficient.
It is best to offer your chinchilla a bath once each day for fifteen to twenty minutes. If you are changing the dust once a week, as recommended, baths longer than twenty minutes will leave the dust too unclean for effective use. Be sure to check their eyes and ears regularly, as dust can become a problem in these areas.
Chinchillas enjoy dust baths and do not usually need to be coerced into taking them. Bathing your pet chinchilla can be quite enjoyable since it is so much fun for them!
Chinchilla Dental Care
Like all rodents, the teeth of your chinchilla are always growing in length. This means that they need plenty of good tough material to chew on. This comes naturally and does not have to be forced. Simply provide your pet with rodent toys or a piece of apple wood. They will know what to do with this, and they will enjoy keeping their own teeth clean and trim completely independently. If you find your chinchilla is chewing on things you do not want to be chewed, this is a good sign that it’s time to replace the chew toy.