Last updated at 08/03/98
Chinchilla is a neat pet and easy to keep clean. However, they do need regular baths to get rid of the excess moisture and oil in their fur. Chinchillas do not bathe in water. For only one reason, they do not like to get wet. If you drop a little water on a chin, its instant reaction is to try to get rid of the water by wiping it off with its paw or rolling in the cage. Moreover, being such a heavily furred animal, it really takes a long time to dry off. Chins bath in finely ground powder; most people called them chinchilla dust. Chinchilla dusts are available locally, they are inexpensive, and it can be reused many times before it needs to be replaced. So it is no problem for owners to buy chinchilla dust in large quantities, just remember to keep the dust in dry and cool places to prevent moisture.
The bathtub you use to put in the dust must be big enough for chins to roll and flip around in, and deep enough to keep the dust in. If the bathtub is too big so it cannot go through the cage door, just let them bath outside of the cage. I put the bathtub in a big and tall paper box so they would not run away and spread the dust all over the floor. The amount of dust you should put into the bathtub depends on the size of the bathtub. The rule of thumb is to place enough dust to cover the bottom of the bathtub. I used a cat litter pan as a dust container, and let two chins bath at the same time. Five minutes of rolling and flipping should be more than enough to fluff and clean the fur. Bath the animal twice a week is adequate, but it is nothing wrong for you to bath a chin in a daily basic. Only if the chin starts to scratch a lot because of the dry skin. Since too many baths may result in dry skin, you should then reduce the dust bath so the dry skin condition will improve. The same dust can be replaced once or twice a week. But do remember to add new dust regularly to keep several inches of dust in the bathtub at all times. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ANY SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SPECIAL CHINCHILLA BATH DUST. Try to look for this product in your local pet store.
Chinchilla mother should not take a dust bath after delivery at least 10 days to avoid infection.
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