Chinchillas Can They Get Wet?

Chinchilla sitting in cage looking through the bars.

Chinchillas are South American rodents that originated in the Andes Mountains. They can withstand frigid temperatures and prefer lying on cool granite, but they are extremely heat sensitive. Many animals prefer to cool off by taking a bath, but chinchillas prefer to do things their own way. prefer dust baths than water baths. These dust baths may appear counterintuitive to individuals who are unfamiliar with chinchilla skin and fur care, but chinchillas know what they're doing. Water baths may actually be harmful to these extraordinarily sensitive dogs, therefore it's critical for owners to understand their specific requirements.

Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Chinchillas take dust showers because their backs naturally produce a lot of oils. A chinchilla's fur will grow greasy and matted if it is unable to take a dust bath. Because Chinchillas' fur is so thin and thick, moisture and oil can easily build up and create a skin irritation. The dust bath absorbs the extra oil and maintains the fur smooth and dry, preventing excess moisture and infection. Dust baths are advised at least twice a week, and the most popular dust bath materials are Fuller's earth or commercial dust bath solutions. Chinchillas adore and will spend all of their time in their dust bath homes or bowls if given the opportunity. This is why, unlike a bottle of water, you should only leave the dust bath house or bowl in your chinchilla's enclosure for 10-15 minutes each time it needs to bathe.

Why Don't Chinchillas Like Water?

Chinchillas know intuitively that rolling around in dust keeps their hair clean and fluffy. Chinchillas do not bathe in water since they have alternative ways to remain cool and clean. Many regions of the Andes highlands, especially where chinchillas normally inhabit, are stony and dry. They're designed to thrive in cold, dry environments, so extra moisture and heat will only cause them difficulties. Chinchillas can't pant or sweat, so they rely on their huge, hairless ears to keep cool. However, just because chinchillas dislike hot weather and bathing, doesn't imply they don't consume water. Chinchillas acquire most of their water from cactus and other plants in the wild, but as pets, they require water bottles to remain hydrated.

What Happens if You Get a Chinchilla Wet?

When a chinchilla gets wet, the thick hair performs a fantastic job of keeping the moisture in. As a result, the fur takes a long time to dry, and fungus can begin to spread and create a skin infection if moisture remains in it for too long. This illness should not be confused with other fur issues that might affect chinchillas, such as and fur-chewing. Fur fungus develops when your chinchilla's fur is damp for an extended period of time; is a defensive mechanism in which your chinchilla releases its fur in an attempt to avoid being trapped; and fur-chewing is when a chinchilla chews on its own or another chinchilla's fur. Furthermore, if the fur remains damp and your chinchilla becomes very cold, it may get a respiratory illness. Antifungal therapies are required for fur fungus, which can cause hair loss, irritation, and skin crusting. Furthermore, your chinchilla may pass the sickness on to other animals or people.

What Should You Do If Your Chinchilla Gets Wet?

If your chinchilla becomes wet, carefully towel dry it as much as possible. To offer consistent, cool airflow, place your chinchilla on towels in front of a low-speed fan or a hair drier with a cool setting. Depending on how wet your chinchilla was, this might take a long time. During this long drying procedure, make sure your chinchilla does not become too chilly. Allow your chinchilla to take a dust bath after it feels dry to help absorb any extra moisture on the skin.

Is It Ever Okay For a Chinchilla to Get Wet?

While a drop or two of water won't harm your chinchilla's fur, you should avoid wetting it whenever possible. There are times when a chinchilla has to take a bath in water. In most cases, your chinchilla will receive urine, cleansers, or other potentially toxic materials on them, which will require rinsing.

CITATION

"Donnelly TM, Brown CJ. Guinea pig and chinchilla care and husbandry. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice. 2004;7(2):351-373.", "Rees RG. Some conditions of the skin and fur of chinchilla lanigera. J Small Animal Practice. 1963;4(3):213-225." ;

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