Sometimes when you are debating whether to get a new family pet or not, it can come down to a few key questions that may have you on the fence. When it comes to owning a chinchilla, it’s no different. I was the same way when I was adopting my first chinchilla, and I had some questions in the beginning. For me, I have allergies that are severe with certain pets, so my question was specific. Are chinchilla’s allergy friendly? After going through my own chinchilla adoption and owning one now for quite some time, here is what I can tell you.
So, are chinchillas’ allergy friendly? Yes, chinchillas are very allergy friendly. Chinchillas are clean animals by nature and only shed very lightly. Chinchillas also do not produce any dander. Two factors that could cause an individual to have allergies around a chinchilla could be either the hay or the chinchilla bathing dust.
To give you a more transparent overview about chinchilla’s fur, cleanliness and the potential to trigger yours or another family member allergies, I wanted to take the time to break down this topic a bit further.
My goal is to give you a full-scope overview of chinchillas and what might cause an individual to have allergies while owning a chinchilla.
Let’s dive into the details now.
More on Chinchillas and Your Potential Allergies
Like I stated previously, chinchillas are one of the cleanest animals you can choose to adopt. They are odorless and are very easy to take care of for the most part. More importantly, they are not heavy shedding animals. A chinchilla will typically shed slightly during significant season changes but compared to other animals, it’s very minimal.
For example, my chinchilla is in my basement in the Critter Nation 2 Cage. Above her cage currently, she has a black lighting track installed into the basement ceilings. After a couple of months without cleaning the track lights, I’ll find a slight amount of dust above her cage.
This is entirely different than what my dog produces without cleaning the hair he releases around the house daily. Chinchillas don’t produce hair everywhere floating around as other animals will with their shedding. It’s more of light dust covering a dark surface. This is also only if you literally don’t clean the surfaces near the cage frequently.
If you were to clean the areas around the cage regularly such as monthly, you would probably have no physical signs a chinchilla was even in the home. No odor, no fur is laying around. It’s amazing when I really break down and reflect on how clean my chinchilla is.
Chinchillas Make It Easy by Self Grooming Themselves
In addition to being allergy friendly, chinchillas also take care of their hygiene on their own (for the most part). Outside of a regular dust bath and an infrequent and occasional brushing, your chinchilla will groom themselves.
This is part of the reason you don’t notice any dander or other flaky skin and fur substance that can begin sending your allergies into overdrive.
Parts of Owning a Chinchilla That May Cause Allergy Problems in The Future
Although the chinchillas themselves aren’t going to send your allergies into overdrive, there are a few considerations to keep in mind with chinchillas that may cause your allergies not to be so friendly. With chinchillas, it’s likely going to come down to one of 3 things that may cause some allergies issues.
Problem #1-Chinchilla Dust for Dust Baths
Chinchillas use specialized dust to roll around in a container or even Tupperware to clean their fur. This allows them to remove oils from their fur and to stay clean. Not to mention, they absolutely love it.
Assuming you have something such as bad allergies or even asthma, it’s possible that being close to the dust or even allowing the dust to collect around the chinchilla cage may cause allergies or impact something such as asthma.
An easy solution to this problem is to keep a small distance between you and your chinchilla during the dust bath time. Chinchilla takes these dust baths 2-3 times per week. Just sit a few feet back. Also, be sure always to clean your chinchilla cage on a regular basis.
Chinchillas are known to climb all over their cage so, after a full-blown dust bath, they may shake some dust off within their cage. Allowing the dust to collect and settle could begin to activate your allergies.
Problem #2- Chinchillas Eat Timothy Hay, It’s a Primary Food Source in Their Diet
Timothy hay could be reason number two that you may experience some allergies issues with owning a chinchilla. Chinchillas consume timothy hay and pellets. This is the primary source of food with owning a chinchilla. Some individuals struggle with the allergies that the hay can produce.
This doesn’t necessarily have an excellent remedy. The only thing I can even begin to think that may help would be to ensure the chinchilla’s cage is always clean and to wear a mask when filling your chinchilla’s hay feeder which attaches to the side of the cage.
Timothy hay is essential and carries minerals and crucial dietary needs for your chinchilla, so it’s imperative that it’s offered permanently.
Problem #3- Urine Soaked Aspen Shavings May Cause Allergies
Some individuals do report that urine-soaked shavings can create an odor if not cleaned in a timely manner. This may be the third source of potential allergies being triggered by your chinchilla. An excellent remedy for this would be to clean the bedding and cage regularly, or you can opt to use a set up like mine.
My set up contains custom made fleece covers and no shavings. I’ve also placed a small litter pan in my chinchilla’s cage that allows her a spot to pee. I’m still working through the potty-training process currently, but this would be an excellent way for you to reduce the allergies produced by this problem.
I also don’t see this being an ongoing issue if you remain diligent with your cleanings on the cage regardless of if you use the fleece covering set up or not.
Final Word, Out of Many Options, Chinchillas Will Likely Cause the Least Amount of Allergies Problems
Overall, chinchillas should do very little to your allergies, but it is possible that the dust, urine-soaked shavings or timothy hay could cause some slight allergy irritation. With regular cage cleanings and proper precautions, a chinchilla should be one of the best pets you could consider adopting.
Remember, as I stated earlier in this post, my allergies to animals are severe in many cases, and my chinchilla has caused absolutely no issues for me after having her for quite some time now. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Does your chinchilla cause any allergy problems for you or other family members? Be sure to drop a comment below. I appreciate you.
P.S. Be sure to check out the related questions below. I like to make sure you don’t leave empty-handed and get all the information you need on these topics. See you next time.
Are Chinchillas Hypoallergenic?
No, chinchillas would not be considered hypoallergenic. Although they are very clean animals that produce little to no odor and don’t cause allergies in most circumstances, chinchillas would still not be regarded as hypoallergenic animals.
Can You Purchase Hypoallergenic Chinchilla Dust?
No. Chinchilla dust is created explicitly for chinchilla bathing and is made of 100% natural volcanic mountain pumice. It’s specifically designed to pull oils and dander from your chinchilla’s fur and is essential to your chinchilla’s hygiene and overall health. Hypoallergenic dust for chinchillas is not an option.