All living things need water.
Chinchillas are no exception.
While your furry little pet may not use water to clean itself, it does use it to quench its thirst.
But will any water do?
Can chinchillas drink tap water, or should you give them only bottled or filtered water?
It turns out, most chinchilla owners get this wrong. And that could potentially have disastrous consequences.
Keep reading to learn if chinchillas can drink tap water, plus everything else you need to know about giving your pet the water it needs.
- 1 Can Chinchillas Drink Water From The Tap?
- 2 Can Chinchillas Drink Tap Water: Final Thoughts
Can Chinchillas Drink Water From The Tap?
It is best not to give your chinchilla tap water. Tap water can contain bacteria and other contaminants that can be harmful to a chinchilla.
Chinchillas should be drinking flat bottled or filtered water. Avoid tap water and well water, if at all possible.
That’s the simple answer, but the topic is actually a relatively popular debate. Many owners give their chinchilla tap water and have seen no adverse issues.
Most, however, are on the same page when it comes to how sensitive a small rodent like a chinchilla can be.
It means that they are more likely to fall victim to bacteria and other parasites that often live in tap water.
Of course, if you know your tap water is clean, for example if you have checked the local levels with your city, then it’s not going to be a problem.
But most of us are not sure what’s in our tap water. And honestly, not all local governments can be trusted to tell the truth either.
for that reason, our advice is to stick to bottled water, or water that has bee run through a filter capable of removing about 99% of all contaminants.
I personally use flat bottled water for my chinchilla. An honestly, the cost per month is barely even noticeable. I was sure it would add up to a hefty expense, but it doesn’t.
Again, I know plenty of owners use tap water for their chinchillas and haven’t had any issues, but it’s still a chance I prefer not to take.
Especially given the low cost of providing the cleaner alternative.
Now, let’s make sure you understand which kinds of water are permissible for your chinchilla to avoid any potential issues.
What Kind of Water Can Chinchillas Drink?
Another critical consideration to keep in mind is that chinchillas should never have any form of carbonated water.
Stick to flat water only.
And it doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy water. Any bottled water from the store, or filtered water, will be just fine, assuming it’s not carbonated.
It’s also important to discuss the best way to give your chinchilla water, so let’s cover bottles and bowls.
Do Chinchillas Drink Out Of Water Bottles?
If you are getting ready to adopt a chinchilla, this is a common question that arises.
The answer is yes, they drink out of water bottles. In fact, chinchillas need to drink out of water bottles.
Drinking out of a bowl, or any other container, can pose a risk. It is too easy for other items in the cage to get into the water and contaminate it.
A water bottle is the best and safest option for your chinchilla.
If you want to learn more about the best water bottles that I recommend, you can view my post here.
Can Chinchillas Drink From A Bowl?
This is a popular topic of debate as well. In theory, yes, your chinchilla could drink water from a bowl. But we advise against it, as mentioned previously.
A chinchilla drinking from a bowl could potentially knock over the bowl and spill its water into the cage.
Worse, your chinchilla could end up knocking other debris inside the cage into the water. It could also get urine or feces in the water.
We shouldn’t have to tell you why that could be a problem. Bottom line: I highly recommend always using a water bottle.
Personally, I always have 2 water bottles attached to the cage and filled with clean water. I’m a big believer in always having a large supply of water ready to go for your chinchilla.
How Much Water Do Chinchillas Drink Per Day?
The amount of water your chinchilla consumes each day can vary based on several factors.
Physical activity, pregnancy, and even your chinchilla’s age can have an impact on how many ounces of water your pet consumes.
The general consensus is that a healthy and happy chinchilla needs about 2 ounces of water per day.
If your chinchilla consumes more than this in a day, that’s okay and nothing to be overly alarmed over.
However, if you keep tabs on your chinchilla and notice the amount of water being consumed has decreased dramatically, you need to consult a vet.
No water consumption for an extended duration could potentially be fatal and is something not to take lightly.
Why Is My Chinchilla Not Drinking?
This is a difficult question to answer. And, in case you didn’t know and in order to be fully transparent, I’m not a licensed vet.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consult a vet as soon as possible, if you notice your chinchilla is no longer consuming fluids.
How long can a chinchilla go without water? A surprisingly long time. But a chinchilla not drinking indicates something is wrong, so it is best to be safe and contact that veterinarian.
Not drinking could indicate an injury, an illness, or something difficult to spot. Instead of speculating, the best thing to do in these potentially life-threatening situations (threatening to your chinchilla’s life, not yours, obviously) is to consult a vet as soon as possible.
Unlimited Supply: Always
I think I’ve made this relatively apparent throughout this post thus far, but I wanted to re-emphasis this point at least one more time.
Always keep plenty of water ready for your chinchillas, my friends.
They should always have access to water, and you should never have the issue of the water bottle running completely empty on them.
Again, I use 2 large Lixit water bottles on my chinchilla cage and keep them both filled with bottled water for my chinchilla. You can read about that bottle here.
I don’t like the idea of my chinchilla running out in case I get tied up for a day, or just happen to forget to fill the water bottle some evening or morning.
Life happens, and if you can place a few backups and precautions in place for your chin, you will be in much better shape and will be providing the best care possible to your new family pet.
Monitor And Pay Attention
My last piece of advice is to simply always be alert and aware of what’s going on with your chinchilla.
You should have a diligent cleaning schedule for your chinchilla’s cage.
This is a great time to ensure you aren’t only cleaning the cage but also ensuring that you are double checking water supplies, cleaning the water bottles, and providing fresh water.
You should also keep watch on your pet’s water intake, so you notice if it drastically changes. Then seek professional help, if need be.
Can Chinchillas Drink Tap Water: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, water is vital and you need to always make it available to your chinchilla in unlimited supply.
But again, avoid tap water, if possible.
Doing so ensures your chinchilla is getting clean, bacteria-free water and will live a long life. You’ll have the next 15 to 20 years to share a special bond with your little furry friend.
Chinchillas make for one of the best pets you can adopt. With proper hygiene, ethical care, and some love, you surely won’t be disappointed.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new journey.
Share your thoughts.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.
We also always encourage you to share any feedback that can help new chinchilla owners provide the best care possible.
What else do you think was left out of this post?
Do you offer your chinchilla tap water?
Be sure to share those stories, thoughts, and concerns by dropping a comment below. Thanks again for reading, and we will see you next time.
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