Can Chinchillas Drink Tap Water?[Here’s What to Do]

Water is undoubtedly a topic worth discussing when it comes to your new pet chinchilla.

Chinchillas are small animals, and some of their dietary needs can be sensitive.

Keeping that in mind, I ran into a question that I want to cover in today’s post.

Can chinchillas drink tap water?

After owning a chinchilla for nearly 3 years now, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, can chinchilla drink tap water? No, a chinchilla should not drink 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. Tap water and well water should be avoided.

That’s the simple answer to the question, but I understand it still leaves plenty of follow up questions that you may have.

Due to this, I plan on breaking down this topic in much more depth.

Below, you will find a quick list of what I intend to cover in this brief discussion.


Feel free to click any of the topics directly below if you need to skip around throughout this post:

Like mentioned previously, if you need to skip around in this post, feel free to do so directly above.

Otherwise, I’ll break down which water to provide your chinchilla and your best alternatives to tap water directly below.

Can Chinchillas Drink Tap Water?

This topic seems to be a relatively popular debate.

Most individuals, however, are on the same page when it comes to how sensitive a small rodent-like a chinchilla can be.

This also means that a chinchilla is more likely to be the victim of bacteria and other parasites that can often be found in tap water.

Sure, in some cases, if you know your tap water is clean or you have checked the local levels with your city, then it’s likely going to be okay.

However, considering it’s still deemed a risk to your chinchilla, my advice would still be to stick to bottled water or some form of filtered water that’s capable of removing about 99% of all contaminants.

I personally use flat bottled water for my chinchilla, and it’s not even a noticeable cost per month to do so.

Again, I’m sure plenty of individuals use tap water for their chinchillas and likely haven’t had any issues, but it’s still a chance I prefer not to take.

Especially for the cost of providing a cleaner alternative.

Now, let’s make sure you understand which kinds of water are permissible for your chinchilla to avoid further 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.

It also doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy water that you use.

Any bottled water from the store and filtered water will be just fine, assuming it’s not carbonated.

It’s also important to discuss how to offer water to your chinchilla in the appropriate fashion, which is what I intend to cover next.

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, chinchillas drink out of water bottles.

Not only do chinchillas drink out of water bottles, but they need to be drinking out of water bottles.

Drinking out of a bowl or any other container can pose a risk and allow for other items in the cage to get into the water.

A water bottle is a 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 it’s advised against as mentioned previously.

A chinchilla drinking from a bowl has the chance of knocking over the bowl and spilling its water over into the cage.

Using a bowl also allows for the possibility that your chinchilla could end up knocking other debris inside of the cage into the water or even having other issues such as their own poop ending up in the water.

It’s a scenario that’s likely to contaminate the water and not the best solution.

I highly recommend always using a water bottle.

I personally always have 2 water bottles attached and filled in the cage.

I’m a big believer in always having an unlimited supply and then some 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 chinchilla consumes.

The general consensus is that a healthy and happy chinchilla will consume 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 dramatically decreasing or non-existent, 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 to give full transparency, I’m also not a licensed vet.

Therefore, I always recommend that you consult a vet as soon as possible if you do notice your chinchilla is no longer consuming fluids.

This could indicate an injury, an illness, or something difficult to spot from our point of view.

Instead of speculating, the best thing to always do in these life-threatening situations with your chinchilla is to consult a vet as soon as possible.

Plain and simple.

Unlimited Supply Always

I think I’ve made this relatively apparent throughout this post thus far, but I wanted to re-emphasis on the topic 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.

Here’s a link to check out the water bottles I use just in case you still need to get your own (Link to Amazon).

I don’t like the idea of her 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.

Ensure that you notice if water intake drastically changes and be willing to seek professional help if need be.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, water is vital and needs to be always offered to your chinchilla in unlimited supplies.

It needs to be monitored, and again, tap water should be avoided if possible.

Doing so ensures your chinchilla is getting clean, bacteria-free water and will have the next 15-20 years to share a special bond with you.

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 the readers to share any feedback that can help new chinchilla owners provide the best care possible and be the most aware 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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Below, I’ve detailed some closely related topics that you may interested in checking out.

Simply use the links to navigate to those blog posts on this site.



Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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