Can Chinchillas Get Wet? [Critical Things to Avoid]


In the very beginning, becoming a new pet owner can be stressful. If you just purchased a chinchilla, you may even be curious if they can get wet or not.

That’s normal.

You don’t know some answers to critical questions about how to safely and ethically raise a new pet.

Chinchillas are no different in this aspect.

I was the same way and turned to online sources to find the best possible answers.

When I first got my chinchilla, the question I had was relatively simple. Can chinchillas get wet?

Well, now after owning a chinchilla for quite some time and some diligent research, here is what I can tell you on this topic

So, can chinchillas get wet? No, a chinchilla cannot get wet. A chinchilla should not get wet under any circumstances. Chinchillas have extremely dense fur which holds water or wetness on the fur and will dry very slowly. A chinchilla getting wet can lead to fungal infections, respiratory infections and potentially even death.

If you just purchased your chinchilla or perhaps are purchasing a chinchilla very soon, you may be more curious about this topic and want some additional information.

That’s exactly what I plan on delivering here today for you.

I want to cover everything you need to know about chinchillas getting wet, the harm it can cause and what to do instead.

Hopefully, by the end of this post, you have a clear understanding of the dangers of getting a chinchilla wet.

This post will also help to understand the safer alternatives that you should exercise to keep your chinchilla happy, healthy and safe.

All while exercising the best practices for maintaining your chinchilla’s hygiene.

Let’s dive into the details and give you a more in-depth breakdown.

Chinchillas Getting Wet is An Absolute Mistake, Don’t Do It.

First and foremost, chinchillas and water do not get along very well.

With over 80 hairs per follicle, I can’t blame them for not wanting any water in or around their dense coats of fur.

The smallest amounts of water can really make chinchillas very damp or feel much more watered down so to speak than a different animal that may experience this situation.

Chinchilla fur is also going to dry extremely slow. It’s going to become matted down, thick and almost clumpy.

When a chinchilla remains wet for too long, you begin running into other issues such as illnesses that your chinchilla may develop from remaining wet for extended periods of time.

Not to mention, it’s just purely uncomfortable for your chinchilla to be wet, and they will not be very friendly or happy during this time.

Can Chinchillas Have a Water Bath?

No, chinchilla can’t have a water bath.

Additionally, chinchillas should never take a water bath.

Chinchillas can’t dry themselves quickly or adequately.

A water bath runs the risk of your chinchilla getting fungal infections, respiratory infections and makes your chinchilla extremely uncomfortable.

You need to use specialized chinchilla dust only to keep your chinchilla clean.

Wetness or Water Can Bring Illness to Chinchillas

Exposed durations of being damp or wet can bring on illness or fungal infections in many animals.

Not just chinchillas.

However, considering it’s nearly impossible to dry your chinchilla quickly after becoming wet, the chance or a viral infection or another illness taking place is even higher.


A-Dust Bath is The Only Bath Your Chinchilla Should Be Taking

The solution to never using water on your chinchilla is merely to offer your chinchilla regular dust baths.

Dust baths work for chinchillas better than water.

The specialized dust designed for chinchillas will absorb oils and keep your chinchilla clean and odor free.

All you need to do is just place the dust inside of a chinchilla dust bath bowl and let them go to town.

Be sure that your chinchilla is in a safe room where they won’t run away, and that has been chinchilla proofed to avoid injuries or other potential harm.

Nonetheless, a simple dust bath will keep your chinchilla smelling clean, looking clean and avoid ever running into the potential hazards that water can present to our furry and cuddly chinchillas.

What Happens If a Chinchilla Gets Wet?

If your chinchilla gets wet, they will not be able to dry.

It takes a long time for a dense coat of chinchilla fur to dry.

When this is the case, your chinchilla will become extremely uncomfortable and could develop a fungal or respiratory infection due to not drying adequately.

You should always avoid water around your chinchilla and only offer your chinchilla to bathe in the dust.

Not water.

Never Use a Blow Dryer on Your Chinchilla If They Get Wet

If your chinchilla does happen to get wet for whatever the reason may be, be sure never to use a blow dryer.

Chinchillas need to remain at an ideal temperature and run the risk of overheating very quickly.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

A blow dryer is an absolute never do for your chinchilla.

Doing so could easily result in heatstroke or death.

If you feel you have already a mistake with either the water or the blow-drying discussion we just had, I recommend taking your chinchilla to a vet as soon as possible.

Do Chinchillas Get Wet in The Wild?

No, chinchillas rarely get wet in the wild.

Chinchillas are native to high altitudes and high elevations.

These geographic locations are not exposed to much rain.

Additionally, chinchillas use natural dust and dirt to bathe themselves in the wild opposed to the commercially purchased chinchilla dust we use in our homes to care for our chinchillas.

Additional Chinchilla Grooming Tips for Your Chinchilla

Outside of never getting your chinchilla wet, you have a few other things you can do help keep your chinchilla as clean as possible.

First, chinchillas do poop, and chinchillas do pee.

It’s rare that either of these is controlled in a fashion where they pee in a litter box although it is possible.

Yes, a chinchilla can be potty trained.

However, my point is simple.

If you want to keep your chinchilla clean, make sure you keep up with regular cage cleanings for your chinchilla as often possible.

Trust me, your chinchilla wants to remain clean too and doesn’t prefer to sleep in their own urine or poop day in and day out.

So, let’s recap on these main points.

Dust baths only.

Clean your Chinchilla cage.

Pretty simple right?

Lastly, you don’t need to take many extra steps in most circumstances to perform any additional work such as brushing your chinchilla.

Most of the time your chinchilla will groom themselves.

Outside of the regular dust baths and the only time you would need to brush your chinchilla is if their hair is overly clumpy, or matted down.

One last reason to do so maybe because you suspect they may have fleas and your trying to investigate even further.

And purely because some chinchillas just love being brushed.

Plenty of Dust and Clean Cages Will Always Be Better Than Water For a Chinchilla

At the end of the day, taking care of a chinchilla is easy.

It’s one of the reasons they make such fantastic pets.

They are loving and just need some attention, dust baths and a clean and safe environment, and they will be perfectly happy with you.

Always avoid water on or around your chinchilla, and you will be just fine.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out the related questions area below.

I try not to allow the readers to leave without answering a topic as genuinely as possible to ensure we are all being the best most ethical, responsible chinchilla owners possible.

What’s your experience with water getting on your chinchilla?

How did you handle it?

Be sure to drop a comment below an as always, thanks for reading.




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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