If you just purchased a chinchilla, you may be curious about how you bathe a chinchilla and if they can get wet or not.
I had the same questions when I adopted my chinchilla roughly 5 years ago and it is part of learning how to take care of a chinchilla properly.
Can chinchillas get wet?
I have now owned my chinchilla for 5+ years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
No, a chinchilla should not get wet. Chinchilla’s cannot take traditional baths in water. If a chinchilla gets wet, it can cause fungal infections and other illnesses. You need to remove any water or dampness if your chinchilla does happen to get wet.
In most situations, you will not have any issues related to this topic and a chinchilla will typically not get wet for any reason nor should they.
However, it is important for you to understand what to do if your chinchilla does get wet and to understand some common reasons why they may get wet in the first place.
That is exactly what I plan to cover in the rest of this brief 2-minute post.
- Can Chinchillas Get Wet and Why Chinchillas Can’t Get Wet
- Chinchillas Should Not Get Wet So Avoid Water Baths
- What Happens If A Chinchilla Gets Wet
- What To Do If Your Chinchilla Gets Wet
- Do Chinchillas Get Wet in The Wild?
- Chinchillas Can’t and Should Not Get Wet, If They Do, Be Sure To Remedy The Situation Quickly
If you only need limited information or want to skip around, feel free to do so using the links directly above.
Otherwise, provide me those 2 minutes and I will 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 will have a clear understanding of the dangers of getting a chinchilla wet and how to keep your chinchilla’s hygiene in top shape the correct way.
Here are the details you need to understand.
Can Chinchillas Get Wet and Why Chinchillas Can’t Get Wet
First and foremost, chinchillas and water do not get along very well.
Hence, a chinchilla should never get wet.
With over 80 hairs per follicle, I can’t blame them for not wanting any water in or around their dense coats of fur.
Even small amounts of water can remain damp on a chinchilla for hours after it occurs (more on this later).
A chinchilla’s fur will have difficulties drying to the denseness we just discussed.
It is also a reason chinchilla’s have problems handling heat and have the inability to sweat.
If a chinchilla does get wet, the fur will 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 not comfortable for a chinchilla to get wet or remain wet for any duration of time.
Don’t expect your chinchilla to be overly happy or friendly if they do get wet.
Well, at least until you have fixed the situation which we will discuss here shortly.
Chinchilla’s Should Not Get Wet So Avoid Water Baths
New chinchillas owners are also often curious if chinchillas can have a water bath or not.
No, chinchilla can’t have a water bath.
Additionally, chinchillas should never take a water bath.
Chinchillas can’t dry themselves quickly or adequately as we have discussed thus far.
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.
You can view my recommendations for the best chinchilla dust and dust bathhouses here if you need further information.
The solution to never using water on your chinchilla is merely to offer your chinchilla regular dust baths.
The specialized dust designed for chinchillas will absorb oils and keep your chinchilla odor-free.
All you need to do is just place the dust inside of a chinchilla dust bath bowl and let them out of their cage to utilize it correctly.
Be sure that your chinchilla is in a safe room where they won’t run away.
You also want to use a room 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
Exposed durations of being damp or wet can bring on illness or fungal infections to chinchillas.
It is very difficult to dry your chinchilla quickly after becoming wet, which makes the chance or viral infection or another illness taking place is even higher.
If this does take place, do not panic.
First, we are going to cover what to do if your chinchilla gets wet here in just a moment.
Secondly, anytime you think that your chinchilla has run the chance of becoming ill due to becoming wet, you should be in contact with your vet.
They are going to offer the best solutions for the illness that may have been caused.
The sooner you can intervene and get this taken care of, the better.
What To Do If Your Chinchilla Gets Wet
One of the most common reasons a chinchilla will get wet unintentionally is due to their water bottle dripping or leaking on them.
This is normal and sometimes your chinchilla does move from the water path making them get at least relatively wet or sometimes excessively wet.
Before diving into what to do once your chinchilla is wet, make sure you are regularly checking the water bottle for any issues such as excessive dripping or leaking.
It happens quite frequently and can be easily fixed by simply getting a new water bottle.
If your chinchilla does happen to get wet for whatever the reason may be, be sure to dry them adequately and as quickly as possible.
I am not sure why other blogs state never to use a blow dryer but you certainly can if your chinchilla is wet enough to be concerned.
I have done it and had no issues as a cause of it.
However, I was very careful and it is important that you are too.
Make sure that the blow-dryer is on the lowest setting and kept a decent distance away from your chinchilla while drying.
You can also take breaks during the blow-drying process every 60 seconds or so to ensure that they aren’t exposed to the warm air for too long.
You also want to do this in a relatively cool room under 70 degrees if possible.
This is to ensure that the room temperature in addition to your low-setting and distance-kept blow-dryer does not cause too much heat for your chinchilla.
Chinchillas need to remain at an ideal temperature or they run the risk of overheating very quickly.
I think you can see where I’m going with this.
A blow dryer in addition to a hot room could easily become an issue for a chinchilla.
I would also recommend lightly brushing your chinchilla while doing this to speed up the process.
Do Chinchillas Get Wet in The Wild?
No, chinchillas rarely get wet in the wild.
Chinchillas are native to high altitudes and high elevations in the Andes Mountains.
This geographic location is not exposed to much precipitation or rain.
Chinchilla’s in the wild are also masters of hiding and finding cover which allows them to stay protected from the weather elements and the 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 to help keep your chinchilla as clean as possible.
It’s rare that either of these is controlled in a fashion where they pee in a litter box although it is possible.
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.
No water and a chinchilla should not get wet.
Dust baths only.
Clean your Chinchilla cage.
Pretty simple right?
Most of the time, as far as other hygiene care your chinchilla will groom themselves.
Chinchillas Can’t And Should Not Get Wet, If They Do, Be Sure To Remedy The Situation Quickly
At the end of the day, taking care of a chinchilla is easy.
It’s one of the reasons they make such good 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.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and the journey you have ahead of you.
Share Your Thoughts About Chinchillas Getting Wet And How You Handled It
Do you have any additional information you think needs mentioned about a chinchilla getting wet?
Have you had any other situations where your chinchilla got wet?
How did you handle it?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you next time.