Imagine a completely bald chinchilla.
What a cool Instagram photo!
Let me stop you right there.
If you are considering shaving your chinchilla because it could look cool, don’t.
Losing its fur puts a chinchilla at serious risk.
So can you shave a chinchilla if you have a good reason?
Of course it is possible. But there are only a few good reasons for doing so, and it should usually be your last resort.
Keep reading to learn when you may need to shave your chinchilla and how to do so safely, if the need arises.
- 1 Can You Shave A Chinchilla?
- 2 Why You May Need To Shave Your Chinchilla
- 3 How To Shave Your Chinchilla
- 4 You Can Shave A Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
Can You Shave A Chinchilla?
Yes, you can shave your chinchilla. There are a handful of reasons why you might need to do so: in preparation for surgery, if it has extremely matted fur, if it has have an infection, or if you’ve discovered a foreign object in its fur.
If you are considering shaving your chinchilla’s fur just for fun, don’t. Seriously, this is extremely cruel and also dangerous. Chinchillas rely on their fur to keep them warm. Without it, your pet could easily freeze and die.
However, if you have a good reasons for shaving your pet’s fur, we’ll cover how to do it below. First, let’s look at the main reasons you might need to shave off your chinchilla’s fur coat.
Why You May Need To Shave Your Chinchilla
As mentioned, there are four main reasons you may need to shave your chinchilla’s coat off. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
In Preparation For Surgery
Your chinchilla may be booked in for treatment at your vet that requires removal of portions of its fur. Perhaps it is about to undergo some type of surgery, or it is scheduled for an ultrasound, because it is pregnant or has recently been injured.
If your chinchilla is about to have any type of surgery, the skin surface needs to be clean to avoid any contaminations. This means the hair needs to be removed.
And it’s not just about cleanliness. The fur can also get in the way of the vet as he or she performs the surgery. If your chinchilla does need to be shaved for medical purposes, the vet will usually do this for you.
Extremely Matted Fur
Matted fur can require you to shave your chinchilla. Matted fur usually arises from either a poor diet, a poor housing environment, or a lack of grooming.
Before you pull out the razor, my advice would be to first try and comb out the matted fur. You can gently tug at the fur with a metal comb and this should hopefully resolve the issue. Try not to tug too hard. You don’t want to harm your chinchilla!
If the matted fur does not get any better with combing, then it is severely matted and will need to be shaved. If the fur is extremely matted it could be hurting your chinchilla, especially if a big lump has formed close to the skin. Shaving the affected area is the only good solution.
Another reason you may need to shave your chinchilla is due to a fungal or bacterial infection. Your chinchilla may pick up one of these infections if its fur becomes damp and does not dry quickly enough. You may need to shave the fur, so that you can identify the infection and then apply an ointment or other treatment.
Foreign Object In Fur
Chinchillas are speedy animals. As a result, they sometimes accidentally run into sticky foreign objects. Examples of this might be sticky foods like jam or chewing gum.
Firstly, you should try combing out the foreign object to avoid any shaving. But if this does not solve the issue, then your chinchilla’s fur will no doubt need shaving. Shaving the fur will also allow you to clean the area, if the sticky substance has gone all the way to the skin.
How To Shave Your Chinchilla
You’re now probably wondering: how do I shave my chinchilla? There’s a simple way for you to do this, but you will need two sets of hands.
The best way to shave your chinchilla is to first wrap it carefully in a towel. This will stop it from kicking out and potentially injuring itself.
Next, have your extra set of hands hold your chinchilla, so that you can begin to shave the area in question.
Once you have shaved the area, your chinchilla should not show any distress. However, if it is a sensitive area, you may want to cool it with a cold compress, like a damp cloth.
Can You Trim Chinchilla Hair?
You can trim your chinchilla’s fur. If the fur needs trimming due to a foreign object or it being too matted to brush, and if the foreign object hasn’t gone all the way to the skin, then it may be easier for you to simply trim the fur, instead of shaving it completely. You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors and an extra set of hands, if your chinchilla is extra squirmish.
Do Chinchillas Need Haircuts?
Your chinchilla shouldn’t need haircuts. You can trim the fur if you need to remove something from it, but in general, your chinchilla’s fur shouldn’t continually grow to the point where it needs a regular haircut.
A chinchilla’s fur shouldn’t be styled in any way, because it may affect your pet’s body temperature. Its dense fur coat allows it to keep the right amount of heat in its body. If you tamper with the fur, it could make your chinchilla sick. It’s best to just leave it as it is, which also means less work for you as the owner.
Does A Chinchilla’s Fur Grow Back?
If your chinchilla’s hair has been removed due to it being shaved off or due to a fur slip, fear not. Your chinchilla’s fur will eventually re-grow.
During the first part of the hair growth cycle, the fur will appear short and stubbly, when it first begins to show through the skin. This is very similar to human hair. It will keep growing and growing until, after several months, your chinchilla’s hair will look just as it did before.
How Do You Get Rid Of Matted Chinchilla Fur?
There are a few ways you can get rid of matted chinchilla fur. The first way is by pulling at the hair. If you gently pull at the hair, it should come away easily.
But if it does not come away easily, do not persist. You will just cause your chinchilla stress or pain. The next step is to see if you can cut the matted ball. If you grab a pair of small, sharp scissors, you should be able to cut out the matted part of the fur.
If it looks as though the matted part has gone too close to the skin, the best thing you can do for your chinchilla is to shave this part of the fur. The closer it is to the skin, the more pain it could be causing your chinchilla, so you’re going to want to remove it as soon as possible.
You Can Shave A Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
You can certainly shave a chinchilla, but there are only a few good reasons to do so. Losing its fur can put it at risk of freezing.
The main reasons to remove a chinchilla’s fur are in preparation of surgery or if it has some issue with its fur. These issues include extreme mating that can’t be fixed by combing, an infection, or a foreign object in the fur that can’t be cut out.
If you do need to shave your chinchilla’s fur, make sure you have a second pair of hands to help you. You want the process to be as easy and stress-free on your pet as is possible.