Wondering what your new pet chinchilla needs to remain happy and healthy after the adoption is entirely normal.
I was the same way.
As a matter of fact, I remember one specific question I had in the beginning.
Do chinchillas need a salt lick?
I’ve owned my chinchilla for quite some time now, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
So, do chinchillas need a salt lick? No, chinchillas do not need a salt lick. Salt licks can cause health problems, including kidney stones with chinchillas and it’s possible they consume to much salt within a short period of time.
Now that we have the primary question answered and out of the way, it’s important for a new chinchilla owner to understand what a chinchilla does need.
To make your life easy, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.
Here’s what on the lesson plan for today’s post:
- Do Chinchillas Need a Salt Lick?
- Best Practices with Salt Licks for Chinchillas
- Himalayan Salt for Chinchillas
- Other Methods to Implement
- Final Words of Advice
As stated previously, if you are in a time crunch, feel free to use any of those links directly above to skip to any section of this post.
Otherwise, if you have about 2-minutes to spare, I will break down salt licks and when you should and should not offer them to your chinchillas.
Here is what you need to know.
Do Chinchillas Need a Salt Lick
I know we touched on this previously to open this post.
I did, however, want to go into a bit more detail on the topic.
Here’s the deal.
Salt licks are not necessary for chinchillas, but that doesn’t mean you can never implement a salt lick or that they are entirely off-limits.
Here’s what I mean.
You are always going to get mixed answers on the internet based on the individual chinchilla owners you speak to.
Some chinchilla owners have used them in moderation and never had any issues.
I firmly believe that other chinchilla owners may have just had a lucky experience and that overall, salt licks needed to be avoided for chinchillas in all circumstances.
Others have done the same thing and ended up having a chinchilla with a bladder stone or other serious health concerns.
The reason a chinchilla doesn’t need a salt lick is simple.
They get all the nutrients that they need from a well-balanced diet.
You can read more about what chinchillas eat and should be eating here.
A good balance and the best chinchilla hay, in addition to the correct chinchilla pellets, will get the job done.
A salt lick isn’t necessary to provide any of the additional nutrients.
The chances of it doing more harm than good are relatively high and just not worth it.
However, keep in mind, another chinchilla owner may tell you a completely different story.
Best Practices with Salt Licks for Chinchillas
This will be short and sweet for you guys.
The best practice when using salt licks for your chinchillas is NOT to USE THEM.
Stick to the basics and rely on hay, pellets, and the occasional treat.
It creates one less thing to worry about, and overall, will keep your chinchilla safer from any potential health complications.
Himalayan Salt for Chinchillas
This is also going to be a short and sweet explanation for you.
Should chinchillas have Himalayan salt or salt licks?
No, chinchillas do not need Himalayan salt licks or Himalayan salt.
Although they may seem to enjoy them if you have used them in the past, it’s still best practice to steer clear from these as well.
Many products are advertised that they are safe for chinchillas, but that doesn’t really mean anything.
The same can be said for chinchilla treats.
It’s always imperative to read all nutritional labels and double-check any doubt by consulting a vet if you have any concerns.
Other Methods to Implement for Your Chinchilla
If you are concerned that your chinchilla may not be getting the correct nutrients, the best approach is to stick to your basics.
Monitor your chinchilla for a few days or up to a week and make sure they are eating their hay and pellets regularly.
These two food sources alone should be providing everything your chinchilla needs to thrive and to ensure they have a healthy and balanced diet.
If you are looking for more mental stimulation or wanting to offer your chinchilla salt licks purely because you believe they enjoy them and have fun with them inside of their cage, you also have other options.
I’d simply use hay cubes, safe wood chew sticks, and other safe items within the cage for your chinchilla to chew.
This helps not only with providing your chinchilla something to do but also encourages and promotes healthy teeth grinding and doesn’t run the risk of causing any illness or harm to your chinchilla in the long run.
Final Words of Advice
As stated previously, some chinchilla owners may advise that salt licks are permitted and not a big deal to use.
I, however, disagree and wouldn’t recommend them.
This isn’t necessarily due to a problem story I’ve had when using salt licks but more due to the lack of problems I’ve had using basic common sense and the recommended products we discussed previously in this post.
As I illustrated previously in the post, this includes hay, pellets, and other safe items for your chinchilla to chew and digest.
You are doing this to ensure optimal health and nutrition for your chin.
If you are ever in doubt about what’s best for your chinchilla, simply refer to calling a professional (vet) and discussing your concerns.
I wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas!
Your Turn to Share Thoughts and Stories
Do you believe salt licks should be used for a chinchilla?
Why or why not?
Be sure to share your stories, thoughts, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by to read our post.
We will see you next time!