We all want to do what we can to keep our pets as happy and healthy as possible.
But knowing how to accomplish that can be tough.
If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time reading forums or FB groups on chinchilla care.
Unfortunately, those can sometimes make things more confusing.
The various answers you see to the question “Do chinchillas need a salt lick?” is a perfect example.
Some chinchilla owners will tell you they’re vital, while others will tell you they’re deadly.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between. Where exactly?
Keep reading to learn if chinchillas need a salt lick, or if it is nice to have, but not necessary, or if it is something to avoid altogether.
Do Chinchillas Need A Salt Lick?
No, chinchillas do not need a salt lick. They could easily consume far too much salt in a short period of time, which can lead to health problems, like kidney stones.
While salt licks are not necessary for chinchillas, that doesn’t mean you can never give you pet a salt lick. They are not entirely off-limits.
Here’s what I mean.
You are always going to get mixed answers on the internet depending on the individual chinchilla owners you speak to.
Some chinchilla owners have used salt licks in moderation and never had any issues.
Others have done the same thing and ended up having a chinchilla with a bladder stone or other serious health concern.
Personally, I do not like the idea of using a salt lick. I believe that chinchilla owners who used them and had no issues may have just been lucky.
Overall, I recommend avoiding salt licks for chinchillas in all circumstances. The reason for that is not just the potential danger. It’s also that chinchillas simply don’t need a salt lick.
The reason chinchillas don’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 should be eating here.
A salt lick isn’t necessary to provide any additional nutrients. And the chances of it doing more harm than good are relatively high and just not worth it.
That said, I know that other chinchilla owners may tell you a completely different story. If you do decide to use a salt lick, just be careful.
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 Himalayan 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 to steer clear from these as well.
Many products are advertised that they are safe for chinchillas, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Any type of salt just brings with it too much potential for health issues.
The same can be said for chinchilla treats, in terms of the packaging often stating that they are perfectly safe, when in fact, they are not.
It’s imperative to always read all nutritional labels and double-check by consulting a vet anytime you have and doubts or concerns.
Additional Tips For Providing Your Chinchilla The Nutrition It Needs
If you are concerned that your chinchilla may not be getting the correct nutrients, the best approach is to stick to the basics.
Monitor your chinchilla for a few days, or up to a week, and make sure it is eating its hay and pellets regularly.
These two food sources alone should be providing everything your chinchilla needs to thrive. They combine to form the perfect healthy and balanced diet for chinchillas.
If you are looking for more mental stimulation or want 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.
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.
Chinchillas Do Not Need Salt Licks: Final Thoughts
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 mentioned, 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. You simply don’t need salt licks, since chinchillas get all the nutrition they need from those two primary food sources.
If you are ever in doubt about what’s best for your chinchilla, simply ask a professional (i.e. a vet) and discuss your concerns.
I wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas!
Do you have something to share with the rest of us?
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!