How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath [Step By Step Guide]

Part of understanding how to take care of a chinchilla means you are up to speed with a few different items and tasks that you need to complete each week with your chinchilla.

One of those tasks involves making sure your chinchilla remains at peak hygiene and that you provide the ability to for your chinchilla to remain clean keeping that luxurious fur oil-free and soft as ever.

Learning how to give a chinchilla dust bath is how you do this, and it is essential that you understand the basics of the process.

While it is easy to do, you still have some things you need to keep in mind during the process.

The rest of this brief post is designed to break down the process of giving a chinchilla a dust bath for you step by step.

More specifically, I have broken down this post in the following manner for you:

If you want to skip around through the post, feel free to do so using the links provided for you directly above.


Otherwise, give me about 3 minutes, and I will break down the process and have you understanding exactly how to give your chinchilla a dust bath in the best possible fashion.

Here are the details and steps you need to understand.

How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath Overview and Step by Step

Step 1– Understanding Why Chinchillas Use Dust Baths

Giving a chinchilla a dust bath is nothing to get overly concerned over.

Learning how to provide your chinchilla dust bath is extremely easy.

It does not take more than about 15-20 minutes to complete the process, and it is an essential part of the care that needs to be provided to your chinchilla throughout their lives.

Not to mention, they love it.

Dust, for a chinchilla, is what they are accustomed to in the wild and helps to remove grease, debris, and other buildups inside of their fur.

The most essential part about learning how to give a chinchilla a dust bath is simply understanding what you will need to get the job done correctly.

Let’s cover those details next.

Step 2- Having the Correct Items Needed for A Chinchilla Dust Bath

The Items Necessary to Offer A Dust Bath

To give your chinchilla dust bath, you are going to need a few items.

First, you want to find a suitable dust bathhouse for your chinchilla.

The dust bath house ideally needs to be large enough to allow for 2 inches of dust inside of it.

You can also use a simple kitchen bowl that will allow you to place 2 inches of chinchilla dust inside.

You also want to make sure that the dust bath enclosure or house is breathable to ensure overheating or heat stroke does not occur.

Your best bet when looking for the best chinchilla dust bath house it to refer to my guide breaking down the dust bathhouses, I recommend.

You can also use that guide to ensure you purchase the correct chinchilla dust as well.

You can view this guide here.

These enclosures are specifically designed for chinchillas, are breathable, and help to trap some of the dust inside of the container as they roll around and get clean, which makes your clean up job much easier.

However, again, if you do not have a dust bath house yet, you are perfectly fine to use a substitute from your own kitchen, such as a large cooking bowl.

Once you have your dust bathhouse, you are also going to need the dust that is specially formulated for chinchillas and contains volcanic pumice.

This is how they remove the oils from their fur and is a replica of what they would use in the wild.

Step 3- Get Your Chinchilla Out of The Cage and Give Them Access to The Dust Bath

Once you have your dust purchased and your dust bath ready to go, your next step is to get your chinchilla out of the cage to enjoy the dust bath and get themselves clean.

If you need information about learning how to get your chinchilla in and out of the cage with ease, be sure to read my guide here.

Step 4- Ensure the Room Your Using Is Safe and Chinchilla Proofed

You also want to ensure that your chinchilla is using their dust bath in a chinchilla proofed room.

I also have a guide that can help you with the chinchilla proofing process that you can see here.

The reason being for this is that it is common for your chinchilla to go crazy in the dust for a moment, then exit the dust bath, run around for a moment, and then return to the bath.

While they are doing their thing and out of the dust bath, you want to ensure that they are out of harm’s way.

Step 5- Ensure You Do Not Use the Bath Inside of The Cage If Possible.

I also do not recommend ever offering your chinchilla their dust bath while inside of their chinchilla cage.

The reason for this is simple.

The dust that comes out into the air and exits the dust bathhouse is going to get all over the cage, your fleece liners or bedding, and on their food and hay.

To keep the cage cleaner and ensure their food is not covered in dust, I highly recommend always allowing them to take their dust bath outside of the cage.

Another option you can consider is a playpen for your chinchilla when they are out of the cage for them to take their dust bath inside.

I used this one here (Link to Amazon) for quite some time before offering up an entire side of my basement for her to do her thing in that I had proofed and made safe for her to play and interact.

Scheduling and Making Dust Baths Routine for Your Chinchilla

Scheduling your chinchilla’s dust bath is also a critical step in the process to ensure they are getting them often enough to remain clean and oil-free.

I personally prefer to give my chinchilla dust bath every 3 days.

Never has she declined this invitation to get out of the cage and take her dust bath, and I doubt your chinchilla will either.

They love them, and they have fun when rolling around in their dust.

At a minimum, I would offer a dust bath to your chinchilla every 3rd day or twice a week.

This is going to be enough to keep them in top hygiene but one extra here and there can never hurt.

How Long Should the Dust Bath Last?

Some individuals or other blogs will give you a number when it comes to this question.

I think this is silly or coming from someone who does not actually own a chinchilla.

Your chinchilla will let you know when they are done and feeling good about the dust bath.

Typically, I will have the dust container out in her play area for about 15 minutes.

She is generally done and no longer interested after about 7-10 minutes and 4-5 rounds of rolling around in the dust.

While they love their dust baths, they are also very smart animals.

They will let you know if you are paying attention when they are okay with you taking the dust bath away or returning them to their cage.

So, the short answer to the question, let them tell you when they are done with their dust bath but never let it get too long to avoid drying out their fur.


Using and Reusing Dust If Necessary

It is okay to reuse your chinchilla dust, assuming that no poop or other clumpy debris is inside of the dust.

Some individuals even strain the dust to remove the poop and debris to re-use.

I personally do not reuse dust with my chinchilla.

I am not saying you must follow this advice; I just do not believe the dust is that expensive to require doing so.

I simply dump the dust out in a garbage can, wipe down the dust bath container and then refill it for the next dust bath.

However, feel free to reuse the dust if you prefer to save a few bucks, but be sure to change it out when it begins looking clumpy of filled with other debris.

How Long Can A Chinchilla Go Without A Dust Bath?

I am honestly not sure how long a chinchilla could technically go without a dust bath.

I would not be pushing the intervals past about 3 days.

While they may be fine if they had to go longer, it is not the best practice and not the best way to ensure they remain clean, and their fur remains bacteria and oil-free.

Stick to a few times a week, and you will be fine and should never have any issues with your chinchilla related to the dust bath or dust bath routine.

Final Thoughts

As you can see from this post, learning how to give a chinchilla a dust bath is not overly complicated.

With a bit of preparation, understanding what supplies you need, and choosing a solid routine is about all you need.

Chinchillas make for good family pets, and a dust bath is something they certainly enjoy.

Be sure to offer it to them at the correct intervals to protect that skin and fur and make your chinchilla happy rolling around and having a blast!

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope the dust bath experience is fun for you and your new chinchilla.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any further advice or recommendations you can share about giving your chinchilla a dust bath?

Any steps you feel have been left out of the process?

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 again next time.

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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