Dust baths are a blast!
For your chinchilla and for you.
Chinchillas love them and you can see how much fun they have every second they’re in one. And watching your pet have such a good time makes you feel happy too.
On top of that, dust baths are the best (and only good) way to ensure your chinchilla stays clean and healthy.
It’s a true win-win situation all around.
But you do need to know how to give a chinchilla a dust bath the right way.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for that.
Keep reading to learn how to properly give a dust bath, plus everything else you need to know about dust baths for chinchillas.
- 1 How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath
- 1.1 Step 1: Understanding The Importance Of Dust Baths
- 1.2 Step 2: Get The Items Needed For A Chinchilla Dust Bath
- 1.3 Step 3: Get Your Chinchilla Out Of The Cage And Give It Access To The Dust Bath
- 1.4 Step 4: Ensure The Room You Use Is Safe And Chinchilla Proofed
- 1.5 Step 5: Do Not Use The Bath Inside The Cage
- 1.6 Make Dust Baths Routine For Your Chinchilla
- 1.7 How Long Should The Dust Bath Last?
- 1.8 Reusing Dust If Necessary
- 1.9 How Long Can A Chinchilla Go Without A Dust Bath?
- 2 How To Give A Dust Bath: Final Thoughts
How To Give A Chinchilla A Dust Bath
We’re going to go through the entire process step by step. That way you can simply follow along with the steps and by the end of the article, your chinchilla will be having a blast in its first dust bath!
Step 1: Understanding The Importance Of Dust Baths
Let’s start with an easy step. Because the truth is: 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 to 20 minutes to complete the process.
Despite the ease, it is an essential part of the care you need to provide to your chinchilla throughout its life.
Their fur is incredibly dense, which means water isn’t effective at cleaning them. That is why they use dust in the wild. And also why you need to use dust in your home.
The most essential part about learning how to give a chinchilla a dust bath is simply understanding what items you need to get the job done correctly. Let’s cover those details next.
Step 2: Get The Items Needed For A Chinchilla Dust Bath
To give your chinchilla a 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. You can also use a simple kitchen bowl allows you to place 2 inches of chinchilla dust inside, but this will get a bit messier.
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 is 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.
These enclosures are specifically designed for chinchillas, are breathable, and help trap most of the dust inside of the container, which makes your clean up job much easier.
Again, if you do not have a dust bath house yet, you are perfectly fine to use a substitute from your own kitchen, like a large cooking bowl.
Once you have your dust bathhouse, you are also going to need dust that is specially formulated for chinchillas and contains volcanic pumice. The pumice is what removes 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 It 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 itself 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 You Use Is Safe And Chinchilla Proofed
You also want to ensure that your chinchilla is using its dust bath in a chinchilla proofed room. I have a guide that can help you with the chinchilla proofing process. You can see it here.
The reason 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 a bit, 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: Do Not Use The Bath Inside The Cage
I also do not recommend offering your chinchilla its dust bath while inside of its 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 the food and hay.
To keep the cage cleaner and ensure the food is not covered in dust, I highly recommend always allowing your pet to take its dust bath outside of the cage.
Another option you can consider is a playpen for your chinchilla, when it is out of the cage. You can use this for playtime and also for the dust bath.
I used this playpen below for quite some, until I got around to chin-proofing an entire side of my basement for my chinchilla to play in, interact with me, and take her beloved dust baths.
Make Dust Baths Routine For Your Chinchilla
Scheduling your chinchilla’s dust bath is also a critical step in the process, to ensure it is 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 third day, or twice a week. Ideally, your chinchilla should have 2 to 4 dust baths per week.
This is going to be enough to keep them in top hygiene but an extra bath here and there can never hurt.
How Long Should The Dust Bath Last?
Some people will give you a fixed number in response to this question. But that’s ridiculous and almost certainly coming from someone who does not actually own a chinchilla.
Your chinchilla will let you know when it is 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 to 10 minutes and 4 to 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 and returning them to their cage.
So, the short answer to the question is this: let them tell you when they are done with their dust bath. But never let it get too long or it could end up drying out their fur.
Reusing Dust If Necessary
It is okay to reuse your chinchilla dust, assuming that no poop or other clumpy debris is inside it. Some people actually 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 that reusing it makes much sense.
I simply dump the dust out in a garbage can (wear a mask, because some types of chinchilla dust can be harmful), 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 push the intervals past about 3 days.
While your chinchilla may be fine if it had to go longer, it is not the best practice and not the best way to ensure it remains clean, and its 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.
How To Give A Dust Bath: Final Thoughts
As you can see from this post, learning how to give a chinchilla a dust bath is not overly complicated.
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.