As part of learning how to properly take good care of chinchillas, we think about the ways of keeping our little furry friends clean. But, Can Chinchillas Get Wet?
Keeping anything clean and hygienic is always associated with water and baths. So, you might be wondering, does your pet chinchilla need a water bath? But chinchilla and water don’t get along well, right? And maybe a lot more questions like these.
Now, you can bid goodbye to such questions because we are about to give you some essential information about why we should keep our chinchilla dry, helpful tips for water baths, and other important facts.
Why Can’t Chinchillas Get Wet
The chinchillas’ dense coat of fur tops the reasons why we can’t get them wet. When exposed to water, their fur becomes matted down, thick, and almost clumpy.
With over 80 hairs per follicle, drying them up after being in contact with excessive water takes a long time. This may lead to moisture penetrating deep down their undercoat, resulting in the risk of fungus growth and bacterial infections on their skin.
On top of that, our pets are not comfortable getting and remaining wet for any duration. Losing body heat may make them vulnerable to sicknesses such as hypothermia.
However, instances like getting a few drops of water, or becoming damp due to messy drinking cannot cause serious problems.
Can Chinchillas Swim in the Water?
In the wild, chinchillas use natural dust and dirt to bathe themselves, so they don’t swim across bodies of water for any essential purpose. Such reason is exactly what does not make them natural swimmers.
Moreover, as mentioned previously, chinchillas are protected by their dense coat of fur. When they jump into a body of water, they instantly get soaking wet. And certainly, when loads of fur get wet, they take up extra weight making them heavier. Chinchillas may drown because of this particular reason.
What to do if Chinchilla gets wet?
Some cases of getting chinchillas wet cannot be avoided. One of the most common reasons why our pets unintentionally get themselves wet is due to their water bottle leaking on them, or them just being naturally messy drinkers. Such instances are normal and for some, these happen quite frequently.
If your chinchilla happens to get wet for whatever reason, the most important solution to think of is how to dry them as quickly and as adequately as possible. But before trying out any method, make sure that your room temperature is set appropriately for this may also be an issue for your pet.
Let us now read through two of the most helpful drying methods.
- Towel Dry
Using a towel can be your first resort to dry off your wet pet. You may start it by gently rubbing the towel onto your pet’s sides. Make sure you do it carefully to avoid squeezing it. Continue by stroking it from head to tail. A few circular rubs along its body may also help too. After that, you may wrap the towel around your pet’s body to absorb water from the fur while preventing it from losing temperature quickly.
However, this does not fix your problem completely. Rubbing a towel alone cannot absorb all the moisture that might have seeped into their undercoat. If this seems to be the case, you can opt to try out another method.
Firstly, put your chinchilla in a comfortable area with your blow dryer ready. To let your pet stay still, distract it with some toys or good treats it can chew on while you’re performing the process. You don’t have to worry about them hating getting blow-dried because it is believed that most chinchillas enjoy it.
You may want to dry your pet quickly so you might think that setting your dryer at the highest temperature can get rid of your problem, but, this might just bring more harm to your pet. Instead, choose the lowest setting possible. Also, keep the dyer at least half a meter away from your pet. While you blow-dry them, lightly brushing their fur with your hand or a grooming comb can also speed up the process. Taking breaks every 60 seconds or more is also recommended to ensure that they aren’t exposed to warm air for long periods.
Can You Bathe a Chinchilla?
Chinchillas bathe in dust rather than in water. Normally, their body produces natural oils, but if their body creates too much, they roll around in the dust to clean themselves. Dust bathing is their natural way of keeping their fur dry and clean.
You can avail appropriate bags of dust in pet stores and always go after the brands that are proven and tested. Unsuitable dust in your chinchilla bath may cause irritation and itching. It is also highly advisable to change the dust every time your pet bathes.
Water baths should be completely avoided, however, if instances such as getting exposed to harmful substances or getting their fur covered in wet poo occur, a simple dust bath may not resolve the problem. It can also lead to smelliness!
You may first try wiping off the substance or wet dirt with a damp towel. But, after a few tries, if the situation does not appear to get better, and giving your pet a quick water bath is what is left to do, you may, as long as you take proper precautions.
To do so, only use gentle baby shampoos without any sulfate ingredients. Be cautious of your water’s temperature as well, ideal is lukewarm water as it is not too hot and not too cold for your pet. Gently rub the fur and scrub at all times. Once you can get rid of the dirt or substance, rinse your pet thoroughly. Make sure you don’t expose your chinchilla to water for a long duration. After finishing the bath, towel dry, blow dry and dust bathe your chinchilla properly.
Water is not our pet’s best friend. They shouldn’t be exposed to excessive water which can cause trouble to their fur and overall health.
However, chances of getting themselves wet unintentionally are not zero, and a few cases may also require quick water baths. So, it is best to equip yourselves with the right knowledge on how to deal with them in such situations.
We are glad to have answered your questions and hopefully, we have helped you navigate into taking care of your pets better. After all, we want nothing but a safe and healthy environment for our little chinchillas.