Monday, March 10, 2014

How to Bathe a Chinchilla

Chinchillas are small mammals or rodents that are native to the Andes Mountains in South America. They live at high altitudes in cold temperatures, which is one of the reasons why they have such lush fur coats. They are also excellent jumpers, making them good at climbing rocks.

Photo via Carlos Gracia

If you've never touched the super soft fur of a Chinchilla, you are really missing out! Unfortunately, it's one of the reasons they are popular candidates for fur coats but I think their fur looks much better on them than any human. 

So how do Chinchillas keep their coats pristine and clean? With a bath of course! But Chinchillas don't take baths with your typical soap and water. Nope. They take their baths with dust. 

You can buy special dust for Chinchillas to bathe in at most pet stores. Then, just add some dust to a bowl and watch the fun (and cute) begin. A Chinchilla will roll around in the dust, bathing themselves in it. Check out the video below. It's of two baby Chinchillas taking their very first dust bath. 

Warning: This video may cause excessive ooo-ing and awwww-ing!


So, as you can see bathing a Chinchilla is pretty simple. They mostly do all the work themselves. It does make a small mess, oddly enough. 

Why do Chinchillas bathe themselves in dust anyways? It sure does seem like a strange way to keep clean. First of all, a dust bath is thought to be relaxing and fun for a Chinchilla. Just like your fancy bubble bath. More importantly, it helps keep their skin and coat healthy by absorbing excess oils and dirt. 

I know some dogs and cats out there who are jealous of the cute little Chinchilla critters after hearing about their dust baths. Wouldn't it be great to roll around in dust and NOT have to take a wet bath afterwards? 

26 comments:

  1. We had a chinchilla as a class pet in (I think) sixth grade. I loved that little guy AND was always fascinated by the "baths." I think it have the pre-teen boys the wrong idea about bathing though... :)

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    1. That's a pretty cool class pet! And lol with the boys hehe :)

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  3. That is a seriously cute little one!

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  4. It seems I'm always learning something new on your blog!! I had no idea they take dust baths. That's really interesting. Thanks for sharing, Ann :)

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  5. Now next time I roll in dirt I am going to tell my peeps I am bathing chinchilla style LOL. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  6. The cute factor on those little guys goes way up into the red zone for extremely adorable!

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  7. I LOVE Chinchillas!! But I've never actually met one. Hopefully some day!

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  8. They are very cool little pets. Some of them have a 'tude, but still lovable nonetheless.

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  9. Awwwww!!!!! I SO want one!!!!!!

    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  10. Never thought we would have to know this but its fun! Birds take dust baths too. When there isn't any rain I see them flopping around in the dirt. We feel sorry for them and keep a bird bath. Love Dolly

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    1. Oh yea, those birds do take dust baths sometimes! Especially chickens I think.

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  11. Mom has always been an animal person, my Gramma not at all. When Mom started having gerbils, rabbits, a cat and so on, she suggested Mom raise Chinchillas. Mom read all about them but then figured out what Gramma meant by raising them (for the fur) and she backed out. They are such cute and furry little critters she said. She wishes she had at least had one as a pet.

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    1. Well, I don't think I could raise them for that either. They can live a very long time too - 20 years!

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  12. Cute! I've never petted a chinchilla. Would love to pet a live one. (Would hate to pet a coat!) Rita says she is on board with the dust bath idea!

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  13. Adorable, sounds much better than a wet bath!

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  14. My sister's Pomeranian must think she's a chinchilla, she is forever rolling around in the dust just like that! Super cute video!

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  15. They are seriously cute, just a shame humans use there fur for coats we can be so cruel at times.

    Sheba.

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    1. I know... I start to think about just how many Chinchillas it would take to make a coat... they really are not that big =/

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  16. If they like dust, they should check out my office UTB. *koff koff* Wonder if humans who wear their fur know about this. MOL!

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    1. Haha... maybe they should check out my bedroom too... I swear I just wiped off my desk the other day and it's already dusty again.

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  17. Fascinating!!! Allie tried to do that on Sunday. It got warm up here (woot! 70!) and she went out to the driveway with mom & dad and snoopervised the car repair. Then rolled in all the dust (aka remaining sand & salt from snow treatment). #EPICFAIL Not clean at all. She came away feeling almost GREASY.

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    1. Oh Allie, you may be gray like a Chinchilla but you're not one! ;) Girls gotta have fun sometimes.

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