What is chinchilla dust?
Short answer: chinchilla dust is a unique type of dust that these adorable rodents use to clean themselves.
This dust is made for chinchillas and under no circumstances should it be substituted with any other dust or sand.
Keep reading to learn more about it!
READ MORE: Can Chinchillas Get Wet?
Table of Contents
What is Chinchilla Dust?
Chinchilla dust is a unique type of dust that chinchillas require to remain clean.
This dust is precisely made for chinchillas and under no circumstances should it be substituted with any other dust or sand, no matter how similar they look. 
Chinchilla dust pierces through the chinchilla’s dense fur coat down to the skin and works to remove dirt, excess oils, and moisture. Chinchillas require baths two to three times per week.
If you notice that your chinchilla’s skin or fur is becoming extremely dry this is a sign that you’re giving them too many dust baths or you’re letting them stay in there for too long.
Chinchillas will usually bathe in the dust for 15 to 20 minutes per bathing session.
Why Do Chinchillas Bathe in Dust Instead of Water?
Chinchillas clean themselves in dust baths rather than with water because they aren’t able to regulate their body temperate and can be dangerous for them to bathe in water.
When chinchillas wash with water they can become susceptible to illnesses as it may cause them to lose body heat very quickly and leave them too cold.
It can irritate their skin and cause bacterial or fungal infections due to how long it takes their fur coat to completely dry.
Water can also cause their dense fur coat to clump up and due to their very dense fur, it can take them a while to become completely dry again.
It’s wise to give your chinchilla dust baths so that they can remain clean and healthy.
Chinchillas take dust baths to keep their coats clean and healthy. It also helps to remove excess moisture and oils from their fur. 
Take a look at this video of what dust baths look like:
READ MORE: Are Chinchillas Friendly?
What if Your Chinchilla Gets Something Stuck in Their Fur Coat?
When such a situation occurs you should use a lightly damp hand towel to gently wipe the sticky substance from the coat. It is recommended that you only clean the surface of the coat.
Once you’ve gotten most of the sticky substances out of their coat your chinchilla will be able to clean the rest off by having a dust bath.
What Products Do Chinchillas Need for a Dust Bath?
You’ll need high-quality chinchilla dust or sand specially made for chinchillas.
Many local and online pet stores will sell chinchilla dust.
You need to make sure you’re using dust or sand that is specially made for your pet chinchilla, otherwise, it can be harmful.
Chinchilla dust is similar to fine gray sand and is made entirely of natural volcanic mountain pumice.
You will also need a chinchilla dust bathtub for your chinchilla to clean itself. You can also find these in online stores or in your local pet store. They are quite inexpensive and come in a variety of materials.
Chinchilla dust baths come in ceramic, plastic, or wooden containers that house and hold the chinchilla dust.
A bathhouse reduces the mess resulting from your chinchilla doing flips and spinning while taking a dust bath.
They also ensure that your chinchilla gets full contact with the dust to clean its coat.
About half an inch to two inches of the chinchilla dust at the bottom of the bathhouse is enough for your chinchilla.
The amount of dust to be used largely depends on the size of your pet and the container.
Your chinchilla should know exactly what to do with the bathtub once they’ve realized what it is.
Check: Do Chinchillas Shed?
How Often Should They Be Taking Dust Baths?
Wild chinchillas are accustomed to frequent dust baths to remove skin oils and dirt from their dense coats, to remain clean and healthy.
Ideally, chinchillas take dust baths two to threes times per week, with each lasting about 10 – 20 minutes.
A dust bath is best when they are most active, and that is generally in the evenings.
Do not leave the dust bath in their tub constantly as your chinchilla may start using it as a little box or overusing it.
Over bathing your chinchilla can cause their skin to dry out.
The frequency of baths will depend on the humidity of your local climate as well as on your chinchilla.
If you notice your chinchilla’s skin or fur getting too dry, flaky, or is irritated consider reducing the number of dust baths you are giving them.
The ideal container for a dust bath is one that is a little larger than your chinchilla and one that will not be knocked over during the flipping and rolling.
A heavy bowl or a rectangular plastic container is the best. A container that has high sides will reduce the amount of dust flying out.
The container should have at least two inches of dust at the bottom to ensure the chinchilla bathes properly.
The dust can be reused a couple of times until it gets dirty or clumpy. After your chinchilla is done bathing, remove any waste.
Chinchilla Dust Bath Ingredients
Chinchilla dust is made up of ground pumice.
It is supposed to be like volcanic ash, the same as the dust the chinchillas use in their natural habitat.
This special type of chinchilla dust penetrates the dense fur all the way to the skin where it eliminates dirt, oil, and excess moisture, and at the same time does not strip away elements that are important to the health of your chinchilla.
Best Chinchilla Dust Baths
The best chinchilla dust bath should have at least half an inch to two inches of the dust placed at the bottom of a solid container.
It should be a sturdy material and not something the chinchilla be able to knock over or injure themselves when they are using it. It should also be on a safe flat platform.
A dust house that is semi-enclosed or fully enclosed helps to reduce the quantity of dust kicked out.
There is a variety of containers designed uniquely for a fantastic chinchilla bath.
Tips to Ensure Your Chinchilla is Clean and Happy
Chinchillas love their dust baths, and here are some useful tips on how to give your chinchilla the proper care when bathing them.
Get the Right Chinchilla Dust Bath
Always buy dust that is specially made for chinchillas, as dust tends to be different.
Do not use the dust that looks quite like the chinchilla one, as they may seem similar to you but your pet will notice the difference and may not work well for it.
eBay and Amazon are reputable stores where you can get that special kind of powder that chinchillas love most.
Choose The Right Container
Chinchillas love to flip and roll in the dust and particles tend to fly about, something that can make cleaning very difficult.
Therefore, choosing a suitable container as a dust bath will keep your chinchilla clean, and its cage.
The ideal container should be heavy to prevent tipping over, as well as contain the dust in it.
Fishbowls are a good choice for this purpose.
Other options include a house-type box which you can get from a pet store that deals with chinchilla goods, or from online stores, such as Amazon and eBay.
Use Only the Right Amount of Dust
The recommended amount of chinchilla dust in the container is about two inches deep.
Do not put more than that. You can reuse the dust severally until it gets dirty or clumpy.
Give the Chinchilla Dust Bath Only as Needed
You should give your chinchilla dust baths two to three times per week. (unless your chinchilla is very dirty, or have excessive moistures or oils and requires it more).
In humid weather, it is advisable to bathe your chinchilla daily.
Chinchillas are the most active in the evening. This is the best time to give the dust bath. Ensure that you do not leave the dust bath in the cage for too long.
What’s the Best Chinchilla Dust Product to Buy?
Let’s take a look at some of the best dust products, shall we? FYI, this section includes affiliate links.
Oxbow is a renowned brand that makes highly rated pets adornments, and their chinchilla dust is great. The Oxbow Poof! Chinchilla Dust has a natural blue cloud dust collection.
This dust is free from strip mining, tunneling, or explosives, and is the most ideal for your chinchillas.
Your chinchillas will enjoy natural cleaning behaviors with this dust which has no additives.
Their 100% blue cloud pumice sticks well in your chinchilla’s coat and leaves them clean after every bath.
This brand is a little bit cheaper than Oxbow and is another famous brand that offers a variety of pet accessories including bedding, toys, wheels, and chinchilla dust.
Their 100% natural pumice chinchilla dust, clears your chinchilla’s coat of moisture and extra oils resulting in a clean and healthy pet.
Since the natural dust is super fine, use it in an enclosed bathhouse to prevent a mess in the chinchilla’s cage.
Most users advocate for this powder, claiming that it is efficiently cleaning their pets and absorbs all the liquid from the chinchilla’s coat.
The You and ME chinchilla dust is of high quality.
It is made of natural dusting powder. It helps to protect your chinchilla’s skin to get rid of moisture and excessive oils, leaving them clean and healthy.
You and Me dust does not contain additives and preservatives.
In addition, you can recycle dust as a soil additive for gardening.
There are many other dust products that you can purchase on the market.
Just make sure to read the package before you buy any dust product to purchase the right dust for your chinchillas.
How to help your chinchilla stay clean?
Give your chinchilla dust bathes twice to three times a week in order for them to stay clean and healthy.
How does chinchilla dust bath work?
A dust bath eliminated excess oil and dirt from your chinchilla’s fur. The chinchilla will flip and roll in the dust
Where to buy a chinchilla dust bath?
Local pet stores have chinchilla dust baths. A much safer way to get a dust bath is from online stores like Amazon, as it has a lot of trusted sellers and reviews.
- 1. All About Pet Chinchilla Dust Baths [Internet]. Small Animal, Pet Bird, and Wild Bird Supplies: Pet Supplies | Kaytee Products. 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.kaytee.com/learn-care/ask-the-small-animal-experts/chinchilla-dust-bath-facts
- 2. https://www.howstuffworks.com/about-jesslyn-shields.htm. Rules for Keeping a Pet Chinchilla [Internet]. HowStuffWorks. 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 3]. Available from: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/chinchilla.htm
- 3. How often should I give my chinchilla a dust bath, and what is the best way to go about that? – Companion Animals [Internet]. Extension.org. 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 3]. Available from: https://companion-animals.extension.org/how-often-should-i-give-my-chinchilla-a-dust-bath-and-what-is-the-best-way-to-go-about-that/
Does your chinchilla love dust baths? Let us know your experiences giving them a bath below!
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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