Why Can’t Chinchillas Get Wet? (& What To Do If It Happens)

Wild chinchillas live in the Andes Mountains of South America where they need their thick fur to stay warm. It is so dense it resists fleas and parasites!

Chinchillas love to groom themselves but they must never take water baths.

Why can’t chinchillas get wet?

In this article, we will discuss what is so dangerous about your chinchilla getting wet. We will also show you what you must do if this happens.

Key Takeaway:

Chinchillas must not get wet because their dense fur locks onto moisture and is hard to dry. Wet fur can make your chinchilla feel cold and could result in fungal infections. If your chinchilla gets wet, dry it with a towel and then with a hair dryer on a low setting. Finally, give it a dust bath.

Not sure what to do if your chinchilla gets wet?

Then coming up next, we will show you why it’s so important your pet stays dry and what you must do if it does get wet.

chinchillas get wet

Can a Chinchilla Get Wet?

Chinchillas have such irresistibly soft and dense fur. We all love it when they look and smell clean.

But can you bathe your pet, can you get a chinchilla wet?

No, you must not get your pet chinchilla wet. You must never give it a water bath.

Coming up next, we are going to discuss why it is so dangerous for a chinchilla’s fur to get wet and what you must do when this happens. We’ll also let you in on some of the best tips that will help you get your pet chinchilla clean without using water.

What Happens if Chinchillas Get Wet?

Your chinchilla has super thick fur that looks like it would be resistant to just about anything. But it must never get wet.

What happens if a chinchilla gets wet?

If your chinchilla’s fur gets wet the following could happen:

  • Your pet’s body temperature plummets. Water easily gets trapped in a chinchilla’s dense fur and cannot escape. This prevents the small animal from being able to get dry and will make it feel chilly. It’s body temperature will decrease putting it at risk of hypothermia and a respiratory infection.
  • Your pet chinchilla gets a fungal infection. Chinchilla fur holds onto moisture and is very difficult to dry. If your pet gets wet, it will be at risk of fur fungus. Fungal infections like this can cause hair loss, skin itching, dry skin, and other skin problems.
  • Your pet chinchilla spreads its fungal infection to other pets. A chinchilla with fur fungus can spread the ailment to other animals in the enclosure. It can even spread to humans.

So, will a chinchilla die if it gets wet?

No, it should not die as long as you get it dry again as quickly as possible. But if your pet was wet for long periods or if it looks unwell, you must take it to the vet straight away.

What if My Chinchilla Gets Wet?

wet chinchilla

We know chinchillas aren’t supposed to get their coats wet, but accidents happen. Perhaps your pet got caught in the rain, jumped into a puddle, or one of the water bottles in your chinchilla’s cage leaked all over it.

What should you do?

The most important thing to do when your chinchilla’s fur is wet is to get it dry again as quickly as possible. Take a look at the best tips on how to dry a wet chinchilla up next.

  1. Towel dry your pet’s fur. Be gentle with your pet as you dry it. Keep it sitting on a handtowel as you go through the next steps.
  2. Sit it in front of a fan or a hair dryer on a cool setting. You may need to keep your pet in front of a blow dryer or fan for a long time depending on how wet it is.
  3. Give it a dust bath. Allow your pet to roll in chinchilla dust to remove the excess moisture from its fur and skin. When you run your hands over your chinchilla’s body its fur should feel completely dry.
  4. Observe your chinchilla for the next day. Make sure it does not feel cold. Take it to the veterinarian immediately if it looks unwell.

What Is the Perfect Environment for a Chinchilla?

A wet chinchilla is an unhappy chinchilla. Your chin will appreciate it if it never gets not even a single drop of water on its precious coat.

If chinchillas don’t like water, what kind of environment do they like?

Here are some of the details.

  • Your chin does not like high-humidity environments. The humidity levels in its enclosure must never succeed 60% so your chinchilla feels dry all the time.
  • Your chin does not like warm temperatures. The ideal enclosure temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 80 degrees Fahrenheit is extremely dangerous.
  • Your chin likes 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of daylight. These mimic the light conditions it would experience in the wild.

How to Give Your Pet Chinchilla a Dust Bath

The only appropriate way for you to encourage good coat health in your pet chinchillas is by providing them with a dust bath. You must never give your chinchillas water baths.

chinchilla dust bath 1

4-Step Dust Baths

What if you’ve never given your chinchilla a dust bath before?

Then take a look at the following 4 steps that will help you with this task.

  1. Put 1 inch of 100% pumice dust into a solid container. The container must be sturdy enough for your chin to roll about in it without toppling it over.
  2. Place the container in the chinchilla’s enclosure.
  3. Chinchillas are self-groomers, so allow your pet to roll about in the dust on its own for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the container from the enclosure after 3 to 5 minutes. If it is soiled, throw the fine sand away.

Why Chinchillas Need Dust Baths

Chinchilla fur is very dense and is resistant to parasites and fleas. Even still, these animals must take dust baths to keep their fur clean.

Here are some of the benefits of a dust bath.

  • It removes moisture, dirt, and excess oils from your pet’s fur. This helps to prevent health problems such as skin infections.
  • It promotes soft fur and prevents the skin from drying out.
  • It encourages natural grooming behaviors. Wild chinchillas take dust baths in the volcanic ash of the Andes Mountains to clean their fur. Chinchillas in captivity must do this too.
  • It is good for their physical and mental health. In the wild, chinchillas clean themselves by rolling around in dust. They do this to play and relieve stress.

Keeping Your Chinchilla’s Fur Dry and Healthy

Chinchilla fur is the most tightly packed of all land mammals. Because it seems so dense and strong, many people think it can tolerate anything.

But as we have seen in this article, there is one thing chinchilla fur cannot put up with. Water.

Its fur must not get wet as it will hold onto the moisture and make the animal feel cold. It could grow mold and kickstart a fungal infection.

If your chinchilla gets wet, make sure you dry it properly using a hair dryer in a cool setting.

Did you find this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best information about chinchilla care and how to look after other small animals. For suggestions on the best diet, chew toys, and water bottles for your pets, check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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