Chinchillas are downright adorable, but what’s the cutest thing that “chins” do? Take baths, of course! That’s right – their efforts to get squeaky clean are a great time for both chinchillas and their owners.
But if you’re the new owner of a chinchilla, you may be worried about which brand of dust bath to purchase, what ingredients it needs to contain, and how to save on costs long-term. After all, a dust bath isn’t something that many pet owners have to consider. Furthermore, chinchilla dust baths are highly specific for their species, requiring special sand or ash.
So, if you’re in the market for a dust bath for your new chinchilla, how do you know which is right for your chin? Here, we break down the ideal brands, as well as important notes to keep in mind.
Chinchilla Dust Bath
Dust baths can be a bit of a mystery for chinchilla owners. They may come in packets or boxes, look like fine sand, and can even come in a number of different scents. Looking at their list of ingredients doesn’t exactly shed light on the mystery, either.
To understand what a chinchilla dust bath accomplishes, it helps to take a look at chinchillas in the wild. In their natural habitat in South America, rain is a rarity. The plant life, composed of succulents and cacti, have evolved to deal with this lack of water. They store water in their stems and spread out their roots deep into the ground to seek out moisture. Chinchillas have their tricks, too. Because of the lack of water, they keep themselves clean using sand and ash found in the area. Specifically, this sand and ash are made of either fine volcanic ash, eroded pumice rock, or a mix of both.
Why Can’t You Give Chinchillas Water Baths?
Because chinchilla fur isn’t made to be in contact with moisture, getting your pet chinchilla wet is a big no-no. They don’t dry out easily! Chinchilla fur is dense and thick, comprising of up to 60 hairs per follicle, compared to the measly one hair per follicle in humans. Their dense coat makes them sensitive to water; getting your chinchilla wet means putting them at risk for bacterial and fungal infection.
With that said, if you’re concerned about your chinchilla’s skin drying out and becoming cracked, sore, or developing rashes, you don’t have to worry. An effective dust bath formula won’t dry out your chinchilla’s fur or skin. Instead, it will absorb dirt, oil, and excess moisture to keep your chinchilla’s coat clean and healthy.
Dust Baths on the Market
Commercial chinchilla dust baths function to mimic the sand and ash chinchillas bathe with in the wild.
Commonly, brands state that their product is made from grounded pumice rock, imitating the eroded pumice rock found in the wild. Some products may even go as far as getting their pumice rock from the Andes Mountains in South America.
Alternatively, chinchilla dust baths can also be made of Fuller’s Earth as an ingredient. Fuller’s Earth functions much like pumice rock, able to absorb moisture, oil, and dirt. Fuller’s Earth is also typically used in cosmetics, so you know that it’s safe for your chin.
You can safely use products that list these materials as their ingredients. The only time you should be wary of products is when they are made of common sand. While pumice rock ground finely enough will count as sand, regular playground or beach sand is a big no-no. A sand dust bath of this nature wouldn’t do an effective job in keeping your chinchilla clean, and may even be too coarse for chinchilla fur.
Making Your Own
Because of how sensitive chinchilla fur can be, making your own dust bath isn’t a possibility. Effective dust baths are made from either volcanic ash or pumice rock. Unless you have access to some nearby, and you can ensure that they’re ground finely, you may want to stick to commercial brands.
Thankfully, chinchilla dust baths aren’t that expensive. Dust baths are available on the market depending on the size that you want to buy. Commonly, dust baths come in either 1lb. or 2lb. jars. Because you only need an inch or two of sand during bath time, a single jar can last you months.
The Best Chinchilla Dust Bath
There are many dust baths to choose from on the market. Here are some of the best ones that you and your chinchilla are sure to love.
A fan favorite among veteran chinchilla owners, Blue Cloud Dust is a material designed to be soft on chinchilla fur. And with Lixit, you can be sure that your blue cloud dust is of the highest quality. Lixit sources its ingredients from the Blue Cloud Mine in California, using sustainable sourcing methods.
Lixit also guarantees a hassle-free clean-up; its dust formula is designed to not cling to chinchilla fur, so you don’t have to brush off the powder afterward. Lixit is also known to have an incredibly soft dust formula, making it ideal for chins with delicate skin.
Choose this one if: You want a blue cloud dust bath with easy clean-up.
Oxbow has been known to make high-quality pet food and accessories; their chinchilla dust bath is no exception. The Oxbow Poof! is made of 100% natural blue cloud dust. Unlike other products, Oxbow Poof! prides itself in sourcing dust that’s collected without the use of explosives, strip mining, or tunneling. With Oxbow Poof!, you can be sure that your chinchilla dust is free from harmful chemicals. For the environmentally conscious, this also means that you get to help the Earth as well!
Choose this one if: You want to make sure that your dust bath is free from harmful additives, all while helping the environment.
Petpost uses 100% pure white pumice – the ‘purest natural pumice on the planet.’ They are the only brand who collects their dust directly from the Andes Mountains, where chinchillas can be found naturally in the wild. This all-natural dust ensures that your chinchilla is getting a bath that is all natural, giving their fur a healthy sheen. They also have a 100% money-back, no-questions-asked guarantee, so that you can try out their products without worry.
Petpost Chinchilla Bat Dust is available in a 1lb. pack, as well as a 2.5lb. pack.
Choose this one if: You want to go as natural as possible for your pet chin.
The Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand is an alternative to chinchilla dust baths. As its name would imply, this bath sand is dust-free, which means that you don’t have to worry about your chinchilla’s dust bath getting everywhere. The Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand is made of natural volcanic mineral, but with a few large particles thrown into the mix. With this formula, bath time means less dust and fewer chances of respiratory issues for you and your chin.
The Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand comes in five easy-to-pour packs, which makes them perhaps the most convenient brand on the market.
Choose this one if: You’re concerned about dust and respiratory issues, or just want bath time to be more convenient.
As an alternative to the Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand, Supreme Tiny Friends is made of 100% natural, chinchilla-friendly sand, perfect for removing oil, dirt, and moisture from your chinchilla’s fur. With careful inspection, Supreme Tiny Friends guarantees that every grain is delicate enough to clean out your chinchilla’s fur. Because it is made of sand (not the regular beach kind, mind you), clean-up is also as easy as pie.
Choose this one if: You want to use 100% natural sand, without the hassle.
Now that you know which brands to choose from, go out there and pick the best one for your chin!