Bookmark and Share
Your E-mail:
How would you rate whether or not your healthy small animal pet is a finicky eater (1 means not finicky at all; 5 means very finicky.
Printer Friendly Bookmark and 


Good Chinchilla Grooming Tips

How to get your chinchilla to look and feel its best.

By Jennifer Mons McLaughlin

Grooming isn’t just for good looks. “Grooming does help cut down on the amount of fur they’re shedding and ingesting,” said Misty O’Neil, owner of Eyes of Texas Chinchillas in Round Rock, Texas.

Still, some people choose not to groom. That is all right, too, because chins tend to do most of it themselves. “All chinchillas do groom themselves to some extent, similar to a cat,” said Amanda Eads, archive chairman of the Chinchillas As Pets Association.

Chins do need regular baths — but never in water. Dust baths work best for chins and can be given by putting the dust (sold at pet stores) in a bowl or enclosed container and pouring it on the chin. “Automatically, by nature, they will start rolling in it,” O’Neil said, “and that dust penetrates down to the bottom of the fur and penetrates the oil.”

Putting a chin in water is a definite no-no. The fur is so dense that getting it wet will cause clumping and might lead to problems. This dense fur also repels fleas, as fleas cannot get into the fur to burrow. The fur also gives chins their unique feel.

“Chins are so soft because of the fact that they have 80 hairs per follicle, as compared with one hair per follicle in humans,” said Deborah Kemmerer Cottrell, DVM, of West End Animal Hospital in Newberry, Fla.

Lani Ritchey, author of The Joy Of Chinchillas and chin owner for more than 25 years, suggested grooming chins several times a year with a good cat or dog comb that has medium-length teeth. She also recommended checking the male for hair rings on a regular basis.

“Hair rings, or hair mats, are hair wrapped around the penis,” she said. Any male could suffer from this. Some might develop a hair ring once a month and others might never develop one.


 Give us your opinion on
Good Chinchilla Grooming Tips

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
Can you please explain the best way to comb a chinchilla? We have one that has bad mats in its fur. It was like that when we got him.
willow, san pedro, CA
Posted: 12/21/2013 5:45:52 AM
Do you think went to vet school for nothing?? If he says shave it, shave it.
Nicole, Forest Lake, MN
Posted: 3/8/2011 7:28:10 PM
Posted: 1/17/2011 6:16:15 PM
Hey Sarah, What I think I would do is that I would take a comb and see if you can comb through it. Try loosening it with your fingers and if any pieces are sticking out try pulling them out to get rid of some of the hair that is already shed out. After you do that get some of his dust and sprinkle it there and rub it in to get rid of the oils. If you do this regularly I think that will really help him out.
Hilary, Bridgeton, NJ
Posted: 5/6/2010 11:36:31 PM
View Current Comments

Complete Care Made Easy: Gerbils
Critters USA
Rabbits USA
Rabbits USA
Complete Care Made Easy: Ferrets
Ferrets USA
Top Products

Hi my name's George-Henry

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!