The importance of dust baths for chinchillas.
Dust baths are not only important for the animal’s fur condition, they are a natural behavior, therefore serve as enrichment. The animals truly do appear to relish energetically rolling in the dust. Dust baths are sold under a number of brand names, but the composition is primarily a fine, absorbent clay. The product is made to mimic the type of material the animal would use in its native habitat. It works by removing oil and dirt from the chinchilla’s thick fur. It is suggested that a dust bath be offered several times a week, as too much dusting can dry the skin. The dust bath should be deep enough for the animal to roll around several times to work the dust deep into the fur. In addition to dust baths, chinchillas need space to maintain a healthy activity level; they will use vertical space if it is available.