Chinchillas are cute little furry animals, and we usually get the urge to brush them. But is that really advisable?
Or are we doing something that hurts our chinchillas?
So, can you brush a chinchilla? The answer is yes.
However, it’s not advisable to do that because chinchillas do not like being brushed. You should only brush your chinchilla if it’s absolutely necessary.
Summary of today’s article:
If you’ve just adopted a chinchilla, it’s easy to look at its silky fur and wonder if you can brush it. After all, the most outstanding feature of chinchillas is their soft silky coat of hair.
This coat is specially adapted for their native home, the Andes Mountains of South America. So, it’s easy to look at that soft silky coat and be tempted to want to brush it every day.
But is that okay? Can you brush your chinchilla?
Yes, you can. If that’s something you want to do, you can do it.
However, the question is, should you brush your chinchilla? The answer to that, asides for exceptional situations, is no.
It’s not necessary to brush your chinchilla, and the fact is that a majority of them do not actually enjoy being brushed. If it’s absolutely necessary, you may use a long-toothed comb to remove mats from their fur.
However, this should be done very smoothly and should give the animal as little stress as possible.
So, while you can brush your chinchilla, you must keep in mind that chinchillas don’t like being brushed. Even when you do try to brush them, they may turn out to be very difficult to handle.
If that happens, don’t be too surprised at that. They don’t want to get brushed in the first place.
However, if you do have the desperate need to brush your chinchilla, make sure you do it about two to three times every month or so. You also shouldn’t use just any brush on your chinchilla.
Make use of a special chinchilla comb (it goes for just about $30). If you can’t get this, you can use a fine long tooth comb.
Never make use of an actual brush. That’s a very terrible idea.
It’s also important that you allow a few days after a dust bath before you try to comb your chinchilla’s fur. This will allow the effects of the dust bath to set in properly.
If you get to combing proper, make sure you do it from the base of the tail towards the head. It’s also important that this is done gently so your chinchilla doesn’t become difficult to handle.
Do Chinchillas Need To Be Brushed?
The answer to this question is an emphatic no. Chinchillas do not need to be brushed.
This is because they self-groom without any need of outside help. So, no, they do not need to be brushed as they’ve got the grooming thing on lock.
This is not saying you have no input in how your chinchilla gets groomed. You do have a role to play.
All you need is to provide a dust bath, and everything else is covered. Since chinchillas are perfectly capable of regulating their own grooming regimen, you don’t have to bother about them.
To groom themselves, chinchillas often get into the dust bath and roll around in it about two to three times a week. This bath helps keep them clean and allows them to free their fur of dirt.
The bath also helps evenly distribute natural oils, clears away dirt and debris, and keeps their fur silky soft.
Why Don’t Chinchillas Like To Brushed?
Oh, the wonders we would discover if only chinchillas could speak to us in human language. But chinchillas cannot speak in human language.
So we can only read what they like or do not like through their body language. And the body language of chinchillas tells us that they really, really, don’t like being brushed.
But what’s the reason? We can’t say for sure.
Despite being very friendly animals, chinchillas don’t like being brushed. It may be that chinchillas aren’t yet evolved enough to enjoy the smooth feeling of a brush.
Or it could be that the handling needed to brush a chinchilla is too frightening for it. Whatever the reasons, we can be quite certain when we say that chinchillas generally don’t like being brushed.
How Can You Pet Your Chinchilla?
You may be wondering what you can do with your chinchilla since it doesn’t like being brushed very much. But do not fret. There are other ways to bond with your chinchilla besides brushing.
One tested and trusted way (and it’s especially useful because chinchillas don’t mind it one bit) to pet your chinchilla is by giving it a gentle chin scratch and a head rub. It may not seem like much, but it goes a long way in helping you bond with your furry little pet.
Although most chinchillas do not need your help with brushing or grooming, some may do. And when they do, it’s usually because of problems that they are unable to handle on their own.
These problems are usually extreme conditions that can happen to chinchilla fur.
One problem you can encounter with chinchillas is wavy, weak coat. If the chinchilla’s fur is growing wavy and is breaking easily, it may indicate bigger problems.
For example, the chinchilla may be suffering from dietary deficiencies. The coat’s condition could also be caused by too much protein.
Chinchillas generally feed on grass and other greens, and if you feel your pet is getting too much protein, gradually adjust their diet to correct it.
Chinchilla fur can get clumped or matted, and this is usually a result of high humidity. Since chinchillas evolved in areas of low humidity, it’s difficult for them to cope with areas with extreme conditions.
An easy way to solve this problem would be to add a dehumidifier to your home and to increase the frequency of dust baths your chinchilla takes.
Yet another problem you can have with your chinchilla is fur slip. Fur slip happens when there’s a single bald patch where your chinchilla’s fur has fallen out.
This is usually a defensive mechanism used by chinchillas to escape from things they think are scary enough to be predators. Fur slips are usually caused by improper handling.
To avoid this, always try to handle your chinchilla gently.
Chinchillas can get really nervous, and when they do, they start to shed a lot of furs. Now, this isn’t to say shedding isn’t natural. It is.
But when it gets excessive, you may need to pay extra attention. So, how do you solve this problem?
It’s pretty easy. Move the chinchilla’s cage to a quieter and more peaceful location, and try to make the cage more comfortable.
This will definitely help alleviate stress and stop shedding.
You also need to be careful with bald patches. These patches are signs of boredom and stress.
They are caused by hair falling out naturally or the chinchilla itself biting it out. The solution to this problem is easy too.
All you need is to relocate the animal to a less stressful environment, give it more toys to play with, and make it feel at ease.
Can Fur Problems Be A Sign Of Health Issues?
Yes. If problems with your chinchilla’s fur are recurring, they may be the symptoms of a deeper health issue that needs addressing. If your chinchilla continues to have ongoing coat issues, it’s in your best interests to seek veterinary help for a proper diagnosis.
This way, you’ll be able to ensure that your chinchilla’s coat looks good all the time.
Should You Clip Your Chinchilla’s Nails?
When people talk about grooming their chinchillas, they mostly only speak about the chinchilla’s furs, not its nails. But that’s not all to grooming.
It’s also important to know what to do with your chinchilla’s nails. Should you allow it to grow, or should you clip it?
The answer is no. You shouldn’t clip your chinchilla’s nails.
Chinchillas are perfectly capable of keeping their nails short on their own. However, if you absolutely have to do something about them, you could just try to file it.
That’s a more sensible option.
If you like to brush your chinchilla, you should probably stop it. It serves no one, and it doesn’t make your chinchilla happy.
Your furry little pet is perfectly able to groom itself. All you need to do is to provide it with a dust bath, and your job is done.
Chinchillas have the highest fur density of any land animal with about 20,000 hairs per square cm. This means it’s not an easy job to keep their fur smooth, and that’s why they evolved a way to do it themselves.
Dust baths are your chinchilla’s way to groom itself, so you absolutely do not have to brush them or do any extra work.