One of the key considerations when kitting out your Chinchillas cage is their water bottle.
This may seem insignificant but is highly important to ensure your Chinchilla can drink properly and receive liquids as and when they choose to.
Chinchillas can easily become dehydrated and this is something that should be avoided at all costs.
A lack of water can lead to your Chinchilla overheating which can easily happen if they do not have enough fluids in their system.
The thick, dense fur ensures your Chinchilla stays warm in the colder months, however, this can be negative when the weather starts to heat up.
If overheating and dehydration continue for long enough there is a chance of death.
Water bottles can provide a safe, efficient, and timely way of ensuring your Chinchilla receives enough H20 in their systems.
If you see your Chinchilla showing signs of lethargy, a dull coat, and loose, watery stools they may be suffering from dehydration.
Let’s take a closer look at all there is to know about water bottles so you can make sure your Chinchillas stay well hydrated and healthy.
Can Chinchillas Use a Water Bottle?
Chinchillas need a constant supply of water throughout the day so they can always keep themselves hydrated.
Water bottles are perfect for Chinchillas as they provide an easy to use, safe way of supplying your Chinchilla with plenty of water on demand.
Water bottles are widely available to buy in pet stores and online at the touch of a button.
We have recently put together a detailed guide here that lists our handpicked cage accessories for chinchillas including the water bottle we recommend…
Most have been specifically designed for use by rodents and they come in many sizes to suit all species.
Chinchillas find using water bottles very easy. This is one of the main reasons why we choose to provide them with water in this way.
There is no need to be making life difficult. Water bottles also secure safely onto the cage to avoid them becoming a cage hazard.
The ‘snout’ or ‘tube drip’ of the water bottle that reaches into the cage is an ideal design for your Chin to be able to drink from happily.
The bottle is conveniently angled length ways to ensure a flow of water is available should your Chinchilla start sucking at the tip for water.
Water bottles are such a simple, easy to use design and most owners provide water to their Chinchillas in this way.
There are lots of designs to choose from so you will never be tied down to the ‘bog standard’ bottle and can jazz up your Chins cage as you wish.
Do Chinchillas Need a Water Bottle?
Yes, Chinchillas do need a water bottle. Trying to provide them with anything other than a bottle specifically designed to secure their cage can end in complete disaster.
Chinchillas are known for bounding around their cage at 100 miles an hour with little regard to loose items and their safety.
They have a ton of energy and love to climb and leap at what seems like supersonic speeds.
This is usually highly entertaining for us to watch, but may not be so much fun when they knock over a water bowl and water starts flying everywhere!
Chinchillas require a safe environment to live in where they can be themselves without any risks. They need a secure water bottle for a few reasons:
- To ensure a consistent flow of water is readily available
- For safety reasons
- Prevent water spilling over onto their delicate coats
- To prevent water contamination for health purposes
As you can see from the list above, it is very important to make sure your Chin has a secure and easy place to drink from.
Health issues can occur often with Chinchillas and we don’t need to create additional problems as a result of the incorrect type of drinking equipment.
Do Chinchillas Like Water Bottles?
As with all animals, you will find it very difficult to make them do something they don’t want to do aside from sheer force.
If an animal doesn’t like something they tend to stay away from it and avoid it completely. This is very true to Chinchillas who are very particular about their surroundings.
Chinchillas have been using water bottles since they became domesticated and you will find quite early on that weaned kits start using the water bottle pretty smartish.
Chins are smart creatures and can learn new things pretty quickly. It doesn’t take them long to figure out where they can get water from and how they should go about doing so.
However, it is fair to say we can’t speak 100% on behalf of our Chinchillas and they haven’t categorically confirmed they like using the water bottle to us personally.
We do feel that if a water bottle was something they were not happy with they would not be using it in the first place.
For these reasons, we think chinchillas are giving water bottle the thumbs up!
Watch this chinchilla happily drinking from his water bottle…
Chinchilla Water Bottles vs Bowls
A few select owners choose to provide their Chinchillas with water bowls instead of bottles.
We couldn’t see the benefits of this so wanted to take a closer look at the reality of using a water bowl compared with that of using a water bottle.
This is what we found:
Chinchilla Water Bottles Vs Bowls
|Safety||Bottles||There is no doubt about it, water bottles are a much safer option for your Chinchillas. They can secure easily onto the side of the cage and there is no risk of them getting hurt or wet during exercise and play time. Water bowls can be dangerous in the cage with an active species.|
|Practicality||Bottles||Water bowls are nowhere near as Water bottles take up valuable space in the cage and cannot be secured sufficiently. They are much harder for your Chinchilla to drink from and can be a real pain for owners to fill up and carry to the cage without spilling water everywhere|
|Cleaning||Bowls||It is fair to say that water bottles aren’t necessarily that easy to clean. You will require a dish brush to get right inside the bottle to ensure it is fully clean. Water bowls, in general, are much easier to clean and less time-consuming.|
|Contamination||Bottles||There is less risk of contamination using a water bottle as opposed to a bowl. The water in a bottle is fully enclosed meaning little else can get inside to contaminate the water. Chinchillas are likely to contaminate bowls with hay, urine and even faeces on a regular basis.|
|Ease Of Use||Bottles||Water bottles are super easy to use for Chinchillas. They can fit their tiny mouths quite comfortably around the tip of the tube and suck the water from the bottle with ease. Bowls, on the other hand, can be quite challenging and cause problems.|
In conclusion to this section, you can clearly see the pros of using water bottles far outweigh the cons.
If you’re still wondering if chinchillas can drink from a bowl? We have put together a post that shares all you need to know about water bowls as a chinchilla owner…
What Height Should My Chinchilla’s Water bottle Be?
As you can see from the table above, water bottles are much more practical and easier to use for Chinchillas than an open water bowl.
One of the best things about using a bottle is the ability to secure it safely to your Chins cage which is vital for safety.
Most Chinchilla cages are designed in a way where a water bottle can be fitted quite easily so there is no mass DIY job needed to install.
The bottle can also be easily removed and replaced each time you need to replenish the water and clean drinking equipment.
When attaching your water bottle to your Chins cage, you will need to be conscious of the height at which you place the water bottle.
Chinchillas can indeed climb, but it is very awkward for them having to drink from a bottle that is positioned too high up.
In complete contrast, a water bottle that has been placed too low is equally as challenging. You don’t want your Chin having to lay down to consume it.
A very good guideline is to place the water bottle about 4-5 inches from the bottom of the cage.
This will ensure they do not need to either lay down or jump up to gain good access to the water tube drip.
How Often to Clean a Chinchilla Water Bottle?
In regards to the water you provide your Chinchilla in their bottle, this must be replenished every day or more if needed.
Water can become stagnant pretty quickly and your Chin must have access to fresh, clean water at all times throughout the day.
When we look at the actual cleaning and sterilization of bottles this is not something that needs to be overlooked.
Once a week is maybe suitable enough to ensure the bottle stays sanitized and your Chin stays healthy, however, cleaning daily when you refill your chin’s water will ensure the bottle is always clean.
Cleaning out your Chinchillas cage must be carried out once a week and this is a great time to also sterilize water bottles. Do not leave bottles any longer than a week without cleaning.
This would be the equivalent of you drinking from the same cup for a week without washing it. Not nice!
On a more personal note, the Chinchillas I have owned in the past have all had their bottles cleaned every day since I am slightly OCD and felt much better giving the bottles a thorough clean daily.
How to Clean a Chinchilla Water Bottle?
Water bottles can be cleaned reasonably easy once you know how and it is important that you always provide your Chinchilla with clean eating and drinking equipment.
Follow these simple instructions for cleaning to ensure your Chinchillas water bottles stay fully sterilized and kept sparkling clean.
- Detach the bottle from the cage ready for cleaning
- Place the bottle in boiling water to ensure complete sterilization takes place
- Wait until the water has cooled down enough for you to retrieve the bottle
- Use a bottle brush with regular soap detergent or washing up liquid to fully clean the bottle
- Do not use harsh chemicals such as bleach
- Make sure you fully clean the inside and outside of the bottle
- Do not forget to clean the tube tip and nozzle
- Thoroughly rinse the bottle until the water runs clean and there are no soap suds remaining
- Rough dry the outside of the bottle and refill with fresh, clean water that is of room temperature
Once you get into a regular routine of cleaning your Chinchillas water bottle you will find this process will not take you very long at all.
When cleaning out your Chins cage it is always a good idea to start the water bottle soaking process first so you can carry on with other cleaning tasks until the water is cool enough for you to retrieve the bottle without burning your hands.
If you plan the way you carry out your cleaning tasks in an organised order then you will find that the process becomes much easier and ultimately quicker for you.
Thanks to the busy lives we lead, who doesn’t like saving a bit of time here and there!
If you are looking for something more detailed, we have a brand new step by step guide here that shows you exactly how to clean your chinchilla’s water bottle quickly and easily!
What to Do If My Chinchilla’s Water Bottle Is Leaking?
Leaky bottles are just not fun, but from time to time you will find your Chins water bottle is leaking.
This could be a temporary or permanent problem depending on the issues. Usually, you will find that the top to the bottle has not been closed securely enough and is a genuine error on your part.
This can be fixed pretty easily by re-securing the lid to a suitable tightness. The leaking should stop immediately.
Sometimes you will find that the plastic bottle itself has got damaged. This can be a problem for several reasons.
- Your Chinchilla is likely to get wet which should be avoided for health reasons
- All the underneath of your Chinchillas bedding and toys may get wet
- You will have a much bigger clearing up job dealing with soggy bedding
There are some kits you can buy to patch up plastic which may be a great short term solution to the problem, however, it is highly advisable to go out and buy a new water bottle for your Chinchillas.
These can be bought quite easily from most pet shops and there are many varieties of online stores to choose from that sell a diverse range of bottles suitable for Chinchilla use.
Water bottles can be picked up pretty cheaply for the most part and are an important investment for the overall health and wellbeing of your Chinchilla.
In conclusion, a water bottle is a much better solution than using water bowls for your Chinchilla. Bottles are far safer, more practical, easier for your Chin to use, and are less likely to become contaminated.
Water bowls can be a safety hazard and become contaminated easily. Your Chinchilla will also not find them that easy to use.
Always remember to clean and fully sterilize your Chinchillas water bottle at least once a week and preferably once per day and ensure they always have a flow of clean, fresh water available at all times.
Fix your Chinchillas water bottle securely into place roughly 4-5 inches above the ground level of the cage for ease of use.
In regards to water consumption, this is all you need to do to keep your Chin happy and healthy. It’s as simple as that!