How Much Water Should a Chinchilla Drink Per Day?

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photo credit: tomo

One of the most efficient means of caring for pet chinchillas involves monitoring their diet carefully to ensure they eat and drink the right amounts. Especially since the quantities of food and water they take in are key indicators of how healthy they are at any given point in time.

Yet while we can often tell how much food they’re meant to have, we often have a more difficult time working out just how much they ought to drink. The fact that chins don’t drink that much in the first place doesn’t help either. And so most times we make sure we simply provide them with fresh water and top it up as regularly as possible.

And that’s why I’ve chosen to focus on that all elusive question in today’s post:  just how much water these lovable rodents need on a daily basis. I will also be taking a look at which kind of water is best for them. Because the journey to being the best chinchilla owner is one which involves continuous learning and is quite simply an unending adventure.

The Best Method Of Providing Water For Your Chinchilla

One highly popular method of providing water for pets is the ubiquitous water bowl. However, chins aren’t like any other pet and so this method simply won’t do.

Especially since it can actually turn out to be rather risky: water bowls are a potential drowning hazard for baby chins — or kits as they’re also known.

There’s also the fact that it may wet their luxurious, thick coats and cause matting which may lead to fungal infections and even difficulties in regulating their body temperature.

And lastly, although chins are known to maintain a high level of corporal cleanness, they’re actually pretty messy. And as noted by Greenwood Chinchillas they’re likely to fling debris such as hay and droppings into their water bowl making its contents unsuitable for drinking.

Hence the most effective means for keeping your chinchilla hydrated is using a special water bottle which can be suspended out of reach from your pet’s ever-active gnashers, with only the drinking spout close enough so it can drink to its heart’s content.

And if you’re concerned about it being able to get all the water it needs this way, you needn’t be.  Using a water bottle for your fluffy friend will not affect its water intake in any way as these curious and intelligent pets often learn to use them pretty quickly.

Getting The Amount Of Water Right

Just how much water does your chinchilla need to drink? As noted in the first paragraph, these rodents do not generally drink a lot of water. And it’s all due to having semi-arid origins where the main sources of moisture were dew and cacti. There’s also their specialized digestive system which adapted to enable them to make the most of those meagre water supplies. However, clean, fresh water is absolutely essential for their well being.

Most of the popular water bottle brands such as Choco Nose or Lixit come with a capacity of 11.2 oz and that might even go up to 32 oz in some instances. However, the water in those containers is meant to last for a few days and it’s highly unlikely that your pet will empty it all at once.

According to, a healthy, happy adult fluffball will drink an average of 2 oz daily,  and a number of chinchilla enthusiasts seem to have noticed similar drinking patterns in their pets. However, as the website also notes, this amount does depend on certain factors such as the chin’s age or whether it happens to be an expectant mother.

Giving Your Chinchilla The Right Kind Of Water

As pet owners, we all fully understand the importance of providing our charges with fresh, clean water on a regular basis and keeping their containers as clean as possible to minimize infection.

But what kind of water is best for our chins?  According to UVMA and Acorn Hill Ranch, filtered water is the best choice since it eliminates the risk of any pesky bacteria or dirt. Most experts agree with this option. also recommends chlorine-free, filtered water, and notes that it should be changed on a daily basis.

Concluding Thoughts

Chinchillas aren’t generally known for having a significant water intake. And it’s all due to them having originated from a habitat in which water was particularly scarce.

And yet one key requirement for ensuring they remain hale and hearty is ensuring they enjoy regular supplies of water which is clean, chlorine-free and preferably filtered.

It’s also particularly important to note how much they drink since they’re particularly skilled at hiding any illnesses and a drop in their water intake is an important clue which will let you know if they’re feeling poorly.

Water bottles are highly recommended for providing them with their daily fluid intake and while most of them come with a capacity which can last for days, they must be cleaned and filled regularly for purposes of hygiene.

Taking care of your chinchilla in this regard will go a long way towards keeping them happy and active and in perfect health ensuring several years of a special friendship between you and your precious fluffy charge.

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