One of the most important points in keeping pets is proper nutrition. And chinchillas are no exception. One question that is often asked about chinchillas is whether they can drink water. And which water is suitable for them.
Of course, chinchillas can drink water. They even need to drink water to survive. If you have good quality tap water, you can give your chinchillas tap water without hesitation. Otherwise, you can filter the water or give low sodium non-carbonated mineral water.
Chinchillas can of course drink water. Water is the basis of life, and without water, chinchillas would not survive either.
But you have to be careful which water you give to your chinchillas. We will answer this question later. Also, we will take care of how much water chinchillas need, how long they would survive without water, and how often you need to change the water.
Finally, we will look at whether chinchillas can drink other liquids.
Can Chinchillas Drink Water?
Chinchillas need to drink water regularly for their survival. Without water, like most other animals, they would die of thirst relatively soon.
Therefore, it is important that you always offer fresh water to your chinchillas. They may not drink large amounts, but it should always be fresh. Otherwise, the chinchillas can easily fall ill.
It is best to use water bowls* that you place in the cage. Water bowls are better than water bottles, which are often offered to rodents.
Drinking from a water bowl is much more natural for chinchillas than drinking from a water bottle. It is also less strenuous for them.
In addition, the water in the water bowls also stays fresh longer. The germ load does not increase so quickly.
Water bowls are also easier to clean than water bottles. This also reduces the germ load. However, since chinchillas are not allowed to bathe in water, the contamination of the water is usually kept within limits.
We will discuss which water is best in the next chapter.
Which Water Should I Provide for My Chinchillas?
When it comes to water quality, there are several options that could be used for drinking water. However, not all of these options are equally good.
In fact, some of these options are rather bad for your chinchillas and could cause severe damage to their health.
So, let’s take a look at what possible water sources there are for your chinchillas’ drinking water and how good they are.
Can Chinchillas Drink Tap Water?
Tap water is one of the best-monitored foodstuffs in many countries. The guidelines for drinking water are often very strict, are relatively well monitored and the limits for pollutants are set very low.
In some countries, drinking water regulations are even stricter than those for mineral water.
So, in many cases, drinking water from the tap is healthy and recommended as food for humans and animals. It contains healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonates, and even hard water is no problem for healthy animals.
So normally it is not necessary to switch to mineral water or to filter the water. If you live in a house with very old water pipes, these water pipes could consist of ungalvanized copper or lead.
In that case, you should have the water tested to see if they are releasing too much copper or lead into the water. Also, if the water contains other pollutants that enter the water only on the way from the waterworks to the house, it is necessary to switch to mineral water. Here, too, appropriate tests are useful.
Can Chinchillas Drink Filterd Water?
In most areas, it is not necessary to filter the tap water. Only if you have very hard water and your pet has kidney disease or in your residential area there is a stronger load of germs in the water, it may be advisable to filter the water.
But you should keep in mind that the water filter itself is often a source of germs. Filtered water is often even a source of danger.
In most cases, the filter elements are not replaced frequently enough because they are relatively expensive. And so in many filter jugs, there is a very high bacterial load in the filter and ultimately also in the water.
So we can recommend filtered water only to a limited extent.
Can Chinchillas Drink Mineral Water?
Mineral water is not fundamentally better than tap water. Many types of mineral water have a high nitrate value. And the long storage in bottles deteriorates the quality.
If you want to use mineral water or table water, make sure that the water you choose is low in nitrates.
Of course, only non-carbonated mineral water is suitable as drinking water for chinchillas. The guideline values for pollutants in water are set much higher for foodstuffs, i.e. mineral water, table water, etc., than those for tap water. Thus, mineral water is often more contaminated with pollutants.
On the other hand, the limit values for microbiological contaminants are lower than for tap water.
We can therefore only recommend mineral water as drinking water for chinchillas with limitations.
Can Chinchillas Drink Rain Water?
Rainwater is extremely unclean, it contains a lot of pollutants that are dissolved in the air and thus get into the rain. Just think, for example, of the car exhaust gases that are in the air and are washed into the rainwater.
Also, rainwater often contains pollen, especially in spring, which is not always harmless. They can trigger allergies and in the worst case can even be toxic.
Important minerals, on the other hand, are missing from rainwater. These only enter the water on their way through the soil. Rainwater is therefore absolutely unsuitable as drinking water!
How Much Water Should Chinchillas Drink in a Day?
Chinchillas, of course, are not particularly large animals. This also means that they will not drink very much water per day.
Usually, chinchillas only drink about 2 oz of water per day. However, you should still offer more water because this is just an average.
One chinchilla may drink less, another chinchilla may drink more. It also depends on the day how much a chinchilla drinks. The more exercise and excitement they have, the more water they need.
How Long Can Chinchillas Go Without Water?
Chinchillas need to drink several times a day to stay healthy.
Of course, they would survive even if they have no water for a day. But it would still harm them.
Therefore, you should make sure that your chinchillas get fresh water every day.
When it comes down to it, chinchillas can survive a few days without water. However, their health would suffer more from every day they do not take water.
How Often Should I Replace the Water?
Chinchillas should always have fresh water in the cage. Therefore, it is important that you change the water every day.
In stagnant water over time can form germs that can cause diseases. In addition, your chinchillas will most likely also contaminate the water themselves, which increases germ formation.
So always remember to change the water every day. If necessary, because you see impurities in the water, even several times a day.
Also, make sure that you use rather soft water.
What Other Liquids Can Chinchillas Drink?
Actually, chinchillas do not need other liquids. Water is all they need.
Their diet also includes vegetables and fruits. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to offer them fruit juices. Chinchillas do not tolerate very much sugar, which is abundant in juices. Sugar causes diarrhea in them.
By the way, this is also the reason why you should give fruit and most vegetables only as occasional treats.
Milk is also not the right drink for chinchillas. Just like fruits and vegetables, milk contains a sugar called lactose. This again brings us to the rule that chinchillas do not tolerate sugar well.
Therefore, you should refrain from giving your chinchillas milk.
Some pet stores sell special rodent drinkers. This is special water with many additives such as minerals and vitamins.
However, different rodents have different needs for minerals and vitamins. The rodent drinks are not adapted to individual rodent species and therefore do not address the specific needs of chinchillas.
If you feed your chinchillas well and varied, they do not need additional minerals or vitamins. In some cases, for example with bladder problems, these supplements can even be harmful.
Therefore, just stick to the proven and important water. Other drinks are not necessary for your chinchillas or can even harm them.
Chinchillas drink water, in fact, they need to drink water to survive.
Per day and chinchilla is enough about 2 oz of water, but you better give a little more. Change the water every day to prevent contamination with germs.
It is best to use a water bowl that you place in the cage.
Other drinks such as milk or fruit juices are not suitable for chinchillas as they contain sugar. You should also rather do without the rodent drinks from the pet store.
The simple solution is the best for your chinchillas. Fresh water every day is the best thing you can do for them.