ChillDust™ is naturally pure, non-crystalline, 100% pumice blended from select grades to provide both a gleeful dust frolic and highly effective cleaning. Dust bathing is a fascinating, instinctual grooming behavior of chinchillas, degus, dwarf hamsters, gerbils and similar furry dry-climate critters — designed by nature to keep fur effectively clean and skin in primo health.
In the wild, chinchillas, in particular, actively seek out the volcanic pumice deposits abundant in the South American Andes region they call home, as pumice dust is nature-engineered to be highly effective for dry bathing.
But all pumice is not created the same, nor is the bathing dust created from it. See Why ChillDust? below.
Instructions for Using ChillDust™
A regular dust bath is an absolute necessity for chinchillas and degus. The romp of a vigorous dust bath is one of their natural behaviors, and pumice dust is highly effective in cleaning their incredibly dense and luxurious fur. Not only does this dust bath help to keep that lush fur smooth and silky, it is a relaxing, fun, and social experience for chinchillas. Indeed, chinchillas really get into their baths, rolling and flipping and scratching in the dust with great abandon.
Gerbils do not need dust baths to the extent that chinchillas need them. However, being desert-dwelling critters, they do enjoy and benefit from a regular dust-bath. Dwarf hamsters as well. Some gerbil and hamster owners have had success introducing the dust-bathing behavior by sprinkling some of the bathing dust on the backs of their critter, encouraging them to roll around.
Depending on the individual critter, you will need to adjust the frequency and length of the dust bath, but a good starting point (especially with chinchillas) is twice a week for up to 15 minutes each session. Use an inch or so of dust in a bathing container. ChillDust can certainly be left in the cage for free-choice use, but will get soiled and will need to be cleaned and changed often. And some critters may begin using the dust bath it as a litter box or may bath so frequently that they dry out their skin, so keep an eye on things and adjust as needed. Also, we advise against rotating the same dust among multiple cages and animals, as this may spread fungus and other problems.
Dust Control Tips
Because of the natural relative density of the pumice we source for ChillDust™, chinchilla breeders confirm that there is much less airborne dust generated from the vigorous and acrobatic bathing behaviors of their critters than from competing products they have used, but you'll still get some pumice dust in the air. Tips to control the dust include using a covered dust-bathing container (like a fish bowl or similar container designed specifically for the purpose), draping a large, dust-catching towel (or similar) temporarily over the cage, and adding an air filtration unit to the room and change and/or clean the particulate filter regularly. Chilldust is non-crystalline in structure, so breathing the dust is not hazardous, but if you breathe enough of it—like any benign airborne particulate—irritation may result.