There have been said and written many facts and opinions about chinchillas nutrition. Chinchilla’s diet is absolutely vital for his health and longevity. Water, of course, is a fundamental necessity for the chinchilla and the number one nutritional requirement. However, water nowadays especially in cities is not as clean or pure as it could.
Although many of us in lot of countries drink tap water in many cases tap water to be disinfected has chlorine and sometimes excessive chlorine. In addition, tap water could also have small amounts of parasites or could be contaminated by lead, pesticides and chemicals. The truth is that many of us drink the tap water but it can prove harmful to chinchillas.
What water should I provide my chinchilla?
Tap water could be boiled and left to cool to serve it. When you boil water, you clean it from chlorine but it depends from the amount of chlorine it has and also if it contains other chemicals it is not guaranteed that all the harmful effects will be completely removed by boiling the water. Tap water also could be very rich in minerals, which is not good also, but a fair amount of minerals in the water is good.
Bottled water is a very good solution only if you search and find a brand with the less minerals, and a good chemical analysis.
Filtered and Distilled water maybe is the best solution. Water’s minerals and nutrients are removed by these methods but we prefer the cleanest chinchilla water we can get and safety by the serious and potentially dangerous problems that tap water has. Anyway, more than 90% of our minerals come from our food.
You should give your chinchilla fresh water daily and keep the bottles clean. Never use bowl which can be tipped over or contaminated with waste and bedding. A dirty bottle can grow algae and result in a sick chinchilla. Instead, use a water bottle with a sipper tube and hanging the water bottle on the outside of the cage so just the tip of the spout is inside discourages chewing of the sipper tube. Position the bottle on the bottom level of the cage so chinchillas can have easy access but not too low. Chinchillas should drink water with the head looking high.
I recommend attaching two water bottles at the cage because a water bottle can fail at the spout of drinking. You should check the water level daily so to know if the spout is working correctly. The spout could also fail and leaking if a water bottle empties too quickly. Cleaning water bottles as we said is vital, at least once a week. You can sterilize water bottles in a dishwasher weekly or boil them.