Chinchillas have taken place in our hearts, cute, warm, fuzzy little creatures. Although many think chinchillas are hypoallergenic pets, conversely, others experience chinchilla allergy. This raises a few questions, are chinchillas hypoallergenic? Is there such thing as Chinchilla allergy?
This article will clarify these two queries.
Are Chinchillas Hypoallergenic Pets?
To begin, what is hypoallergenic?
When animals are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, they are considered to be hypoallergenic. To be hypoallergenic does not mean they are not allergic.
It simply means that they are doubtful to cause an allergic reaction when their danders come in contact with some people. Before you can get a chinchilla, you must know if they are hypoallergenic.
Many people confuse hypoallergenic with non-allergenic, which is not the same thing at all.
Since chinchillas produce very little dander, they can technically be called hypoallergenic. This could mean that people who are allergic to other furry pets can own chinchillas without any problems.
So, to answer the first question, are chinchillas hypoallergenic pets? Yes. They are hypoallergenic because they do not have dander like cats or dogs.
Therefore, few people are exposed to enough dander actually to have an allergic reaction. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible because chinchilla allergy is a thing, no doubt.
Can you be allergic to chinchillas?
Chinchilla danders may not be the only factor to cause allergic reactions to them; there are other ways that “they” can cause allergic reactions.
So, let’s dig deeper with our newly acquired knowledge that Chinchillas are hypoallergenic pets, shall we?
Despite their lush, soft but thick fur, they don’t have as much dander as you might think, and it’s understandable to be surprised by this. It truly is.
But I promise you that when you think about the properties of chinchillas’ fur, it’ll all make perfect sense.
You see, Chinchillas produce very little dander (I haven’t heard of any chinchilla owner walking around and picking chinchilla fur and dander unless that’s some gigantic, cross-breed chinchilla). For this reason, the likelihood of a chinchilla causing an allergic reaction is shallow.
They do not shed as much dander as other furry animals like cats, dogs, even other rodent pets. Research publications further back this up; many studies have shown that people who are allergic to animal dander do not have strong reactions when they contact chinchillas.
This doesn’t mean they don’t shed dander. Because they do, and they shed more dander than usual when seasonal temperatures change.
It is important to note that chinchillas are not the only thing you may be allergic to. You may also be allergic to food, bedding, or items found in their habitat.
If you know someone who thinks they are allergic to chinchillas, chances are, they may be allergic to something other than chinchillas’ danders themselves.
Chinchillas are relatively clean rodent pets. They are also odorless by nature.
If your chinchilla has a foul odor, their cage is not clean, or they are sick. So you should be aware of this.
But ever wonder why chinchillas do not shed dander like other pets?
I bet you did. Let’s find an answer to this.
The secret to Chinchillas’ almost dander-less magic.
At this point, it is evident that chinchillas are not like other furry animals when it comes to their dander properties. I hope you do not think that something is wrong with the chinchillas because the answer is firm, no.
So why don’t chinchillas shed dander like other pets? The clue is what dander is.
Dander put simply, is dead skin. These are skin cells usually naturally shed from the body when they die or lose their moisture and elasticity. And since chinchillas do have skin, duh, it’s reasonable to assume they should shed dander.
Because if they didn’t, where would the dead skin cells come from, right?
Chinchilla does not shed dander like other pets because its thick fur catches the dander as it falls. When other animals shake or brush their furs against an object, it leaves dander behind. But a chinchilla’s dander stays trapped in its fur.
This the same ready they are more suitable for people who are allergic to pets. This doesn’t mean they don’t cause allergies at all. It just means that they are less likely to do so because they don’t spread dander everywhere.
You should probably know that our furry friends, chinchillas, are one of the cleanest pets you can get. Aside from the random sand baths that are important to their health, chinchillas will take good care of themselves.
Do you have allergies to chinchilla food?
If you suffer from an allergic reaction and are concerned that it is due to the chinchilla, you should reconsider. You may be allergic to chinchilla food.
No, we’re not accusing you of gobbling up your chinchilla’s food. You may have chinchilla allergy symptoms from breathing if some particles are found in their food.
Chinchillas mainly eat food pellets, but they also eat Timothy hay and dried alfalfa now and then.
If you have a medical condition such as asthma or are allergic to furry animals, you are allergic to the hay dust that travels through the air when feeding chinchillas. This means that you may be allergic to the chinchilla’s food and not have a chinchilla allergy.
Does that make sense?
How to reduce having Chinchilla allergy symptoms?
Your pet chinchilla needs food to function, he must eat, and you cannot starve it because you have an allergic reaction to his food.
The logical thing to do is to wear a mask and gloves while feeding.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has taught us all the importance of wearing masks.
Whether you wear gloves or not, it’s important to remember to wash your hands after handling hay.
It would be best if you chose an old shirt, apron, or even overalls over your clothes when offering hay. If your allergies are severe, you certainly don’t want to spend the entire day with your feeding clothes all covered in hay.
What about their “dust” baths?
Do you have an allergy to Chinchilla dust baths?
It is well known that chinchillas like to bathe in dust several times a week. This fine dust is essential for chinchillas because it removes the grease from their fur.
After bathing, they develop the habit of shaking everything off. These dust particles can easily escape and free float in the air of the room and then drift to where you are.
If you are allergic to these particles (and many people are), you will undoubtedly experience an allergic reaction, would falsely make you think your chinchilla causes it.
To avoid getting caught during allergen peak periods, as it were, try to stay away from your chinchilla once it starts dusting itself off. It’ll be best if you leave the room entirely.
Afterward, be sure to clean the cage and surrounding area, as the dust may settle elsewhere.
The solution here is to make sure you keep the cage clean. This way, you will not have any allergic reactions to anything.
Sadly, you cannot buy hypoallergenic chinchilla dust. Chinchilla dust is only used for chinchilla bathing and has not been “treated” in any way to make it hypoallergenic.
The dust is specifically designed to remove grease and dander from the chinchilla’s coat, and that’s all it does. This means that, unfortunately, hypoallergenic chinchilla dust is not an option you can make.
Can you be allergic to chinchilla cages?
There is also the issue of chinchilla cages. Most of their cages have wood shavings underneath for urine/liquid absorption.
This is not unique, as most pet rodents have cages built in this manner. The issue is that people who are allergic to wood shavings may react to the pine dust raised due to the chinchilla’s daily activities.
Since the chinchilla is a reasonably active rodent, it is likely to raise dust, and people with allergies will be discomforted by it.
The best way to effectively tackle this problem is to have safe bedding for your chinchilla. There are lots of options you should consider include paper, aspen shavings, or kiln-dried pine shavings.
If you can put your hand on it, you may also want to consider using wool. Since it doesn’t have shavings and tiny particles flying around, this would be a perfect solution.
However, if you do have wool, make sure you get two sets. This way, you can clean one while you use the other.
You should avoid bedding products such as mixed wood shavings, corn cobs, synthetic bedding, and cat litter. They are not suitable for chinchillas.
If you have spare time, you can try setting up a small litter box with shavings and encourage your pet to use it inside. However, you should be aware that this may not work as chinchillas are not the most meticulous pets.
What does hypoallergenic mean?
How do you know whether you’re truly allergic to chinchillas or anything else that comes with them?
Experts believe that removing all the accessories and keeping the animal in a clean cage with no additions or bedding for an hour or so and spending an hour or two around it will tell you if you are allergic to chinchillas or something else.
chinchilla allergy – sneezing
If you’re in the market shopping for a hypoallergenic pet, chinchillas may be the best choice. They produce little or no dander and are very unlikely to cause allergies to people who adopt them as pets.
However, chinchillas are not considered non-allergenic, as they can still cause allergic reactions. But this chance is meager.
sneezing is common when people are experiencing an allergy in connection to their chinchillas and sneezing is a common symptom with every single allergic reaction known to man.
Are chinchillas hypoallergenic? Is what you’re experiencing a chinchilla allergy or is it in fact, an allergic reaction to chinchilla-related objects, food?
We now know that chinchillas are hypoallergenic. We have explained why they are hypoallergenic and what this means for you.
We have also discussed how to prevent allergic reactions caused by caring for chinchillas and the possible sources of these reactions. These allergens usually come from the food chinchillas eat or the dust baths that chinchillas use to remove grease from their fur.
It may even come from their urine-soaked bedding.
As long as you maintain the cleanliness of your chinchilla’s cage clean, please stay away from them when bathing them and wear gloves and a muzzle when feeding them. You are unlikely to experience any allergy symptoms.