Hamsters are naturally very clean and hygienic animals. Like cats, they spend more than 20% of their days grooming their skin. For them, it is part of their daily routine, and grooming indicates that they feel good at all levels.
The way hamsters clean themselves is so effective that it is actually absolutely unnecessary to bathe them. Moreover, immersing them in water or “showering” them is not healthy for them.
However, if the animal is very dirty, there are special baths that can help to clean them. You own a hamster, with long or short hair, and you think it needs a bath? Keep reading this article from hamster boss to find out how to bathe your hamster.
Bathe or not to bathe ?
As mentioned above, it is not advisable to bathe your hamster regularly. Indeed, by immersing it in large quantities of water, you would remove the natural oils that protect its skin and act as regulators of its body temperature. Nature is very wise!
If it is very dirty or has residue on its skin, you can give it a bath every 2 or 3 weeks. This should be a particular type of bath, for which you have several options. If your hamster has a short coat, the process will be easier. Moreover, the molt will not be so dramatic. On the other hand, if you have a long-bristled hamster, try brushing it with a soft brush.
Three types of bath for hamsters
Hamsters are very delicate animals, so there are three types of special baths that you can make. Discover these three options and decide which one is best for your pet:
1 – Dry bath
Go to a pet store and ask for a special dry shampoo for rodents. Do not use any product available in supermarkets, there is no substitute. When you get home, grab a small towel, such as those used to dry your hands or a little larger, and gently place your hamster in it.
Spread the shampoo all over his body except his head, pay attention to his eyes, nose, ears and mouth. Use a soft brush and offer a pleasant and gentle massage to help spread all the shampoo evenly. Brush both in the direction of the hair and against it, little by little, remove all traces of dirt and of the product.
2 – Sand baths
This option is the easiest for you and the least stressful for your pet. This is the version of the bubble bath for hamsters. Place a large container filled with sand in your pet’s shelter. It should be large enough for your hamster to enter and feel comfortable.
This is one of the reasons why you need to provide a suitable environment for your pet. Your hamster will love to roll in the sand and it will be a great way to remove any dirt from his skin. You can buy the container in any supermarket.
Remember that the sand must be designed specifically for rodents (chinchilla sand will work very well) and must be sterilized.
3 – Water bath
This option will be the last of all; it should only be used if your hamster is not interested in sand, is allergic to dry shampoo or cannot stand to be handled. To conclude this article and know how to bathe your hamster, use the water bath:
Choose a shallow container and always use lukewarm water. Avoid wetting your hamster’s head and make the task as gentle as possible. Indeed, the bath could be stressful for your pet.
In terms of soap or shampoo, buy a special one for hamsters or rodents. Don’t leave it in the water for long periods of time, try to be fast and efficient. Once the bath is finished, immediately dry your hamster with a towel and keep it warm and comfortable.