Having acquired a hamster, you will eventually want to give him a hygiene procedure so that he becomes clean and tidy again. Although these animals are clean and keep their coat clean, sometimes washing with their paws is not enough. Is it possible to bathe a hamster if it is obviously dirty or has parasites – this question is asked by many owners of rodents.
Do hamsters need to be bathed?
There can be no question of any regular bathing of the hamster, since every contact with water gives him stress. There are situations when the animal is very dirty or you notice parasites on it (which happens extremely rarely). When asked if it is possible to bathe hamsters in this case, the answer will be yes. However, the procedure must be carried out very carefully, making sure that water and foam do not get into his eyes, ears and mouth.
Bathing a hamster in the sand
The most optimal and recommended option by veterinarians is to use sand for bathing hamsters. It is advisable to purchase a special mixture for this at the pet store. You may be offered chinchilla sand as an alternative, but this is undesirable because it is too fine and the hamster can inhale it into their lungs.
To clean your pet’s fur in this way, you do not need to be directly involved in the procedure. You just have to put a container of sand in the cage, and the hamster will do everything on its own. It looks like rolling and somersaulting, interspersed with washing. In the process of such a procedure, all dirt and grease are erased from the fur, as a result, the pet becomes clean and fluffy. Moreover, there is a natural grinding of claws, which is also a positive result of such bathing.
Can you bathe a hamster in water?
The opinions of veterinarians about water procedures applicable to hamsters are somewhat different. So, some completely deny the need for bathing in water, referring to the stress experienced by the animal in the process. Others still allow washing the hamster, but only when absolutely necessary. How to bathe a hamster when neither sand nor wiping with a damp cloth helps in the fight for cleanliness – this will be discussed a little lower.
How to bathe a hamster?
So, we came close to the question of how to wash a hamster:
- The water should be warm, slightly above room temperature.
- The use of shampoo is permissible in the presence of parasites or in case of severe pollution. It should be a special tool, but not human shampoos.
- Having immersed the hamster in a bath of water, you can not leave him unattended for a minute. Carefully watch that foam and water do not fall on his muzzle.
- Lather the shampoo with one finger, so as not to provoke the formation of excessive foam.
- At the end of soaping, the foam must be thoroughly washed off by rinsing the animal’s fur.
- You can not immediately release the hamster. After bathing, it must be completely dried. First, it is wiped with a soft towel, then the hair is dried with a hair dryer, turned on at the lowest speed and temperature.
- Only after making sure that the pet is completely dry and not cold, you can return it to the cage.
How to wash Djungarian hamsters?
For these cute crumbs, there are 3 main ways to bathe – in the sand, in the water and with the help of wet wipes. Sand baths are considered the safest. We already wrote about how to bathe hamsters in the sand. We repeat that you will need a small container such as a bath and special sand for bathing hamsters. The Djungarian hamster will “splash” in such a bathroom with great pleasure, putting his fur in order.
As for water procedures and whether it is possible to bathe a hamster in this way, many argue that Djungarian hamsters tolerate them better than other breeds, since their natural habitat suggests the presence of water bodies, and bathing is a natural process for them. Individuals raised in captivity will still experience stress, but there are many who love to swim in the water. They can splash around in the bath for a long time and with rapture, and yet you should not let them do it too often.
The third option – wiping the hamster with wet cotton pads and napkins, is used in cases where he himself cannot cope with pollution. It is advisable to use baby wipes for this purpose, since they do not contain flavors and alcohols that are harmful to the rodent. After such a rubdown, the pet also needs to be dried with a hairdryer or towel.
How to wash Syrian hamsters?
Is it possible to bathe a Syrian hamster and what hygiene procedures are generally acceptable for him – a common question of breeders. Like representatives of most other breeds, Syrian hamsters do not like to swim in the water, moreover, they can catch a cold from this, especially long-haired ones. How to wash hamsters in case of emergency: they can be quickly rinsed under a gentle stream of water, then dried thoroughly. To alleviate the stressful situation, you can give them a homeopathic sedative. It is safer and easier to use wet wipes or sand bathing.
How often are hamsters washed?
As has been repeatedly said, bathing hamsters in water is by no means a regular procedure and is permissible only when absolutely necessary. In all other cases, hamsters will either manage hygiene on their own, being naturally extremely clean animals, or you can help them by offering a sand or chalk bath. The second option allows the constant presence of sand / chalk in the cage, then the hamster himself will be able to regulate the frequency of hygiene procedures.