Unlike other animals, hamsters are naturally clean ones. You may have seen hamsters swimming. But they don’t do so unless it is an extreme situation. That’s because hamsters have a layer of natural oils on their fur to protect themselves from rain and cold, just like a waterproof jacket.
Is your hamster looking dirty? If yes, you might want to give your little pet furball a good bath. But do you know how to bathe a hamster?
Bathing hamsters in water is the easiest way to clean them. But don’t even imagine doing so unless it’s essential. Water will remove some essential oils from their fur and cause the hamsters to get easily sick or dirty in the future. So you should choose options like a sand bath or dust bath.
All these processes have different steps to follow. So let’s get to know how to bathe a hamster in detail.
The first thing you need to do is determining if a bath is necessary for your pet. You can decide to bathe your hamster in any of these situations.
- If your hamster has tripped into something dirty or dangerous
- If something irritates the hamster’s skin
- If there’s something on your hamster’s fur, swallowing which can upset its stomach
There are various ways to bathe a hamster. However, as we recommend you not wash your hamster with water, you can go with the other methods.
Going for a sand bath or dust bath are both excellent options. You can choose any one of them based on your amenities and preference. Only choose a wet bath for your hamster when it’s indispensable.
The most popular option available for you to bathe their hamster is a sand bath. It’s exactly what it says on the label. A sand bath is enough for your hamster if it is not dirty to the level of life-threatening.
Grab A Container
Choose a container or tray that has enough space for your hamster to move around. In that container, your hamster should be able to tumble around freely without facing too much obstruction.
Collect a suitable amount of the normal grainy sand that’s available everywhere. If you want a better or upgraded bathing experience for your pet, you can buy chinchilla sand from your local pet shop. You can also go for children’s play sand available in your local hardware shop.
All three types of sand are suitable for your little hamster. To sterilize the sand, you can use your oven.
Fill The Container With Sand
After collecting the suitable sand, fill your container with enough amounts of it so that your hamster can roll around.
Leave The Container Inside The Cage
Then place the sand-filled container on the cage. Make sure to put your hamster on top of the sand, too, if you see that it’s not getting in on its own. Then, as your hamster tumbles around in the sand, all the dirt and unnecessary grease will fall off from its fur.
Dwarf hamsters prefer to roll around. On the other hand, Syrians and Chinese hamsters prefer to dig and slide their body on the sand.
Dust-Off The Sand
After the bathing is complete, dust off the sand using a comb. If your tiny pet friend is trained well enough, it can do that itself too.
Change The Sand
You can keep the container in the cage for a week. But for sanitary reasons, you should change the sand in the container every week. The sand can be used again after removing the waste using a sieve. It will save both your time and money.
A dust bath is just the same as a sand bath. The only difference is that we use dust in this method instead of sand. It is more helpful for dwarf hamsters.
Collect A Tray Or Bowl
Collect a big enough bowl or tray in which your hamster can tumble around easily.
Buy Small Animal Dust
Buy small animal dust available in your local pet shops.
Fill The Bowl With Dust
After collecting the container and dust, fill up the container with a suitable amount. However, do remember that you don’t need dust as much sand you required for a sand bath.
Put It On The Cage
Then put the bowl on the cage. Your hamster will tumble around on the dust. And the dirt and additional oil will come off its fur in a while.
Take The Bowl Out
You can keep the bowl in the cage for 12 hours at best. After that, you should take it out. Because overuse of dust can cause some respiratory problems to your hamster. Like sand, you cannot use the dust twice. It needs to be discarded and changed.
If you think your hamster is in a life-threatening situation, then the last option available to you is a wet bath.
Though it is harmful to hamsters, in some cases, it is the only way to go. For example, if something toxic is on its fur, which can take its life if consumed, or it stings so badly that your hamster can’t tolerate it anymore, you can choose this way.
Take A Toothbrush
Select a soft used or brand-new toothbrush for bathing your hamster.
Make It Wet
Wet the toothbrush with water. You can use a little shampoo in the water, too, to remove the odor. Don’t overdo it, though.
Brush Out The Dirt
Take your hamster in your palm. Then, using the toothbrush, brush out all the dirt from the hamster’s body. Do it gently.
Dry The Hamster
After that, dry off your hamster using a soft towel by wiping off the water. Or You can let your hamster do that itself. Just place your furry little friend in a well-ventilated place to dry naturally.
Hamsters are fast learners and require low maintenance. If the hamster is trained well enough, then let it clean itself using a sand bath. Hamsters can also play around the sand. So it’s also a great way to make your pet active and keep it entertained.
However, giving your hamster a water bath is not always recommended. We hope you could find out various ways of how to bathe a hamster after going through our take on the matter. Have fun with your little pet friend!