When cats and dogs begin to stink, we give them a bath to keep them clean. Should we also give hamsters a bath?
The grooming requirements of a hamster are significantly different from those of larger pets!
In this article, we’ll go over some helpful hints for keeping your hamsters clean, as well as tools that will make bathing safer and more pleasurable.
Can You Give Hamsters a Bath?
Hamsters are naturally clean animals that spend up to 20% of their time grooming themselves and have virtually no odour. As a result, they don’t need to be bathed as regularly to maintain a healthy degree of cleanliness.
You should never attempt to bathe your hamsters with water if they are unable to clean
themselves appropriately (with the exception of particular situations).
When hamsters are damp, they are more susceptible to colds and may die as a result.
It is critical not to get your hamsters wet. The essential oils and sweat glands that keep their coat healthy are washed away by water. Hamsters are far more prone to developing a cold without them.
Why Does Your Hamster Still Smell?
You might be asking why, if hamsters are naturally clean creatures, they nevertheless stink.
Here are a few possibilities for why this is happening.
- A Filthy Cage
How often you should clean a hamster cage
It’s critical to maintain a clean and pleasant environment for your hamster. However, you should not clean it too often because various fragrances will stress your hamster.
As a general rule:
● Clean toilet area daily
● Change bedding whenever soiled/wet
● Wipe their food dish weekly
● Clean their bottle weekly
● Place new bedding weekly
● With mild soap and water, clean out their entire habitat (including hamster toys and
hamster wheels) weekly/every other week
The frequency with which you clean it is determined on the size of the enclosure and the number of hamsters you have.The mess would be spread out over a bigger region in a larger location. The trash produced by more hamsters will necessitate more frequent cleaning.
- Your hamster might be ill
If your hamsters emit a stronger-than-usual odour, though, you should take them to the vet since they could be sick. Hamsters that are in good health will clean themselves on a regular basis.
Here are some of the most frequent hamster illnesses which could be the source of the foul odour.
1. Wet Tail
A kind of bacterium causes Wet Tail, which results in diarrhoea through inflammation of the small intestine. It’s deadly, and you should get medical help as quickly as possible. Only young Syrian hamsters are affected by Wet Tail in the majority of cases.
2. Yeast or fungal infection
Contaminated or moist beddings induce yeast/fungal illness.
These illnesses are quite common in all pet hamsters due to our tropical climate. It’s non-lethal, and with careful treatment, it can be treated in a few weeks.
Because these infections are contagious, it’s better to avoid them by replacing dirty beddings as soon as possible.
3. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTI, another prevalent hamster ailment, is a painful condition. Bacteria can enter the urethra and infect their bladder due to their small size.
A hamster with a urinary tract infection (UTI) will urinate more frequently than usual, with blood traces in their urine. In order to flush out the infection, they will drink extra water.
However, natural cures for UTI are quite rare. It is critical to see a veterinarian as soon as possible and take the appropriate treatment. Otherwise, it could deteriorate into something more serious.
If you have more than one hamster, isolate the afflicted one because it is contagious. You should also temporarily replace their bedding with kitchen towels to prevent further contamination.
Finally, follow your veterinarian’s advice and keep an eye on your hamster on a frequent basis.
How to Bathe and Groom Your Hamster
While a water bath isn’t the ideal choice for your hamster’s cleanliness, there are a few alternative options.
When your hamsters are dirty or have anything stuck in their fur, brushing or combing is an excellent technique to safely clean them.
It effectively removes most dirt, faeces, and other debris while keeping your hamster dry. Brushing should be done more frequently for hamsters with longer fur.
For this, you can utilise hamster brushes and combs, as well as a standard toothbrush.
How to brush your hamster’s fur
Picking up your hamsters by the skin on the back of their necks is a simple task. This typically calms them down and keeps them from trying to flee.
Keep an eye out for signs of tumours and other skin disorders while brushing. If you observe a wetness in the rear portions of Syrian hamsters, you should take them to the vet since they are susceptible to Wet Tail
Using scissors to trim their fur
Brushing carefully may not be enough to remove the toxins lodged in their fur in some
circumstances. As a result, a small pair of grooming scissors could be useful for trimming their fur.
This is when dog grooming scissors designed for sensitive places like the back of their ears come in handy. They have rounded edges, are exact, and do not pull when used.
How to trim your hamster’s fur
Begin by grabbing the fur you want to trim between your fingers while keeping the hamster as still as possible. Trim the fur quickly and carefully with the scissors in your hands.
This is the favoured way of grooming because it is the safest and may be done on a regular basis. Many hamsters, in fact, seem to like it! Bathing in the sand keeps their coat clean and grease-free.
How to bathe a hamster using sand
- Get a large enough container or bath house for your hamster to roll about in.
- Fill it with a small pet-specific bath powder.
- Keep an eye on your hamster as he wiggles around in the sand.
- When the bath is finished, dust your hamsters or allow them to do it on their own.
Most messes on their fur, including dirt and solidified faeces, will come off easily.
When buying bath sand, be sure it’s actually sand and not dust. When hamsters swallow dust, it can cause respiratory problems.
Following that is spot cleaning, which entails cleaning specific dirty locations on your hamster.
Because it requires water, this procedure should only be done if all other options have failed.
How to spot clean your hamster
- Find a warm room where the hamster’s fur can dry easily
- Use hamster wipes or a part of a soft or washcloth.
- Clean the dirty spot on the hamster gently with the damp cloth/wipe.
- Allow the fur to air dry completely before returning them to their cage once you’ve
finished washing. This will reduce the chances of them getting a cold.
A soaking bath is your final resort. Despite the fact that wet baths are toxic for hamsters, there are times when they are the only alternative. Poisonous or hazardous chemicals can become entangled in their fur. Water is the least of two evils, given that a hamster could die if it ingest them.
How to give your hamster a wet bath
- Wet a toothbrush
- Place the hamster on your palm or a flat surface and keep it as still as you can.
- Brush the stuff off your hamster with the wet toothbrush in your other hand.
- Allow your hamster to dry thoroughly in a warm, airy place before returning them to their homes after brushing. They will not catch a cold as a result of this.
Ways to Bathe Your Hamster
While there are a variety of techniques to clean your hamster, it’s always preferable to let them do it on their own. Observing your pets on a regular basis allows you to detect problems early and cure them before they become more serious.
Visit our pet website or any of the Pet Lovers Centre branches near you today to treat your pet hamster with the best toys and even learn some tips and tricks on how to care for them that you never knew existed!