Have you read our most recent article on hamster cages? If you are searching for a new cage, our piece contains a lot of useful information. And speaking of hamsters, there is a debate on whether or not is it all right to bathe your pet hamster.
We decided to do some research on this matter and offer you some valuable information. We want to help you raise healthy and happy pets, and this article is intended for this purpose!
Bathing a Hamster
Although we like to offer a lot of explanations and provide many details related to a particular topic, this time we decided to dive right into the matter. So, what does bathing a hamster mean?
Bathing removes the pet’s natural and essential oils from his or her coat. This can cause the animal to catch a cold and die, because these oils have an important role in maintaining the right body temperature.
You should only bathe your hamster under exceptional circumstances. You should give your pet a bath in case there is varnish, paint, or anything toxic on the coat which has the potential to harm him or her in case of ingestion, and cannot be removed in any other way. If not toxic, your animal will clean himself or herself.
Chinchilla sand can keep the coat grease-free and clean. In normal situations, there should be no need to bathe your hamster with water at all.
Giving Your Hamster a Bath Correctly
In case your hamster gets harmful or toxic substances on his or her coat, then you should certainly bathe your pet. Still, this is the last resort, if you cannot cut it out of the coat. Gum or other sticky stuff can usually be cut out.
The most appropriate way to bathe your hamster is by doing the following: first, get a bowl with two inches of warm water. Make sure you test the temperature with your elbow so it is neither too hot or too cold.
Wet your hamster’s coat and rub into the dirty area to cleanse it, gently. It is very important to make sure that no water gets near the ears, eyes, nose, or mouth. In case your pet has something sticky on him or her that cannot be cut out, you should use baby shampoo, no other kind. Again, make sure no foam or water gets near the pet’s face.
Then, carefully rinse out the shampoo, and place your pet on a dry towel. You need to be extremely cautious with his or her legs and only use gentle movements to dry your hamster.
The next step is to get a hair dryer and put it on its lowest setting. Make sure you hold it at a distance from your pet, and always keep your hand between the two in order to avoid burning his or her skin. In case your little friend is afraid of the sound and gets feisty, get help from another person.
It is also very important for the hamster to be completely dry before placing him or her back in the cage. Otherwise, the bedding will start to stick to the damp fur.
Although we offered details on how to give your pet a bath, it is also important to mention that there is no safe way to bathe a hamster. So, you should definitely not wash your small friend if he or she smells or looks a little grubby. You should do this only if there is something very harmful on the fur that cannot be removed using some other method.
In case your hamster smells really bad, he or she might be sick and should be taken to the vet immediately. In order to keep your small pet clean and healthy, it is essential to make sure that the habitat is cleaned out frequently.
Now that we established that bathing your hamster is not the right way to go about things, we’ve just mentioned that it is very important to keep the cage clean. There is an entire routine you need to perform, and we are here to explain how to do things correctly.
Cleaning your hamster’s cage might not be among your favorite ways to spend time with your little friend but it is very important for the well-being of both your pet and yourself.
Before you want to clean the habitat, you should assess the cage and the contents. You should look for anything that needs to be cleaned at least once a day, even if it is not a scheduled cleaning day.
You should know that cleaning your pet’s cage too often or not often enough can cause a lot of stress, so it is essential to make a clear routine and set the right frequency.
You need to also look for any wet areas or droppings in the bedding. You can remove that bedding, but if there is a lot of dirt, the bedding should be replaced entirely.
Then, remove any leftover food that your pet might have left lying in the cage. The water should be replaced every day. Also, when you notice that the walls of the habitat are dirty or smudged, it is clearly time for a full cleaning. The same rule applies when the cage smells. Hamsters have a very sensitive sense of smell and can get ill when the cage is dirty or the air quality is poor.
When it is time for cleaning, it is best to have all your accessories at hand. This will make the entire process go faster, which will be less stressful for your pet. Among the items necessary you should have a washcloth which can be used for scrubbing and cleaning the cage and anything in it.
Disinfectant is also important. You can either get some from a pet store or use a mild, antibacterial hand or dish soap. You should definitely avoid any harsh chemicals such as bleach, as they could be harmful to your hamster.
Last, but not least, you will need new bedding to cover the base once you’re done cleaning it. There are owners who use some of the old bedding for their pets to feel less stressed. We did not find any information to prove or disprove this method or the other, so it is up to you.
The next step would be to remove the hamster and place him or her in a safe area. For this reason, it is recommended to have a second cage. You can also put in a ball, or another toy. What is important is that you should not keep him or her there for too long.
Then, remove all items from the cage, meaning the accessories, toys, food bowl, and water dispenser. After you managed to empty these things out, disassemble the base and dispose of the old bedding. Clean the base and the bars, using disinfectant as mentioned above.
When you are done, add new bedding and assemble the cage. Make sure you clean the food bowl and the water dispenser. Add all the accessories back in, and then you can also place your hamster in his or her clean house.
There is also an important mention. Hamsters are creatures of habit. They get used to their living conditions and like things to remain the way they have gotten used to. If you want to rearrange the cage, you need to do this in time, very slowly.