Caring for a hamster includes not only a balanced diet and a comfortable cage, but also the implementation of sanitary maintenance rules. Typically, rodents are able to take care of the cleanliness of their bodies or clean their wool with the help of special containers with sand. However, many breeders are wondering if hamsters can be washed in ordinary water.
Veterinarians argue that such measures are permissible if the pet’s coat is infected with parasites. But even in this case, one should act according to a certain algorithm, since ordinary bathing can have negative consequences for the rodent.
In general, hamsters are able to monitor their hygiene. They take care of their own hair and do not have a specific smell.
In addition, pets go to the toilet only in a certain place, so the litter remains clean for a long time. There are several reasons why an unpleasant odor can come from an animal:
- dirty cage;
- pet disease;
- contamination with materials that are difficult to clean rodent yourself.
In accordance with sanitary standards, the cell must be cleaned once a day and once a week – disinfected with boiling water. The filler also plays an important role – for hamsters, granular bedding or fresh sawdust are best suited. Such material absorbs odor well and will not cause contamination of the animal.
How hamsters clean their fur on their own
As a prevention of skin parasites, hamsters of the Syrian and Dzungarian breeds are cleaned in sand and chalk.
The animal digs enthusiastically into the sand, thereby cleaning the wool from dirt. After the procedure, the pet needs to be brushed off with excess tooth grains with a toothbrush. Hamsters after washing can start using sand as a toilet, so the container should be removed.
Such a procedure should be carried out no more than twice a month, since frequent bathing in the sand can lead to the entry of debris into the organs of vision and blindness of the pet. Sand can also enter the hamster’s airways and impair lung function.
Cleaning in the sand for these rodents is a common thing, but the question of whether to bathe a hamster in running water is definitely difficult to answer. On the one hand, there are situations in which the animal cannot be cleaned without assistance, but on the other hand, water procedures can harm the pet.
Rodents are not waterfowl; therefore, the question of whether to bathe the Syrian and Dzungarian hamster, the veterinarians answer ambiguously. The Syrian hamster lives in such natural conditions, where there are practically no large reservoirs. Often, owners of rodents use to wash the hamster, a deep container in which the animal does not reach the bottom.
There is a misconception that pets like to swim and dive, but instinct for survival makes them swim, not pleasure. For the steppe Dzungarian hamsters, water is a less exotic phenomenon, however, these rodents also do not swim in water bodies.
Use parasite remedies
What you need for swimming
If a pet has skin parasites, then in this case, to bathe a rodent is a justifiable action. For ablution you will need such items:
- special flea shampoo for rodents;
- small capacity in which the pet will fit;
- a toothbrush or a frequent comb;
Such a procedure cannot be carried out more often than twice a year. When asked whether to bathe hamsters more often, veterinarians will repel – no. Frequent exposure of water to the fur of such animals violates the microflora of the skin and this can cause ulcers and irritation.
Before washing a hamster, certain conditions should be created. There are several rules that will minimize damage to the animal:
- Water should be at room temperature
- Make sure that no liquid enters the rodent’s face, in particular, in the ears and eyes.
- Do not use your own personal care products or soap while bathing the hamster
- After the procedure, the animal must be dried.
The last point is especially acute for the Syrian breed. These desert inhabitants do not tolerate hypothermia, and their long coat can dry for a long time. In turn, Dzungarian hamsters do not need to be dried for a long time, but you should not let the animal wet into the cage. He collects a lot of debris on the wet hairline.
How to bathe
Before bathing a hamster, you need to feed him. In this case, the animal will be less active.
There is a simple algorithm, compliance with which guarantees safety for the pet. The procedure has the following sequence:
- The rodent should be placed in a container. It is advisable that he could not get out of it. Warm liquid, you must begin to gently pour over the hamster’s body, covering his head with his palm.
- The shampoo is rubbed between the hands and applied to wet hair. Massaging movements need to soap the animal, holding it with his hand.
- Try to constantly communicate with your pet so that he feels you and is not afraid.
- Wash shampoo with wool. Repeat this procedure several times – residues may cause allergies.
- Wrap the hamster in a towel and dry the hairline.
To dry the Dzhungar hamsters, an ordinary towel is suitable. However, the Syrian hamster needs to pay more attention to the length of the coat. You can use a hairdryer at minimum speed. It is recommended to dry the pet on the sides, because the animal does not tolerate noise behind the back, and in front the hot air can adversely affect the eyes of the rodent.
Regardless of the breed, the hamster should be combed after the procedure. Toothbrushes or pocket combs with frequent teeth are best suited for this. Comb your pet thoroughly so that the coat dries faster and no tangles are formed on it.
What vets say about bathing hamsters
Water treatments can be harmful
Veterinary medicine warns that frequent bathing of hamsters in the water can cause irreparable harm to the health of the rodent. Common problems after water procedures are:
- Violation of the organs of hearing and breathing after fluid has entered the ears or nose of a rodent.
- Weak immunity and wet coat often cause colds in thermophilic pets.
- Violation of the fat layer, which leads to overdrying and peeling of the skin.
In addition to such reasons, bathing domestic hamsters causes them stress. In a deep tank, the animal, as a rule, tries its best to crawl out onto land, and washing under the tap from a tap can cause the animal to simply slip out of its hands. Therefore, is it possible to bathe hamsters for pleasure – each owner decides for himself.
If the pet really likes water procedures, and he himself eagerly climbs to swim – remember that this is not normal for rodents. Hamsters are also able to eat harmful foods, but they are limited in order not to harm health.
Alternative methods for cleaning dirt
Many owners are not sure whether it is necessary to bathe a domestic hamster if it gets dirty in resistant material and cannot clean itself. In this case, wet wipes and cotton pads will come to the rescue.
To wash, you should collect hot water and soak a cotton pad in it. By careful movements of the hair, we clean the hamsters from strong pollution. If ordinary water does not cope with dirt, you can add a little special shampoo for rodents. In the case of wet wipes, it is recommended to take a baby, because they contain less chemical additives. As well as after water procedures, the hamster should be dried with a towel.
For Dzungarian hamsters, such a method of cleansing is optimal. Syrian rocks are more suitable for swimming in sand and chalk, and water procedures should be applied in extreme cases. If after all of the above methods the hamster continues to emit a specific smell, then in this case you should contact your veterinarian. The animal may have a metabolic disorder or become ill.