Hamsters are naturally clean animals who do a terrific job of bathing themselves. Although some hamsters may need a little help along the way to ensure they are healthy and clean, they do not need full baths like dogs. Knowing how to spot clean your hamster can keep them clean while still allowing them to do most of their own grooming.
How to Clean a Hamster
Do not immerse a hamster in water! Doing this can cause harm to their skin and fur, as they have natural oils that cover their body. They can also catch colds extremely easily and can become sick after being in water. Only give them a full bath if a qualified, small animal veterinarian recommends it due to a serious health condition.
Keeping a sand bath in your hamster’s cage allows them to clean themselves without the risk of full water baths. Hamster bathing sand can be purchased at pet stores or online. There are also options for bathing dust that serve the same purpose.
If your hamster still has dirty fur or is producing strong smells, they may need a slight bit of help with their hygiene. You can buy small brushes that fit on your finger that can be used to work the sand through the hamster’s fur which helps to clean them. Small hamster fur brushes can pull out knots or dried dirt from their fur, especially from places they cannot reach as easily.
This may be helpful to some of the few hamsters that do not spend a lot of time cleaning themselves. It may also help with older or injured hamsters who are not able to clean themselves as well as they once could.
When a Wet Bath Is Necessary
This should be the absolute last resort to cleaning a hamster. A wet bath may be needed if a sticky or toxic substance has become stuck in the hamster’s fur and puts the animal in danger. Using a damp toothbrush, rub the hamster’s fur to remove the substance, using as little water as possible. Once done, allow the hamster to fully dry in a warm and calm environment before returning them to their home.
Clean Home, Happy Hamster
Keeping their living spaces clean is another way to ensure your pet doesn’t smell and continues to live a healthy life. Their bathroom area should be cleaned daily to keep out odors and encourage them to continue to use the same place as their potty area. Their water bottle, food dish, bedding and cage should be cleaned weekly or when it becomes excessively dirty. Keeping their home clean should be the first step to keeping your hamster clean.