If you are a new hamster owner, you will soon see that most owners are pretty adamant about getting their little hammies wet.
A wet hamster is more likely to develop various health conditions such as skin irritation, cold, and hypothermia.
If your hamster gets wet, gently pat them dry with a towel. Then use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to thoroughly dry off your little pet. This process may take a while because hamster fur tends to hold onto moisture once soaked.
To be honest, your hamster getting wet is not quite as dangerous as most people make it. However, I would not recommend you to bathe your hamster, but there is no need to panic if your little one gets wet.
The most important thing is that you dry your hamster correctly. They likely won’t have any long-term health conditions if you do so.
If your hamster is only slightly wet and the fur is not soaked, you probably don’t need to dry your little pet. However, keep an eye on them to ensure your little one is comfortable and has no signs of health problems.
Is It OK If Your Hamster Gets A Little Wet?
You need to understand that there is an evident difference between when your hamsters are soaked and need to be dried and when they are a little wet and take care of themselves.
You do not have to take any action if your hamster is just slightly wet or has a spot of wet fur. In such cases, you can take a towel to help your hamster dry off (but even that might not be compulsory).
You can use the examples listed below to determine if you should take action and dry your hamster or just let them be:
- Hamsters have more than a single layer of fur. If the water is only on the surface of your pet’s fur, then the rest of the layer of their coat can still do its job of protecting the skin and keeping them warm.
- If you wish to spot clean a part of your hamster’s fur, you can use a washcloth to clean off that section without letting the whole of your pet soak wet. Even if that area gets soaked through as you clean it (if it’s a small enough area), it’s not likely to cause any long-term issues.
- There are chances that your hamster might step itself into the water bowl. In such cases, if it’s just one or two legs that are wet, then your hamster can take care of itself. However, it’s a good idea to clean up any mess as soon as possible so that your little pet doesn’t get soaked if they decide to sleep in a puddle of water.
When Should You Take Action When Your Hamster Gets Wet
Besides when your hamster gets soaked through, there are some other scenarios when it’s best to dry them completely even if they are not thoroughly wet.
If your little pet encounter any of these scenarios, you should take the time to help your hamster dry off:
- Your hamster is soaking wet: If your little hamster ever gets soaking wet for any reason, you should fully dry them off.
- When the temperature is extremely low: The lower the temperature, the more likely damp fur can lead to hypothermia. In such cases, even if your hamster is not soaked through, it’s best to help them dry off completely.
- If your hamster is a panic mode: There are chances that if your hamster got a couple of feet wet and they seem to be racing around in fright, you might want to help them dry off. If your hamster is too anxious about it, you can at least help it towel off some of the excess moisture.
- If your hamster is suffering from any other health condition: If your hamster has other medical conditions that they might be more prone to getting sick, if they are left with damp spots on their fur.
How Do I Dry My Hamster?
Although it is relatively easy to dry off a hamster, it can take a long time.
The best option is to do it with two people, so your hamster does not squirm much.
One of the people can hold and comfort the hamster while the other person dries them. You can do it by putting your hamster on a surface and holding it securely in place, so they don’t injure itself.
You can start by pat-drying your hamster. Soak up any excess moisture using paper or a cloth towel.
You need to be gentle as you pat your hamster with the towel so as not to cause further skin problems.
You can also choose to use a hair dryer on the lowest heat settings. Hold the hairdryer one to two feet away from your little pet. You must be careful because if you hold it too close, you could burn their delicate skin.
Furthermore, you should never want to keep the air on one spot for very long. Gently move the hairdryer back and forth to prevent any area from getting too hot.
In addition, pause every few minutes to ensure your hamster doesn’t overheat. I would suggest you wait every one-two minute. You can keep going until your hamster is dry and fluffy.
What Happens If A Hamster Goes Into Water?
Although it is true that water is not quite as dangerous to hamsters as most owners make it out to be, there can be some real consequences if your hamster is soaked through, especially for long periods.
Once your hamster gets itself wet, it’s fur retains moisture and does not dry very quickly. Similiarly, if they are completely soaked completely, they will stay wet for a very long time.
The health concerns associated with a wet hamster include:
- Hypothermia: The major risk with wet hamsters is their chance of getting hypothermia. Because they don’t dry very quickly, the hamster’s body temperature can easily fall below healthy levels and leave them in a dangerous situation.
- Skin irritation: Hamsters have a delicate skin. When hamsters have their fur wet, it might have severe skin irritation that could even lead to an infection. When wet, your hamster’s skin is also so delicate that it can tear more easily. A small cut can turn into a large wound very quickly.
- Respiratory infection: If your hamster inhales the water, there is potential risk for a respiratory disease. Look for signs of swelling or redness around the ears or wheezing or sneezing.
- Attracting parasites: Fur wet for long periods can attract bugs that lay their eggs in moist places. This could cause something like a flystrike, which can be life threatening for your hamster.
- Injuries: In general, hamsters do not like water. Therefore, they are prone to panic when placed in a bath or body of water. When this happens, they might kick or jump around without paying attention to their environment. They can cause injury to themselves in their rush to get away from the water.
- Shock: Although it is technically possible for any hamster to go into shock when they get wet, it would only happen if your hamster is highly skittish or the water is freezing cold.
If your pet hamster is experiencing any of the above symptoms, then it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible.
Can I Give My Hamster A Bath?
Although hamsters need a bath, not a water bath.
Water can make your little friend catch a cold. Hamsters are sensitive creatures. It may also be life-threatening if they get wet very frequently.
Also, water can destroy the coat of essential oil and molecules present in a hamster’s fur.
It is always better to give your hamster a sand bath. A sand bath will cause no potential harm to your hamster.
It is advisable not to use water to bathe your hamster unless it is urgent.
Hamsters, in the wild, even use sand baths to keep themself hygienic and clean.
Sand Baths help to keep the fur of your hamster smooth and soft. Also, help to evenly distribute the natural oil present in the hamster’s skin.
The dried poop stuck in your hamster’s fur is also shed once they take a sand bath. Sand baths also help to remove all the dirt and debris from their skin.
Sand Baths are also known to be fun and relaxing for hamsters.