You probably have seen those videos or photos of hamsters placed on a sink full of water. If you are an inexperienced hamster owner, you surely wondered before how to keep your hamster clean, how to bathe them and attempted to wash them with water just like with dogs.
However, there is a big misunderstanding between hamster needing a bath and their talent for swimming. In this article, we will discuss if hamsters can swim, do they want to get wet, is it safe to wash your hamster, and how to properly and safely clean your hamster without stressing them or endangering their life.
CAN HAMSTER SWIM?
Technically, yes. However, while hamster can paddle around, you will notice that they are paddling towards the “dry” land. Hamster can keep themselves afloat and swim, however, they don’t like it. Hamsters are known to hate getting wet, hence, we use sandbath to help them clean their fur instead.
Hamsters are not really swimming in a matter of enjoyment when you place them in the water. They are trying to get out of the water and find a dry and safe place. They paddle for survival.
CAN I PLACE MY HAMSTER IN WATER?
No, you may not and should not. Placing a hamster in water will make them anxious and do their best and use all their power and energy to get out of it. Forcing a hamster to swim can cause stress to them and worse, they might get drowned.
HOW CAN I BATHE MY HAMSTER?
The best and safest way to bathe or clean your hamster is to simply place a sand bath in their cage. Get a sandbox or use a ceramic bowl and fill it with a suitable sand bath. Choose sand that is specifically made for a hamster. It shouldn’t be too fine that it’s almost like a powder or dust.
To be honest, sand bath made for hamsters are often way to fine, hence, we rather recommend a reptile sand as long as it doesn’t have too much or extra calcium. The sand bath should also be with zero to no scent.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR HAMSTER ACCIDENTALLY GET WET?
If you accidentally wash your hamster with water or they fell and got wet, here is what you can do:
- Fish them out of the water right away and go in a warm room.
- Wrap them in a dry and clean cloth/blanket and pat them dry.
- Use a low setting on your hair dryer (not too hot, if no other option, choose the cold air). Place the hair dryer about half a metre away from your hamster.
- Make sure to keep your hamster as warm as possible until all their fur is dry.
- Give your hamster a luke temperature drinking water and change the water in the bottle to room temperature.
- Place them back in their cage and let them burrow and feel safe.
- Place a dry and warm blanket on top of the cage but do not block the ventilators.
- Leave them alone for a few hours until they come out by themselves.
I understand that we all just want to keep and make sure our hamster is healthy and safe that we forgot the most vital thing to do – educate ourselves about hamsters. Most of us made a mistake or two. Regardless how horrifying it was, don’t beat up yourself too much. What improtant is you are working towards learning your hamster more and making sure everything you do is for their well-being.
I hope this article about can hamster swim answered your questions. If you have more things to add or things we forgot to mention or discuss, let us know in the comment section below.