If you are a hamster or guinea pig owner you may have wondered if it is safe to bathe your pet. It is actually not safe to bathe a hamster, as hamsters can catch a cold really easy and you would be putting your little friend at risk of getting sick. Guinea pigs, on the other hand can handle the occasional bath (not in a bath tub of course).
Guinea pigs and hamsters are self-cleaning animals, so they really don’t need baths, but when they get themselves really dirty, it’s hard not to want to clean them up.
In order to prevent your little friend from getting too messy or dirty in the first place, you should clean the cage at least once a week. It also helps if you attach a water bottle for drinking to the side of the cage instead of leaving a bowl in the cage, to avoid having damp spots and messy areas inside the cage.
Hamsters groom themselves and bathing them could dry out their skin and remove essential oils that they naturally produce, which helps to maintain their fur. If you have to, you could “spot clean” your hamster with a damp, soft cloth, but make sure you are able to keep your hamster warm and dry his fur as quickly as possible.
Guinea pigs also groom themselves and produce their own essential oils. But they are able to handle being bathed. You can bathe them in a sink or small tub, just make sure it is in an area that they can’t easily escape from and is warm. Use luke warm water and keep water away from the eyes. You should use shampoo that is designed for guinea pigs, as it will be a gentle formula and won’t dry out their skin. Do not do this more than once a month. Always wrap your guinea pig up in a towel as soon as you take it out of the water and gently dry off the fur. Use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to dry him off, keeping the nozzle of the hair dryer far away from your guinea pig’s face and skin.