Hamsters are the animals that groom themselves and they do not need a lot of care like other pets. Usually, you have seen that they comb their hair by pulling their fur, scratching their bodies. This is a very well-known fact that hamsters groom themselves, everywhere. They are very clean pets and enjoy grooming techniques.
Hamsters are very hygienic pets compare to all other animals, and you often noticed that they clean themselves frequently. Due to this reason, hamsters do not need a water bath in normal conditions. Getting your pet wet can cause some health problems, such as colds and hypothermia.
To get everything out from their fur and ears, hamsters scratch, pull and comb again and again. They spread oil on their fur, to groom themselves and remove the smell. A sand bath is a very important grooming technique for them and they enjoy it a lot.
Why hamsters groom themselves?
Hamsters need to be clean themselves after interacting with anything that leaves smell. Even when you will handle them; they will spread oil after that and get rid of the smell. This is a common behavior in all types of hamsters.
Hamsters keep clean themselves because of three reasons.
- The first reason is that hamsters want to keep away their predator because they are prey for many animals. Animals scent will attract predators like cats, snakes, owls, and other wild animals to hunt for them.
- The second reason is their habitats. They live underground deep tunnel and burrows that they make in the wild, so when they go there, dirt gets stuck in their fur. So they pull their fur, again and again, to remove dirt from their fur or ears.
- The third reason is function properly. If hamsters will remain dirty, they will get ill and not function properly. So, they do these grooming sessions to stay healthy.
Hamsters are self-groomer but you have also a responsibility to provide them a clean place to live. Clean their habitat regular basis, change their bedding frequently and provide them all necessities to stay happy and comfortable.
What hamsters do to groom themselves?
Your hamsters will groom themselves when they will be relaxed and happy. They will sit somewhere and lick their paws, feet, and body most of the time. They feel comfortable by grooming themselves. If your hamsters are upset or stressed they will not do all these activities.
Hamsters will scratch their body, comb their fur, and keep out dirt from their ears to keep them clean.
They have scent glands in their hip area and spread the scent around their body and fur. To get rid of the smell after handling by you and interacting with other animals or eating food, they spread the scent.
Another way to grooming themselves, they take a sand bath. It is very important to provide them sand in their area because they groom themselves by taking a sand bath. They roll their bodies in the sand and clean them from any dirt. The water bath is not recommended for your hamsters in normal circumstances. Buy sand from any pet store for your hamsters; make sure buy sand not dust. Sand is the best alternative for them to take a bath, but dust will cause respiratory problems.
The sick hamsters don’t groom themselves very well
Your hamsters will not groom themselves because of two reasons.
The first reason is if they are too old and unable to groom themselves. Their brain will not work properly and they will not act like normal hamsters. They will enable to get better and start losing control of their bodies day by day.
The second reason would be a bad health problem. Sick hamsters will tire and weak, so they will unable to groom themselves. It could be any type of infection or physical problem like any injury that prevents them from scratch etc.
If your hamsters are not grooming themselves, this means they are sick. So you take your hamsters to a vet for treatment. Healthy hamsters will be happy and friendly.
Poor grooming/hygiene can cause health problems
Poor grooming can cause many health problems in your hamsters. There I have listed some health problems that can harmful to your hamsters due to poor hygiene.
- Wet Tail
- Mites and Parasites
Infections in any part of the body can be harmful to your hamsters, especially if there is swelling with pus. It can be ears, eyes, or teeth infections. So you consult a vet for proper treatment. Like humans hamsters also need antibiotic treatment for these conditions, so do not ignore if they have any infections.
Wet tail is a serious health problem in hamsters. It can cause diarrhea and there are small chances to survive for your hamsters. Wet tail is common in four to ten weeks of hamsters. If you notice symptoms of the wet tail, call to vet.
The fungus is another health condition that can cause due to poor grooming. To prevent fungus you have to clean hamster’s cage regularly. The fungus can cause ringworm and Aspergillus that are dangerous for hamsters. Aspergillus is more dangerous than ringworms and this is deadly for hamsters. For such problems, you should consult to vet.
Mites and Parasites
In this condition, hamsters will scratch badly on their skin. This can cause bald patches and infection on their body. So, immediately take your hamster to vet for treatment, and he will recommend you better treatment.
These all health conditions can be treated, so consult a vet and don’t try to treat yourself. Your vet can recommend better treatment. Don’t worry about these problems that can be treated if you take them to wet on time.
Keep habitat of hamsters clean
You should keep hamster’s cage clean because it will keep your hamsters healthy and away from health issues that can cause by poor hygiene. If your hamster’s cage is not cleaned for a long time, it can cause health problems such as fungus, mites, and parasites. So, cleaning the cage in a week is very important.
Hamsters love to be clean
Hamsters love to be live in a clean space, where they can play, run, and roll around. The overall cleanness of hamsters and their environment depends upon you.