It is assumed that rats keep themselves clean without human interference. But in the case of domesticated rats, a situation may arise where you need to give your rat a bath. Wild rats have a habit of being around water for taking a dip and cleaning themselves. Some pet rats may be very enthusiastic during the activity but some might be extremely frightened and behave badly at that point, like clawing your arms or even biting you to get out of the situation. To give your cute little pet a nice bath and keep it clean, follow the instructions given below.
How to Bathe your Pet Rat
● Lukewarm water
● Hair dryer
Instructions to Bathe your Pet Rat
There are a few things to note, before you start the actual bathing process. Firstly, it is necessary to use lukewarm water and not very hot or cold water because extreme hot or cold water might cause physical harm. Secondly, a shampoo should be pet specific or a mild one which is commonly used for cats and dogs. In case you cannot find a pet soap, you can use baby soap, as it is milder than adult soap. You should strictly avoid the use of any detergent or dish soap. Thirdly, do not ever dip your pet rat into water, though it feels comfortable being partially submerged.
Close the bathroom door and keep the lukewarm water ready in a small bucket. Keep the two pans in the bathtub and fill one pan with 2 inches of water. A bathtub is preferred over a sink because a frightened rat can slip out of your hands and go down the drain, hurting itself. Make sure that you keep all the after-bath requirements, like towel and dryer, handy to make things easier for you and your pet.
Place the rat gently in the pan and wet it all over only with your hands. Do not pour water on the rat's face.
Now, take a small amount of pet soap and apply it on the rat's body till it produces enough lather. Be careful while doing this because if the lather goes into the rat's eyes or mouth, it can cause irritation in the eye and upset its stomach. Massage the shampoo into the fur using your fingers.
If any area on the rat's face needs to cleaned, take a cotton swab, dip it in water and wipe the dirt off. Rinse the lather from your rat's body with water.
Place the rat in the other pan and give a final rinse with clean lukewarm water. Here you can use your hand or a small cup to pour water on its back . Make sure that you wash away all the soap residue from the fur of the rat.
Wrap a towel around your rat and pat it dry. You can use a dryer for the purpose of drying. Keep the dryer at least one foot away from the rat's body and do not use it on its face.
You can treat your rat after the bath to make it realize that bathing isn't really a bad activity. It just might co-operate the next time you give it a bath.
These are instructions which can make bathing a fun activity for you and your rat rather than a pain. As a last piece of advice, clean the cage before putting the rat back. It will make the rat feel fresher and cleaner.