ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Giving a Pet Rat a Bath: What You Should Know

Updated on May 26, 2011

Like dogs and cats, pet rats can begin to stink and need a bath. In my routine, I give my rats a bath when I clean their cage every one to two weeks. This works out pretty well for our two rats because they do not make much of a mess and by cleaning the cage at least once every two weeks it doesn’t stink. When I’m about to give my rats a bath, I gather up all of the supplies I will need. The couple of times that I didn’t have everything at hand prior to the bath, it was hard to juggle two soaking rats to go find it.

For shampoo, I use No-Tear Baby Shampoo, which works great. I would not recommend using another type of human shampoo because it will be too harsh for their coat and could really hurt their eyes. Dog and cat shampoo should not be used because they are meant for bigger animals. I’ve read articles where some rat owners use kitten shampoo on their rats; however I have not tried this and am unsure if it is safe. I also have two towels nearby with a small treat for the rats when I get done.

One of our rats is scared to death of everything. The other, loves adventure and new things. The latter of the two is the rat I always start with because she enjoys her bath time and will play in the water. I usually use the sink so that I can use the attached sprayer. The sprayer is gentler than just shoving them under the faucet water. I think the rats get more of a massage out of it than anything. Our more social rat will sit on my hand in the sink and just enjoy the warm water. Rats have a slightly warmer body temperature than our own, so make sure the water is fairly warm to your touch to be warm enough for the rat.

All you need is a dab of the baby shampoo on your fingers. Then gently massage the baby shampoo into lather on your rat’s coat. Don’t go to rough or you may begin to hurt the little guy. My rats find the massage to be the best part of the deal. Keep the shampoo away from their face all together to avoid getting any in their eyes. I go to the ears and a little under the chin and that is the closest I get.

Dab a little bit more shampoo onto your fingers and massage your rat’s tail. You want to scrub the tail really good because this is usually the dirtiest. I will sometimes use an old toothbrush to help get the tail all nice and clean.

The next step is to thoroughly remove all of the shampoo. This is important because if all the shampoo isn’t removed then the rat may ingest in later while cleaning itself. While baby shampoo is fairly gentle, you don’t want to take any chances. Take your time and use a sprayer to help get the belly of the rat where it is hard to reach. Rats don’t like being turned on their backs, so try to keep this in mind while trying to clean their bellies.

As soon as you turn the warm water off, move your rat directly to a towel to dry it. You don’t want your rat to get cold because they can catch little colds easily. Use the towel to dry them off the best you can and place them back into their cage. The adventurous rat will usually sit on my shoulder while I give the other one its bath.

Just find a routine that works out best for you and your rats. While the first time may be difficult, the times after that should be better as the rats get used to it. Be patient and don’t get angry if your rat doesn’t like its bath time, sometimes they just don’t adapt, but it is something that must be done to help keep your rat healthy.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Trinity 

      6 years ago

      THANKS! I getting pet rat soon and find this information useful. I shall add page tofavorites so I can go back to it later, just in case I forget something :3

    • Ealisa Adams profile imageAUTHOR

      Ealisa Adams 

      7 years ago

      I think you are right! I know some people who might forget that tip if someone didn't tell them :)

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 

      7 years ago

      I think, number one tip should be; do not drown the pet rat. :P

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)