How to Bathe a Rat Without Getting Scratched or Bitten

All rat owners know that bathing a rat is extremely hard to do without getting mildly (or seriously) injured, but really, bathing a rat is quite simple.

Steps

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    Wear a windbreaker jacket or gloves that cover your hands, so you won't get scratched.
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    Get out 5 tissues or cotton swabs.
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    Make the first 2 tissues damp, put shampoo on one of them, and leave the remaining 3 dry.
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    Get your rat and place him/her down wherever you are going to wash him/her. (A bathroom sink is good.)
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    Make the rat wet using the wet tissues or cotton swabs and rub the tissue with shampoo on his back.
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    Rinse your rat in the sink and rub him/her dry.
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    Reassure your rat and calm it with loving words. It's best to keep them out of the wind or breezes, because their fur will be wet they will be more susceptible to chills and the cold weather.

Tips

  • Have a towel ready for the rat to snuggle up in after his/her bath.
  • Do not get water/shampoo in or near the rat's eyes.
  • Avoid getting water in rat's ears as this can cause an ear infection.
  • Do not use human shampoo, this will mess with the pH balance of the rat's skin. Mild dog or cat shampoos work, but never use flea and tick shampoo because it's too strong.
  • Distract the rat with toys.
  • Do not wear long sleeves because the rat may "shake" or try to "sleeve" by climbing in.
  • Make sure that the rat is completely dry before returning it to its cage.

Warnings

  • Make sure the shampoo is okay to use on animals! You can also buy pet shampoo. Rat shampoo (or rodent shampoo) is recommended.
  • When you're done with the bath leave the rat alone for awhile. (s)he may bite.
  • Avoid getting water in rat's ears as this can cause an ear infection.

Article Info

Categories: Mice and Rats