How To Bathe Your Hedgehog!
How to Bathe a Hedgehog
If you have a pet hedgehog, you will probably have noticed that he can get quite smelly and dirty, especially his feet. Bathing your hedgehog safely and appropriately is an important part of taking care of him. Some hedgehogs will enjoy bath time, and for others it will be stressful. Be sensitive and attentive and you can help him stay clean and healthy.
Drawing the Bath
Find a suitable container.The first to do if you are preparing to bathe your hedgehog, is to find a suitable container to use as his bath. You could use a plastic tub, a bathtub or a sink. Often a sink is the easiest and most straightforward thing to use.
- Make sure the container you use is clean first.
- Be sure you rinse away any cleaning products before using it as a hedgehog bath.
Get a soft bristled toothbrush.While you are bathing your hedgehog, you will want to gently scrub off any dirt that has stuck to him. For this you will need a dedicated soft bristled toothbrush. Make sure the brush is clean, and you only use it for bathing your hedgehog.
- You could also use a dedicated nailbrush.
- If you prefer not to use a brush, you can use to hands to clean him.
Get some soap.You will need to use a little bit of soap to help you bathe your hedgehog. It’s important that you don’t use anything that might his irritate or dry out his skin. A “no tears” baby shampoo or unscented liquid hand soap are both good options.
- Oatmeal baby shampoo is one of the most popular products for bathing hedgehogs.
Have a soft towel ready.Before you run the bath you need to be prepared to remove your hedgehog from the bath and help him get dry. Hedgehogs are very temperature sensitive so it’s important that you are prepared. Have a soft towel ready to wrap around him when you remove him from the water. This will help him start to get dry, but his quills mean that he won’t get completely dry.
- Have a warm and absorbent snuggle sack ready for him to crawl into after you have dried him in the towel.
- It’s a good idea to prepare more than one snuggle sack. If the sack gets wet you should move him to a fresh dry and warm one.
Run the bath.Now you are ready to run the bath. Fill it to a depth of a few inches with lukewarm water. The water should feel a little warm when tested against the inside of your wrist. It should not be cold, but it should not be too hot either.
- You should have water at a depth of around 2-4 inches.
- This will cover the hedgehog's legs and come part way up his body. Hedgehogs can swim, but care to ensure the water does not come over his mouth and nose.
Bathing Your Hedgehog
Place your hedgehog in the bath.Gently lower your hedgehog into the bath. Hedgehogs are good swimmers, but you should never leave him unattended when he is in the bath. It is also advisable to have parental supervision when bathing a hedgehog.
Gently scrub his belly and quills.When he is happily splashing around in the bath, squirt about a dime-sized amount of shampoo into your hand and it lather it up. Then gently rub it onto his back, belly and feet. Take care to avoid the head, ears and eyes.
- You can then use the toothbrush to carefully scrub his quills, belly or feet if there is some dirt stuck to him that hasn’t come off.
- When scrubbing the quills, always go with the grain to avoid any irritation or discomfort.
Rinse him off.Once you have given him a gentle scrub, it’s time to rinse off all the lingering soap. Take a small cup and scoop up some water from the bath. Pour this slowly over his back, being extra careful to avoid his head. Keep pouring water over his back until all the shampoo has been rinsed away.
- If your hedgehog has dry skin, you can mix a teaspoon of olive oil or flaxseed oil into a cup of the bath water and pour it over his back.
- Only do this after you have completely rinsed off any shampoo.
- The oil will be absorbed by his skin and you will not need to rinse it off.
Wrap him in a towel to dry.Once you have finishing bathing him, carefully remove him from the bath and immediately wrap him in a soft fleece or towel. You can give him a gentle pat to help him dry. Ensure you keep him inside the house to avoid any risks of catching a chill, and consider moving him to a warm and dry snuggle sack when the towel becomes damp.
- Be sure to pat him dry gently, and never try to scrub him dry.
- Do not leave your hedgehog with damp fabric for long.
Preventing Over-Bathing Your Hedgehog
Don’t bathe him too often.Although your hedgehog may get himself dirty quite often, you should not bath them more than once a month as this may dry out his skin.If you are concerned about dry skin, you can talk to your vet. There various treatments for dry skin that you can use after a bath to help prevent any problems. These include the use of olive oil or flaxseed oil applied topically, or a few drops added to food.
- If you add oil to the bath, mix it in with the water and pour over your hedgehog's back as would in a normal bath.
Try a foot bath.If your hedgehog often has dirty feet, you may feel like you need to clean these more often. A hedgehog will often get dirty feet from walking around in the mess in his house, and it’s important to take care of this. To avoid a full bath every week, you can try a more straightforward foot bath. For this you will just need to fill your sink with half an inch of warm water.
- Place your hedgehog in there and help him clean his feet.
- Be sure to dry his feet thoroughly with a soft towel when you are done.
- Keeping his house clean and replacing bedding frequently will help him to stay clean.
Consider a towel bath.A quicker alternative to a full bath is a towel bath. For this you will fill the sink with a few inches of warm water and place a towel in the water, on the bottom of the sink. You will then place the hedgehog on the towel and use this to gently scrub his back, legs, and belly. Again you should take care to avoid his face and ears
- In a towel bath the water should not be higher than his legs.
- Dry him in a soft towel as you would following a normal bath.
Video: HOW TO BATHE HEDGEHOGS (Also, I Quit My Job to Do Youtube)
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