Bathing a Hedgehog

Washington, DC, USA
bathing a hedgehog
Every animal and human get a little stinky now and then and hedgehogs are no exception.  Between playing outside and sleeping where they use the bathroom, hedgehogs can get pretty dirty.  Unlike cats or dogs, hedgehogs don’t clean themselves.  So it’s important to bathe your hedgehogs and help them to maintain their cleanliness.

Lumpy hates baths.  He does everything he can to escape or he freezes and lays perfectly still until I wrap him in a towel.  Usually, I will just fill the sink up with warm water, but you can also use the bathtub if your hedgehog likes to swim.  (Make sure it’s not too hot or too cold!) There are different types of baths you can give a hedgehog.
A rinse off, where you fill the sink up half way with just clean warm water and nothing else.  This is usually what I do right before I want to put Lumpy on the bed or anything because as he runs on his wheel at night he tends to poop on it, it will stick to the wheel, and he will continue to run on it.  So sometimes he’ll have stuff stuck under his nails that I want to rinse off before doing something with him.
The next kind is an oatmeal bath.  Don’t put flavored oatmeal obviously, just some oats in warm water.  It helps with dry and itchy skin.  Plus it’s not harmful for them incase some gets in their mouths.
As a substitute I found some animal wash that has oats in it and it causes the bubbles to come when mixed with water.  I don’t use a lot of it, maybe a drop the size of a nickel, and mix it with a full sink of warm water.  (As seen in the photographs.)
Using baby oil or baby shampoo (again, only a small drop) can also help keeping your hedgie from getting dry skin.  It isn’t harmful incase it gets in their mouths as well.
Once you choose which kind of bath you want to give your little hedgie, the next step is to wash him.  Most hedgehogs actually enjoy to swim, but Lumpy hates it.  You can let your hedgehog soak in the bath but you can also take a tooth brush (something with soft bristles, nothing too sharp) and get in between his quills.  Hedgehogs like to be stroked from front to back so brush him in that direction.  Also, make sure you’re not too rough- let the bristles do the work.
To dry your hedgie simply wrap him up in a towel.  You can also brush him front to back with the towel, making sure you’re drying him off completely.

Giving a hedgehog a bath can be very entertaining to you and the hedgehog.  Just remember, be careful with bathing too much because it can cause dry skin and keep an eye on your hedgie while he’s in the bath at all times.
bathing a hedgehog
bathing a hedgehog
bathing a hedgehog
bathing a hedgehog

xoxo, Michele

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