I give my rats bath semi-occasionally. I do not have a schedule on when to bath, it’s more when I see the necessity to.
Pet Rat Bathing 101
There are reasons on when you should bath your pet rats.
Reasons for bathing rats:
Because they’re dirty. Dominance urination is when a one rat pees on another and this can lead to two rats urinating on each other.
Because they’re sick. Sick rats often lose motivation to keep themselves clean.
Overwieght, injured, ill, or elderly. These circumstances may cause your pet rat to become unable to groom themselves. It’s important to assist these rats as poor hygiene can result in additional health problems or worsen current health issues.
Odor Control. Just like some people, some rats are not good at keeping their hygiene up.
READ MORE: Does Cedar Repel Mice or Not?
Wrong reasons to bath a rat:
Showing. I understand everyone wants their rat to look good in a rat show but also understand that bathing is stressful for most rats. Most rats do NOT enjoy baths.
My main issue with this is that it feels like it’s more for the owner’s pride in showing their rats and the desire to win. Winning a rat show has no benefit to your pet rats.
My main priority is your rats health.
Regular cleaning. Rats really do clean themselves meticulously. Bathing pet rats to often will result in drying out the natural oils in their fur. For the majority, rat baths are not necessary.
If you’re doing it more than once every several months without any reason (such as the ones listed above), you should probably cut back.
ALSO SEE: Pet Rats vs Wild Rats
Ways to maintain healthy fur:
My two male boys have very coarse fur. They’re always little puff balls after a bath but as days go by, their fur becomes coarse again. Here are some suggestions to get your pet rat looking his best.
feed them olive oil with some bread. I have heard this does wonders from helping your rat’s fur to be smooth and soft to helping with dandruff.
Biotin is a supplement that helps with fur and skin health.
Condition them in olive oil. I’ve done this once and it really does do wonders. If you bathe your rats for rat show purposes, try this first as an alternative to bathing.
You don’t need to drown your rats in olive oil. Just a little amount if your hand will do. You can use a wet towel to wipe the oil out (or your rats will lick out whatever you don’t get).
It will lose all purpose if you wash your rats.