Do hamsters need to be bathed?
From Hamster Central WIKI
Do a search on this subject I think you will find most website’s advice against it unless the hamster is extremely dirty. Even in the event a hamster has wet tail or diarrhea or is sickly, the hamster should be cleaned with a damp cloth or should only have their bottoms submerged in water to help clean off any urine or caked on feces.
The only hamster that may ever need occasional special treatment with grooming is that long haired variety of Syrian hamsters like the rex or teddy bear hamster when their fur may becomes entangled with pieces of bedding. The best way to approach this is with a toothbrush or soft baby brush. Hamsters do a prefect job of grooming themselves. They do not often require any assistance. Bathing a hamster in water removes the natural oils from the coat and gives the hamster a good chance to catch a chill possibly resulting in pneumonia and in extremes death.
The only time you should bathe a hamster is if it gets itself covered in something sticky or dangerous. In this event you should place your hamster in a shallow amount of luke-warm water in a bowl in a sink. You do not need to purchase any fancy rodent shampoos, a cheaper and probably more safer alternative is no tears baby shampoos. Gently wash your hamster and rinse it off with luke-warm water and thoroughly dry it until it is completely dry. Do NOT use a blow dryer to try and dry it, use a towel.
The proper kind of bath your hamster would love and appreciate is a nice sand bath. You can buy chinchilla sand at your local pet store and place it in a shallow dish or empty glass jar on its side large enough for the hamster to safely enter and turn around in, or simply a cut out box. There are also special sand bathhouses you can guy for small rodents if you wish. They will love rolling and digging in it. The sand will help wear their nails down and keep the coast clean and helps to take some of the grease out of their fur. Make sure you stay away from any products labeled “Powder” or “Dust”. These products may cause respiratory problems in your hamster.
Unless a hamster gets itself into some sticky or toxic mess there is no reason for your hamster to have a bath over the course of its life. A hamster that is well taken care of and cage is cleaned weekly will not smell. In the case it does there may be a medical problem in which cage you should examine and observes your hamster and call a veterinarian if necessary.
The dwarf species have sent glands and this might result in a musky smelling hamster and cage. But this is natural and its natural for them to sent themselves. The Roborovski hamster is known to be more of the muskiest smelling of the dwarfs.
Anyone that wants to learn more can simply do a “Google” search or ask anyone that is experience in hamster care. Bathing inst necessary. They wouldn’t naturally do this in the wild. Ask yourself, is this really that necessary for the hamster? Or are you doing it because YOU want to? Hamsters can be treated like your baby, but just remember they aren’t human and have different needs requirements, and there are some things you should be careful about.
No hamster “needs” to smell nice. So please walk away from those shampoo products for rodents in pet stores and ignore them when it come to hamsters. They do NOT need to be bathed. Remember these are creatures that come from the desert; being bathed is unnatural for them.