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Hamsters come in many colours: black, brown and white are just some of the colours that your hamster’s fur can be! They can be striped or all be of one colour, so many differences! Some people ask if you can dye your hamster’s fur. We want to make this clear from the smart. You absolutely cannot dye your hamster’s fur. Doing so is tantamount to abuse and can severely hurt your hamster’s health. It can even kill them.

We’ll be looking at all of the reasons why you should never dye your hamster’s fur in this article. We’ll then look at what you can do if you have already tried to dye your pet’s fur.

Why can’t you dye your hamster’s fur?

There are quite a few reasons why you can’t dye your hamster’s fur. These include the toxicity of the dye, the danger of getting your hamster wet, the removal of natural oils from your pet’s fur and the distress that it will cause for a hamster. We’ll be looking into these reasons in this article and we hope to convince you that your hamster cannot have dyed fur.

These wild hamsters don't need to have their fur dyed! Can you dye your hamster's fur.
Wild hamsters don’t need dyed fur!

Toxic Dye

A lot of dyes are toxic to animals and hamsters are no exception. The problem here is that hamsters are quite small which means that the toxic effect of a dye is likely to be more pronounced for them. These dyes are simply not made for the fur of a hamster because it is not seen as the right thing to do. Dyes are meant for human hair and for dying products such as wood. It makes no sense to carry out animal safety checks on dyes that aren’t used on animals! Dyes contain substances that hurt your hamster, such as:

  • Ammonia. This chemical helps to make the dye more permanent, however, it is known to be poisonous to hamsters. A dirty cage can produce ammonia which can hurt your pet.
  • Resorcional causes various health issues such as chemical burns, fur loss and skin issues. It’s simply not meant for hamsters.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide is a substance that severely impacts the ability of your hamster to breathe. Obviously, any disruption to this vital function can hurt your pet.
  • Phenylenediamine, along with many other substances, is a potential carcinogenic. This means that it can cause cancer in your hamster.

As you can see, the dye is clearly toxic for your pet. It should not be used on them. Food dye is just as bad, hamsters are just not meant to consume these things!

Wet Hamster

As anyone who has used dyes will tell you, you need to wet yourself to apply the dye! This naturally means that you would have to wet your hamster in order for the dye to work. We go more in-depth about why your hamster shouldn’t get wet in this article, but we will try to give you a few reasons why you shouldn’t get your hamster wet:

  • It can reduce their temperature. Hamsters can be put in danger by rapid changes in their temperature. Water can easily do this and therefore it’s not advisable that you wet them
  • Disruption of natural oils. Water can remove a lot of the natural oils that keep your pet’s fur clean and healthy. This can hurt their health and upset them
  • Hamster’s don’t like it. Simple.

So in conclusion, you shouldn’t ever make your hamster wet. Therefore dying your hamster is extremely inadvisable.

Why would you want to dye this cute pet’s fur!

Removal of Natural Oils

Your hamster’s fur is full of natural oils and minerals that dye is going to end up disturbing. These natural oils are meant to refresh your hamster’s fur and make sure that it is smooth and groomed well. Any kind of disruption, such as dye, is likely to hurt your hamster by removing their coat’s natural shine. Chemicals will disrupt the natural process that your hamster goes through and this will damage their health and lifespan.

When it comes to your hamster’s fur, the simple fact is that your hamster knows more than you do. You should leave their fur to themselves and allow them to groom it how they wish.

Allergic Reactions

Your pet can easily have a negative reaction to the dye due to all of the chemicals that are contained within it. Many humans are allergic to the compounds within the dye, this means that hamsters can absolutely have the same reaction. Your pet having an allergic reaction can easily kill them due to the shock to their system. The greatest risk of this happening is during the dyeing process and just after as your hamster tries to groom themselves.

It is simple. Dye can cause reactions that can hurt your hamster. Keep them away from it!

Can you dye your hamster's fur? Yep
What a cute hamster!

You’ll upset your hamster

The fact is, hamsters don’t want their fur to be dyed. They don’t have the capacity to understand colours and they don’t have a favourite colour. In fact, our beloved pets can’t even see colour. They are colourblind! This means that there’s zero benefits for your pet’s mental wellbeing in dying their fur. They will show no interest in it.

However, there’s plenty of negative emotional responses that your hamster will give you if you decide to dye their fur. The actual process itself will stress them out as they will not want to be wet or have any strange chemicals put on their fur. This can lead them to bite, run and dislike you. The aftermath is the worst though. Your hamster will groom themselves and potentially cover their face and eyes with the wet dye. Dyes have a strange chemical smell as well which will disrupt your pet’s ability to sense predators and to chase food. This is likely to stress them out, which could lead to illnesses such as wet-tail.

Don’t be selfish. You should think about your hamster’s well-being first when it comes to these kinds of things. Your pet is not your plaything, it is a living breathing animal!

How to remove dye from your hamster

You might have come to this article after already applying the dye. Please don’t feel judged if you didn’t know the information that you have just read. The most important thing to do right now is to remove the dye from your hamster. There’s still a good chance at protecting their health if you act quickly.

First, wait a few days before doing this. This is because you will have to wash your hamster. If you’ve already washed them then your hamster will be vulnerable, washing them will hurt their health.

Next, put a sand bath in your hamster’s cage and see if they can remove the dye with a sand bath. This is the safest option as this is completely appropriate for your hamster. They love to do sand baths in the wild!

Finally, if the sand bath didn’t work, read our guide on how to bathe your hamster. This is the only way that you will get this dye out of your pet’s fur.

This hamster loves their fruit!

Conclusion – Can you dye your hamster’s fur?

In conclusion, I really hope that I have made it clear that you should never dye your hamster’s fur. It is completely unacceptable as your pet is not your plaything. They are a living, breathing animal! Dyeing your pet’s fur can lead to allergic reactions, death, stress and the removal of natural oils from their coat. It’s clearly not the best thing to do. You can remove dye by following our guide above, if that doesn’t work then take them to a vet.

What’s your hamster’s colour? Black? Brown? White? Let us know in the comments!

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