I'm sure you all have seen the absolutely adorable video of a sweet "rat" taking a shower with a whole bunch of soap, using their cute little arms to get all those hard to reach spots <3 If you haven't already, the video can be seen here:
Though this video is adorable, unfortunately there are a few issues surrounding it which I list below:
Soap should never be used while bathing rats for many reasons!
Firstly, any scented soap irritates their upper respiratory system and can lead to respiratory infection.
Secondly, a rats' favourite method of cleaning themselves is by using their tongue! Soap is not pleasant to ingest and is not safe to ingest in any quantity which a rat is sure to do during a bath.
Thirdly, there are oils on a rats' skin that keep them comfortable. Using soap would remove these oils and leave your rats feeling irritated, itchy and more susceptible to injury such as scrapes and cuts.
Baths for fleas/mites/lice
For those who are mentioning that this could be a flea/mites/lice shampoo and thus beneficial to the animal in question, please note that if you are treating your small pets for these issues you will be given drops of Revolution to put on the nape of their neck. No bathing or shampoos are required, and the drops are a 1-2 time application medication, therefore much easier and cheaper to use than any bath that claims it does the same thing! This also takes away the risk of ingestion.
This rat is not a rat!
I also wanted to mention lastly that this is not a rat - this is a young nutria! They look very similar but are very different species' :) If you love rats, you will absolutely love looking at cute videos and pictures of nutria! In this case however, they are doing their best to remove the soap from their fur. They are not cleaning themselves, but doing their best to get rid of the soap unfortunately.
Though we can appreciate how cute this video is, please do not try to replicate this video for the previous reasons!
Keep all pets and wild animals safe and happy and avoid using soaps <3 Thanks for reading!