Tag Archives: hamster diet

Hamster Care Basics

Are you looking for a cute pet that is small in size, but big on personality? A hamster may be a great choice for you! These little guys are both adorable and charming, and can really make great pets. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses hamster care.

Cage

Making sure your pet is happy in his habitat is very important! Minimum cage size recommendations will vary, based on what kind of hamster you get, so check with your vet before you go shopping. Choose a cage with a solid bottom. Wire floors are dangerous, and also won’t hold substrate. Hammie’s cage should also offer suitable ventilation. A mesh lid is a great choice for that reason.

Accessories

Once you have the cage, you’ll need to choose a substrate. Aspen is a good option. Avoid pine or cedar substrates, as they are actually toxic to small animals. Add a hidey-hole and a water bottle. Hammie may also like some mazes and tunnels, and perhaps an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one, as wire wheels are dangerous. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Location

Choosing the right spot for the cage is very important. Hamsters shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, or too close to a vent, fireplace, heater, or air duct. If you have dogs or cats, raise your hamster’s cage off the floor: Hammie won’t feel very safe with Fluffy and Fido constantly looking into his home! A quiet spot where he can still see and hear you is best. Temperature is also important. Your hamster’s area should always stay between 65 and 75 ℉. If the little guy gets too cold, he may try to hibernate. This is extremely dangerous for pet hamsters!

Feeding

Hamsters are quite talented little beggars, and are notorious for hiding their food and then begging for more. Your tiny furball can have commercial hamster food for breakfast and dinner. Hammie will also need some fresh produce and, of course, the occasional treat. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.

Toys

Hammie will need plenty of toys, including lots of safe, suitable chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items can make great playthings for Hammie! Avoid anything with small parts, sharp edges, or dangling threads, as well as items coated in varnish, paint, glitter, or dye.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, anytime. We are here to help!

Obesity in Hamsters

Is your hamster getting a bit round? Like most pets, hamsters love to eat and snack. That means your furry little friend can pack on extra weight very quickly! Obesity is not uncommon in hamsters, and can cause or contribute to serious health issues in these little ones! A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses obesity in hamsters below.

Dangers of Obesity

Being overweight can cause many of the same health problems for hamsters as it does for people. If little Hammie is carrying extra weight, he’ll have higher chances of developing heart trouble, diabetes, liver problems, and other serious health issues.

Causes of Obesity

Diet and exercise are the main factors that will determine Hammie’s weight, although occasionally hamsters will gain weight because of medical issues. That said, hamsters have some cute but sneaky tricks that can contribute to obesity. Those adorable little cheek pouches allow Hammie to stash and store food to snack on later. Hamsters are also notorious for hiding their food, and then begging for more!

Proper Hamster Nutrition

Hammie can have commercial food for his main meals. Pellets are an excellent choice. Seed mixes are also popular, but often contain fattening nuts and seeds. They also give Hammie the option of choosing his favorite bits, which will usually be the most caloric ones! To supplement Hammie’s main meal, provide appropriate portions of healthy veggies and fruits. Be sure to choose only hamster-safe foods! Junk food, sugary foods, fried anything, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are a few things on the forbidden list.

Exercising Your Hamster

Provide Hammie with an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one, as wire wheels can hurt those tiny paws! Runabouts, or hamster balls, can also help keep your little furball active. Choose one that is safe and appropriate for your hamster’s age, size, and breed. Always supervise your pet when he is out and about. You don’t want Hammie accidentally rolling down stairs!

What To Do If Your Hamster Is Obese

If you have a chubby hamster on your hands, ask your vet for nutritional advice. Never put Hammie on a crash diet, as this can be very dangerous for him. Like people, hamsters should take off pounds slowly and steadily in order to lose weight without compromising their health.

Do you have questions about feeding or caring for hamsters? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, any time!

Keeping Your Hamster’s Dental Health in Order

There’s no question that a hamster’s teeth are some of his most vital instruments—they help him crack open nuts and seeds, eat, construct burrows, build hideouts, and much more. Here, a Larimer County veterinary professional offers advice on how to keep your hamster’s dental health in top form.

How Do I Check on My Hamster’s Dental Health?

Hold your hamster gently with one hand, keeping him secure. Use your other hand to gently pull back the skin around the neck. This should make your hamster expose his teeth, allowing you to take a look. Check for any apparent misalignment of teeth, or teeth that seem to be butting up against each other. Look for any redness, swelling, or other indications of a problem.

How Often Should I Check My Hamster’s Mouth?

The more often, the better! Check your hamster’s teeth regularly—for some owners, this could mean every day. Two or three times a week should suffice to make sure nothing’s going wrong with your hamster’s mouth. Also be sure to watch for other signs of a problem, like reluctance to eat. If a hamster’s incisor is broken, misaligned, or too long, he may not eat, which will quickly lead to other issues.

What If Something Doesn’t Seem Right?

As soon as you think something may be wrong with your hamster’s dental health, give your Larimer County veterinarian a call. Your vet will examine your hamster’s mouth, teeth, and overall health to ensure the best possible treatment. Many times, a quick tooth-trim is all that’s needed. This procedure is very quick, inexpensive, and won’t harm your pet at all.

Can I Prevent Dental Issues?

There are two main ways to keep your hamster’s mouth healthy and prevent issues: feed a proper diet, and provide good gnawing toys. A commercially-available hamster feed should have the necessary nutrients for ideal dental health; ask your vet for a recommendation. Find good chew toys in your local pet store or veterinarian’s office—these are essential for keeping your hamster’s incisors worn down so they don’t get too long.

Regular monitoring, good diet, proper chew toys, and quick action when you notice something amiss are the best ways to keep your hamster’s dental health in good order. Ask your vet for more helpful tips!