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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!