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!