If you are a hamster owner, you surely want your pet to be happy, healthy, and live a long fulfilling life. But sometimes we do things that can potentially harm our hammies.
In this video, we will talk about 14 common mistakes that hamster owners unknowingly make when they are caring for their little friends.
The wrong diet
Hamsters are omnivores, meaning they eat both animal-based and plant-based foods. Hamsters are not herbivores so if they’re just fed an herbivore diet they will slowly die from malnutrition.
Adult hamsters’ diet should consist of a minimum of 16% protein, 4% to 7% fat, and 6% to 15% fiber.
Many hamster owners just buy any product that has a photo of hamster on it, however, most of the products that are marketed towards hamsters, are actually not good for them.
Things such as wired and mesh wheels can cause injuries to limbs and the pressure they put on your hamster’s paw pads may cause bumble foot.
Small wheels can also lead to health issues. Your hamster will end up arching their back while running which will result in massive spine problems. For larger hamsters such as Syrians, wheels should be between 8-12 inches. Hamster balls could also cause injuries in part due to lack of ventilation.
Another common product that is harmful to hamsters is Cotton fluff. Cotton is not digestible.
Pine and cedar beddings shavings are also dangerous because they can cause upper respiratory issues.
Hamsters do well in temperatures of between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 65 degrees Fahrenheit can cause your pet to go into torpor.
Temperatures below 50 degrees can cause your pet go into hibernation. If temperatures get nearer to freezing, your pet may die.
Heat is equally dangerous, especially if the cage is placed under direct sunlight.
Feeding them too many treats
We love treating our pets, and they love it when we do. But too many treats can lead to obesity and a slew of health problems.
Remember that treats should never make up more than 10% of your pet’s overall diet.
Having nothing to chew on
Hamsters’ teeth grow continuously all their lives. They’re designed to be worn down to the right length by grinding away at hard objects. Make sure to provide your pet with a variety of hard objects such as wooden chew toys, walnut, coconut shells or even cardboard to chew on.
Taking them outside
The outdoors is full of dangers for hamsters.
No matter where you live, there are predators like stray cats, dogs or hawks who want to eat your hammy.
Secondly, hamsters are tiny and they can be very quick, this means they can escape and be lost outside, which is a death sentence to them.
Not enough space to exercise
Although hamsters are small, they need plenty of room to exercise, burrow and explore tunnels. So be sure to provide your hammy with an environment as large as possible with the enrichment they need to stay happy.
Hamsters are prey animals, so they instinctively hide signs of pain and illness to avoid attracting predators’ attention.
This means that it’s very difficult for hamster owners to tell if their pet is sick. Common signs that indicate your pet is sick include loss of appetite, lack of energy, a dirty or matted coat, hunched posture, excessive itchiness, diarrhea, or any sudden change in behavior.
Hamsters are known to be very clean animals who groom themselves often. Therefore, they don’t need to a bath. These animals also have sensitive skin, and baths may result in dry fur coats and skin problems.
Hamsters are also sensitive to temperature changes, which is another reason why bathing them isn’t recommended. Damp fur can keep their little bodies too cold.
If your hamster has dirt in a certain area of its body, you can spot-clean them using a damp washcloth.
Yelling at them
Yelling is another thing you should never do to your hamster. When you yell at your pet, you’re just frightening them. Keep in mind that hamsters are highly sensitive to loud noises, finding them scary, causing stress. making these noises as a threat and start to stay away from them.
Keeping their enclosure in a high traffic environment
As prey animals, hamsters can be prone to stress, so their enclosure should be placed in an area where there isn’t a lot of noise or traffic.
Stress can affect your pet’s physical well-being in addition to their mental well-being.
A little hide box in their enclosure will also help control stress.
A dirty living space
Hamsters are very clean animals and they appreciate a clean, nice environment.
Make sure to clean your hamster’s cage regularly. But remember not to use harsh chemicals in the cleaning process. Any product that contains bleach or ammonia is hazardous to animals.
Living with another hamster
Hamsters should not be kept together in the same enclosure.
These animals don’t get along well when placed in the same enclosure, in part because hamsters are solitary animals.