Few spontaneous diseases affect hamsters. Properly cared for, these animals can remain active and healthy until old age. Many of the problems identified in these small rodents are the result of poor maintenance and feeding, or traumas from falls or poorly designed cages. The prevention of pathologies is therefore essential to the establishment of appropriate living conditions.
- Always provide a correct, nutritious and varied food ration, with fresh plants and a small protein supplement. An excess of seeds and fatty foods leads to obesity.
- Ready-made food should be as fresh as possible and can be stored in the cold. A large package will be divided into several portions placed in the refrigerator.
- Do not give any food (plants, meat, eggs, cheese) that has been damaged, and remove from the cage those that have not been eaten within a few hours. Deposited in the cage in the evening, these foods will be disposed of in the morning.
- Never offer the hamster sweets or other inappropriate treats.
- Always avoid sudden dietary changes, which can cause serious intestinal disorders. Introduce new foods (especially plants) gradually.
- Always raise golden hamsters in individual cages. Place dwarf hamsters only with specimens of their species, forming groups when the subjects are still young. Isolate any individual systematically attacked by other members of the group. Never house hamsters with other types of rodents.
- Careful hygiene is essential for animal health. The cage will be thoroughly cleaned and washed at least once a week, and the feeders every day.
- Hamsters spend a lot of time on their toilets, so it is generally not necessary to help them stay clean. Golden hamsters with long hair, periodic brushing of the coat can help to keep it in order, by removing dead hair and, possibly, the material that has clung to it. A used toothbrush should be used for this.
- Hamsters should never be given a bath, except in exceptional circumstances. This operation is particularly stressful for it, and would also involve a high risk of hypothermia (serious drop in body temperature) or drowning. Instead of a bath, it is better to use a small damp sponge to remove any dirt.
- Never apply scented substances to the hamster for any reason whatsoever: the smell of these animals is much more sensitive than ours, and the fragrances cause them considerable discomfort.
- Always wash your hands before and after touching your hamster. If you have several hamsters in different cages, never forget to wash your hands thoroughly before switching from one to the other. Never change the feeders and waterers in the various cages.
- When a hamster is sick, isolate it from others and treat it last, after healthy subjects.
- If you touch foreign hamsters, in a store or at a friend’s house, for example, do not touch yours until you have washed your hands thoroughly.
- Install the cage in a room at a suitable and constant temperature, away from air currents and temperature differences.
- Always make sure that the hamster, in or out of its cage, is out of reach of dogs and cats.
- Do not take your eyes off the hamster released from its cage. Make sure that the environment in which it walks freely is safe and escape-proof.
- The hamster should never be handled by children without the close supervision of an adult, to prevent it from falling to the ground or injuring itself as much as possible.
- Observe your hamster carefully every day. Only by knowing their normal behavior and habits will you know right away if something is wrong.
“Minimum Size Wheel & Ball For A Syrian”. HamsterHideout.
“The Best Hamster Bedding Guide”. Dwarf Hamster home. Dwarf Hamster home. Retrieved 17 December 2019.