No matter how engaging or demanding your everyday occupational or school routine may be, as humans, we all crave some form of companionship that we can nourish and care for.
Whether it is taking care of another person or a pet; the emotional fulfillment we feel by offering our mental and physical support to someone familiar is a sentiment like no other.
One such pet that gives people in the USA a chance to take care of something and also offers a wholesome and joyful companionship is none other than the hamster.
However, while most people find great joy in feeding and pampering their furry little rodent, obesity, and an unhealthy weight gain can dangerously affect a pet hamster’s quality of life and chances of survival.
At times, a fat and chubby little hamster may seem incredibly happy and adorable to you; however, it might be suffering from fatigue and poor mobility it feels due to its excessive weight gain.
Hence, if you have made the mistake of overfeeding your pet hamster, you must do everything in your power to help your pet rodent lose the extra weight.
Continue reading to learn all you can do to help your pet hamster get lean and healthy again.
What Are the Top Reasons Behind Your Pet Hamster’s Weight Gain?
A pet hamster will usually never pounce or leap at you with joy; instead, it has its own behaviors and gestures that communicate fondness and trust.
This is why it is almost impossible for a person not to fall completely in love with their pet hamster and offer them all of the possible comforts of life, especially in the USA, where all these comforts are readily available.
Since human beings tend to express their love by providing nourishment and food, a pet parent must know just how much food is enough and when overfeeding might get dangerous for their fur baby.
Hence, if your pet hamster is gaining a lot of weight, you must analyze what might be the cause behind these changes. Some of the top potential reasons behind a pet hamster’s weight gain are listed below:
- As mentioned above, humans often show their love by offering food. However, unlike a cat or a dog, a hamster’s dietary needs are far less.
- Hence, when you keep refilling your pet hamster’s food bowl to the top or give it fattening treats frequently throughout the day, it will be impossible for your pet hamster to stay lean and healthy.
- Since hamsters usually stay in their cages most of their lives, their physical activity is quite limited.
- When even a little extra food is provided to the hamster, who has nothing to do but sit in its cage all day, it is bound to get fat as it will have no way to burn off those calories.
- Although a hamster is not a pet that needs a lot of attention or simulation, sitting in the cage by itself all day can be quite boring. As a result, the hamster will spend its time eating the food from its bowl at odd hours.
- Moreover, at times, concerned pet parents introduce a hamster wheel to their pet’s cage to keep their fur baby active and healthy; however, there is a tendency for this plan to backfire.
- When a hamster runs on its wheel a lot, either because it is too bored or enjoys the run, it gets pretty hungry.
- As a result, the hamster can finish its food more quickly, which might lead to the owner refilling it more frequently.
- Eventually, when this becomes a part of the hamster’s routine, it gains a lot more weight than it can burn off by running on the wheel.
- Another key reason why a pet hamster puts on excessive body weight is that the owner keeps offering the hamster unhealthy and fattening food options.
- For instance, although hamsters love how olive oil, sunflower oil, or oily nuts and seeds taste, these food groups contain high amounts of cholesterol and calories.
- When such foods are added to the hamster’s regular diet, instead of being an occasional treat, it gains unhealthy amounts of weight quite quickly.
- Apart from unhealthy foods, even the special hamster feed can sometimes result in weight gain.
- For instance, if an adult and fully matured hamster is offered high-energy feed originally designed for growing hamsters, it will gain weight quickly.
- Moreover, since hamsters are extremely sensitive animals that can get scared quite easily, any potentially threatening external stimuli can put your rodent in a state of frenzy.
- When this happens, many hamsters react by eating a lot more than they usually do.
- If this becomes a regular coping mechanism, the hamster will gain unhealthy weight.
- Furthermore, at times, the weight gain of a pet hamster is not dangerous and is simply seasonal.
- For instance, just like how a snow leopard develops thicker fur for the snowy winters, hamsters will perform their seasonal preparation by deliberately putting on extra weight.
- Since fat is an excellent heat insulator, the layer of blubber helps keep the hamster warm and comfortable during the harsh winter cold.
- Usually, the hamster can naturally shed off the gained weight on its own once the weather begins to get warmer again.
What if a Hamster Stays Fat?
In general, a healthy hamster will weigh around 0.5 to 1 ounce during its early days and then around 5 to 8 ounces in its adulthood.
However, if your pet hamster’s weight crosses 9 or 10 ounces, you need to be alarmed.
If no active measures are taken to help the hamster lose weight, some of the potential consequences of this neglect might be as follows:
- The hamster will be far less active and will have a harder time moving around.
- This would mean that the hamster might no longer have the energy to participate in activities that previously brought it some joy, such as running on a wheel or exploring the house in a transparent hamster ball.
- Moreover, due to its sensitive nature, a hamster will almost always scurry, run, and hide when another pet or unfamiliar person confronts it.
- However, because of the inactivity caused by obesity, a hamster might have a harder time getting away.
- As a result, the hamster might feel even more threatened and anxious and might react by abnormally biting or itching itself.
- In extreme cases, when a hamster’s poor mobility makes it feel completely helpless, it might start playing dead or even actually die from a heart attack.
- Moreover, most hamster breeds usually have a two-year lifespan. However, a hamster might die at a young age because of the many health concerns that might arise from weight gain.
- For instance, due to the high cholesterol in most fattening foods, the hamster might develop different heart troubles, life-threatening liver problems, diabetes, and many other health issues.
- If nothing is done to help the hamster, even these health conditions might be enough to end the hamster’s life.
- Furthermore, although a hamster is not as active as a dog or a cat, it does enjoy moving around its cage or physically interacting with its human owner.
- When the extra body weight might make it too lazy; it will have a more challenging time getting up and moving around.
- As a result, the pet hamster might fall into depression, directly affecting its quality of life and chances of survival.
The Top Ways You Can Help Your Pet Hamster Lose Weight and Get Skinny Again
If the presence and company of your pet hamster bring you inner peace and joy, you owe it at least a long and healthy life.
Hence, if your beloved pet hamster weighs too much, you need to make the necessary changes in its life to help it get skinny and healthy again. Fortunately, there are several ways to help an obese hamster lose weight, some of which are listed below:
- The first thing to do is to change and correct your pet hamster’s diet. Oily nuts and seeds might make your rodent friend quite happy, but they are not healthy for regular consumption.
- Instead, replace the portion of nuts and seeds in your hamster’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, and leave the nuts and seeds as part of its occasional treats.
- Although this change might upset your hamster in the beginning, it will eventually adapt and get used to the low-calorie lifestyle.
- However, it is important to ensure that the transition to a healthier diet is slow and gradual, instead of being drastic.
- Moreover, apart from the introduction of fresher and healthier food groups, it is important to provide your pet hamster with high-quality hamster food that is appropriate for its age group.
- For this, you can also contact your hamster’s vet and ask for their advice on which food will be most appropriate for your particular hamster.
- Apart from making the required dietary changes, it is also incredibly important to restrict your hamster’s feeding time.
- This means, that apart from its necessary meal times, ensure that its food bowl is empty so that it has no option to eat out of boredom.
- Moreover, even when filling the food bowl during the hamster’s feeding time, make sure to only put a measured and advised amount, and refrain from overfilling it.
- Furthermore, physical exercise is also important if you want to see your hamster healthy again.
- Hence allow the hamster time to move around your house in a hamster ball and run on its wheel.
- However, limit the period of these physical activities so that the hamster does not end up getting too hungry after them.
- Finally, make sure to offer your hamster some simulation and attention so that it does not develop the habit of eating too much in its free time.
Although taking care of another human being can be quite comforting in many ways, some people feel great elation and contentment by being there for their little pet hamsters.
However, at times, the love gets translated into overfeeding the hamster, which can be quite dangerous. Hence, if your pet hamster continues to gain unhealthy weight and is now super lazy, it is high time you replace all the oily nuts and seeds in its diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more