Hamster health

It is really upsetting if your pet gets ill. Luckily, there’s lots you can do to keep you hamster happy and healthy.

A daily health check

Keep a close eye on your hamster's general health and give them a quick check over every day. By getting to know your hamster’s normal behaviour and habits, you’ll quickly be able to spot if anything’s not right.

Visit your vet if you notice:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Drinking much more or less than normal
  • Lack of energy/sleeping more than usual
  • Unusual swellings
  • Skin condition
  • Limping
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Signs of pain, such as sensitivity to touch
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Overgrown teeth.
  • Changes in your hamster’s behaviour can also be a sign they aren’t well.

Stopping your hamster getting bored

Boredom can be a big problem for small pets. If your hamster doesn’t have enough to keep them occupied and active, they might eat too much to fill their time. Boredom can also lead to them developing other health problems or issues with their behaviour.

You can keep your hamster active by giving them lots of suitable toys and activities:

  • Give hamsters lots of things to climb on and explore in their cage as they are very active.
  • An exercise wheel is ideal, but make sure has no spaces between the rungs which could injure their legs.
  • Cardboard rolls and boxes are great for hamsters to hide in and chew.
  • A gnawing block helps them wear their teeth down.
  • Make sure they have shavings or compost to burrow in. Hamsters really love to dig!
  • Make feeding fun. Scatter some food around the cage and hide some in tubes, so they have an interesting treasure hunt.

Taking care of their teeth

You can help to keep your hamster’s teeth healthy by:

  • Giving them plenty of things to gnaw on, like untreated softwood branches. You can find out more about suitable things for you hamster to chew on our hamster diet page.
  • Don’t feed them muesli-style food mixes. They tend to leave the healthier parts and eat the sugary parts instead. This can lead to painful dental disease.
  • Avoid giving them too many sugary treats.

Your hamster's diet

Our vets' advice on the ideal diet for your hamster, including safe fruit and veg to feed them. 

Your hamster's diet

The ideal home

Read our vets' advice on setting up the perfect home for your hamsters. 

Read more

PDSA Pet Store

Get food, bedding and toys for your hamster on our online pet store.

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