Who doesn’t love a cute chubby hamster? Hamsters tend to keep their food in their cheeks pouch, which makes them have a chubby appearance. However, it will be harder for us to tell whether our little friend is getting fat or not. Besides, hamster is one of animals who can easily gain weight if we don’t monitor its food or exercise time. But, chubby hamster is adorable! Why would we want them to be slim anyway? Here is the article to give you an insight into fat hamster.
Fat Hamster; Is It Good or Danger for Hamster’s Health?
Is it okay for a hamster to gain weight? The answer is no. Hamsters that are too fat are prone to obese, which is dangerous to their health.
How could hamsters gain too much weight?
Naturally, hamsters are a great runner. They can run more than a mile when they search for food or mate in the wild. But unlike the wild hamsters who spend most of their lives in natural habitat, pet hamsters usually spend it in their small cage. Without proper space to run around or lack of option for exercise, hamsters can get stressed out and will likely to gain more weight. It will be worse if they eat lots of food and treats that can be fattening the hamsters. Do you often give your hamster a lot of treats? Well, you might want to cut the portion down to prevent your hamster from getting fat!
How to tell if the hamster is fat or not
The easiest way to tell if our hamsters have gain weight is to track their weight daily throughout their life. This may need extra commitment, but keeping track of their weight can help you to see if any change in their diet’s plan or exercise affects or not on their weight. Thus, it will easier for you to choose the right plan that you can apply to your hamsters!
The ideal weight for a hamster actually depends on its breed and its age. Different types of hamster can have a different ideal weight. As we already know, dwarf hamsters are smaller and lighter than other types of hamsters so their ideal weight can surely be different. Hamsters will also start to lose weight as they get older, depend on their lifespan.
If you are not sure if your hamsters are overweight on not, you can always consult to your vet about their weight and their right diet plan, depending on your hamsters’ condition.
Treatment for a fat hamster that we can do
If you think your hamster gains more weight than it has to, you can help it slim down by adjusting their diet and exercise plans. These two are crucial for your hamster’s weight and health.
1. Balance their diet and control their food
As omnivores, hamsters’ food can be diverse, from insects to plants, or even some human foods as well. Pet owners, especially beginner ones, tend to overfeed their pets. So if we want to help our hamsters to lose weight, we have to monitor their diets and food intake.
Provide a low-fat diet, but never on low calories food. Your hamsters will still need calories to keep them going throughout the day. But fatty food, like nuts and seeds portion, needs to be decreased. Nuts and seeds, like sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews that can fatten your hamster in a snap are good for treats, but not as a regular part of your hamsters’ diet.
You can replace these nuts with a hamster seed mix that has seeds with lower fat content. Or better, you can replace them with fresh fruits and veggies, like apples, broccoli, cabbage, or carrots. However, there is also some type of vegetables and fruits that you need to avoid because it might harm your hamster, for example, acidic oranges.
To keep your hamsters stay hydrated provides water bottle as close to the hamsters’ nesting site as possible to encourage them to drink more. Make it easy to access, and replace the water daily to keep it fresh.
2. Exercise more!
You can provide additional toys or decors to encourage your hamsters to be more active. An exercise wheel or exercise ball will be great for them. You can also add some tunnels for them. Tunnel in their cage is great for hamsters to climb and run around. They can also use it as a hidden area to sleep and rest. When you want to buy accessories for your hamsters to exercise, remember that hamsters are most active at night because they are nocturnal animals. So you might want to buy one that is quite enough, especially for the exercise wheel if you don’t want the squeaks to ruin your sleep at night.
Another thing that you can do to force your hamster to be more active is to let them work for their food! You can try to hide small amounts of food around the cage sometimes, so your hamsters have to move around and dig for their food rather than easily eat right from their food bowl without any effort.
Fat hamster and obesity
One misconception about fat hamsters is that just because your hamsters gain more weight above the ideal weight, it doesn’t mean they show signs of obesity. However, many types of breed hamsters are prone to diabetes, for example, dwarf hamsters, especially if they are fat. Diabetes is one of the results of obesity in hamsters and one of the common health issues on hamsters. Others health risk that comes from obesity are heart problem and shortened their lifespan.
As for the conclusion, they might look cute with chubby cheeks and rounded body, but letting your hamsters get fat is dangerous for their health. It may lead to obesity, diabetes, and more serious health problems on hamsters. So, keep them healthy!