Hamster Grooming & Exercise Guide
Oftentimes it can be difficult to tell if you are meeting all of your hamster’s grooming and exercise needs or not. Thankfully, we are here to help! Below you will find our quick-tip guide to improving the health and wellness of your hamster.
Does My Hamster Need to be Groomed?
Other than gnawing down on their teeth, hamsters have a natural knack for self-maintenance - so your responsibility to oversee their grooming is fairly minimal.
As with many small, burrowing pets of their kind, hamsters’ teeth grow constantly from the day they are born, so gnawing material is essential in keeping your new pet’s teeth from growing too long. A few great options for keeping your hamster's dentition well-occupied and well-groomed include:
- Unpainted untreated Wood Chips
- Fruit-Flavored Chew Toys
- Scrapped Cardboard
Another primary concern for your hamster will be keeping his or her nails trimmed if they start growing too long, so check periodically and trim as necessary. Consult with your local veterinarian if you feel uncomfortable with trimming your hamster's nails yourself.
What Kind & How Much Exercise Does My Hamster Need?
General exercise is an important way to improve the quality-of-life of your hamster - though, creativity is key when incorporating a good workout into your hamster’s cramped quarters. The iconic hamster’s wheel is a great option for satisfying your hamster’s instinctual desire to run, and they are designed to easily fit in the limited space of a hamster’s cage.
Another way to help keep your hamster fit and cheery is by providing ample opportunity to burrow and dig. Ladders, tubes, thick bedding, and hideaway areas each offer fun opportunities to scratch your hamster’s natural itch to rummage, run, and burrow about.
A clear exercise ball is another fun option, allowing your energetic new pet to run freely about the house or yard and explore as he or she pleases. As delightful as it may be, it is also imperative that you keep a close eye on your hamster while using the exercise ball. Be sure to limit your hamster’s use, as extended time running in the hot, often poorly ventilated inner chamber of the ball can severely dehydrate your pet. Limit play sessions to chunks of a few minutes at a time, and make it a priority to offer water to your hamster as often as possible to keep them running safely well into the future.
Need More Information?
If you have any more questions about the care of your hamster, consult your local veterinarian, search through our Preventive Care and Ask a Vet libraries, or explore some of the related links below: