Easy ways to increase hamster life span
Despite their small size, hamsters require a significant time commitment and all of the responsibilities that come with being a pet parent. While they may not require long walks or litter box cleaning, it is critical that you keep your small pet safe and happy. After all, we want our little friends to have a good life, and proper care goes a long way toward ensuring she lives to a ripe old age. Even the most spoiled hamster won’t live much longer than three years, but with a solid routine in place, you can increase your hamster life span to the fullest.
- Learn about her background
If you want a long-living animal, make sure you get her from the right place. You should look for breeders and pet stores that work hard to keep both mamas and babies happy for the rest of their lives. When you visit, make sure their cage is clean, and inspect your potential pet before taking her home. Examine her eyes and paws in particular, but also make sure her coat is soft and shiny.
- Maintain her environment
Nothing is more likely to shorten your hamster’s life than her environment. Set everything up in a designated area before she arrives. A large cage is required for one hamster, at least 12 by 12 by 24 inches, and larger for multiples or larger breeds. On the bottom, she requires comfortable bedding, which you can make out of paper and cloth or buy premade from a store. Keep it extra clean once she arrives, as this will go a long way toward ensuring her health.
- Get her checked out
You should get her checked out every year, just like you would with any other pet, and especially when you first bring her home. Be aware of common hamster ailments, such as diarrhea or a wet tail, which can be fatal. They, too, can catch colds and require special medications to recover. If you notice any of these symptoms, take her to the vet as soon as possible. Wet tail can kill a hamster in just two days, so if you notice that symptom, you should act quickly.
- Give her plenty of food
Hamsters eat a variety of foods, including pellets, fruits, vegetables, and bugs. You’ll want to feed them hamster food from the pet store for the most part, but don’t skimp on the treats. They’ll enjoy snacking on the same foods you do, such as celery and apples. Of course, they also enjoy eating mealworms (which we do not recommend you share). Most importantly, keep her set clean and fresh at all times by replacing it daily and cleaning out bottles and dishes.
- Give her a steering wheel
And possibly a lot of tubing! Hamsters enjoy exercise, which you can facilitate with a couple of toys. We highly recommend the iconic hamster wheel and ball, especially for giving her something to do at night. To keep her entertained, mix in some extra toys, such as ladders or stairs. You can even bring your hamster out to play with you if you plan ahead of time to keep her from escaping.
- Give her some chew toys
Because hamster teeth never stop growing, it’s critical that you help keep them short to avoid discomfort and infection. Her new toys will serve as both a source of entertainment and a form of dental hygiene. Hamsters prefer to grind on wood, calcium, or biscuits. You should get these from a pet store because you don’t want to give her any old wood that has been treated with chemicals.
So, how old are hamsters? Hamster average lifespan is two to three years, and with proper care, you should be able to provide her with a long and, more importantly, happy life. If you have more than one hamster, you will need to make changes such as getting a larger cage and cleaning more frequently. Keep in mind that keeping too many together or putting males in the same cage can lead to fights and reduce life spans. You will undoubtedly help your pets thrive if you give it your all.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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