The obese hamsters are becoming increasingly frequent. If this is the case with your little protégé, you need to understand the causes to prevent this situation. This article suggests answers about the factors contributing to obesity in these small animals, as well as advice on how to help them return to a healthier lifestyle.
Causes of obesity in hamsters
There are several reasons why a hamster may become obese:
- Poor diet: Too many seeds, especially those rich in fat, can lead to obesity in hamsters. Offer them a power supply and adapted to their needs.
- Lack of exercise: Hamsters are very active animals, requiring daily exercise. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain.
- Genetics: Some people are more predisposed to weight gain than others, so it's essential to keep an eye on your diet and physical activity.
The consequences of obesity in a hamster
The overweight and obesity in hamsters can lead to numerous health problems. Here are the main risks to consider:
Obese hamsters are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and heart failure.
Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes in hamsters, especially in the Russian hamster. This disease can cause serious, even fatal, complications if not properly managed.
Excess weight can lead to joint problems, such as osteoarthritis or hip dislocation. These pathologies can make movement painful and limit the hamster's activity.
Reduced life expectancy
Obesity in hamsters reduces their life expectancyOverweight hamster are more likely to live a shorter life than a normal-weight hamster. An overweight hamster is therefore more likely to live shorter than a normal-weight hamster.
Tips to help an obese hamster lose weight
To help your hamster lose weight, give it a balanced diet adapted to its needs.
- Decrease the amount of fatty seeds: Seeds such as sunflowers or peanuts are high in calories. It's best to choose seed mixes that are specially designed for hamsters, with a limited fat content.
- Offer fresh vegetables: Vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories. They will allow your hamster to feel full while losing weight. However, be sure to respect the recommended quantities to avoid digestive problems.
- Avoid sugary treats: Cookies and other sweets should only be given in small quantities and occasionally. They can quickly make your pet fat.
Encouraging physical exercise
A hamster needs to exercise daily to stay healthy. Here are a few tips to encourage your pet to get regular physical activity:
- Opt for a wheel adapted : The wheel is the essential element for your hamster to run and exercise. Choose one to suit your pet's size, and make sure it's silent so as not to disturb its sleep.
- Set up a playground: In addition to the wheel, install elements that allow your hamster to climb, hide and explore. This will give him a chance to move around and have fun, while burning calories.
- Take him out of his cage regularly: Under supervision, let your hamster explore a safe space, such as a room or playpen designed specifically for rodents. This will stimulate his desire to move and help him return to his ideal weight.
Monitor its progress
To make sure your hamster is losing weight and not developing other health problems, keep an eye on its progress:
- Weigh him regularly: A weekly weighing will allow you to check if the efforts undertaken are bearing fruit and if your pet's weight is evolving in the right direction.
- Observe his behavior: A healthy hamster is active, curious and sociable. If your pet seems listless, consult a small animal veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
By following this advice and paying close attention to your hamster's needs, you can help it return to a healthy, balanced life. Don't hesitate to consult a professional if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's health.