As hard as it could be come to senses and face the truth at times, being overweight isn’t healthy for any living thing, humans nor animals. When we talk specifically about hamsters, we assure that the extra weight can be extremely detrimental for their overall health because their little bodies aren’t designed to carry the additional weight efficiently without it being harmful to them. Today I want to help you with your overweight hamster.
Why is my Hamster Overweight?
The primary reason for overweight hamsters is overfeeding. If you have a fat hamster, it is very likely that you are the reason. You should feed your hamster a balance diet that is not excessive. The recommended amount for an adult hamster is two tablespoons of seeds and nuts and a splash of fruit and veg on the daily.
If you’re one of the hamster owners who just likes seeing their fluff very chubby and you find it difficult to differentiate the signs of excess weight beyond the physical aspect, if you have a hamster that is overweight, they might change their behaviour in many ways. Some of the most noticeable symptoms are tiredness, heavy breathing, difficulty to climb or crawl, excessive water intake, refusal to engage in exercising activities and lethargy. Each hamster has their own unique personality and behaviours, therefore, the signs and symptoms may very from hamster to hamster. Be aware of their patterns so that you can notice a slight change in them to make sure you attack the issue on a timely manner.
Don’t be afraid if you suddenly have the revelation that your toothy friend might be a bit too chunky. There are many things that you can do in order to help it lose the extra couple kilos. A couple of the most effective weight loss techniques for hamsters are:
Make your hamster work for its food
By changing the place of their food bowl every day and set them on a little scavenge hunt, you can help your hamster move around its cage in the search for food. You can even hide little amounts throughout their habitat placing them somewhat visibly in different spots. You might want to be watchful of where you hide the food so that it doesn’t sit there for too long and rot.
Change your hamster’s diet
We all know that hamsters love seeds that contain a very high fat content. If you’re feeding your hamster sunflower seeds, you might want to lower the amount of it and try and bulk up their food bowl with other nibbling alternatives like Timothy Hay. You should always provide your hamster with variety of food, fruit and veg, in this case, you’d only need to lower the portion size or the frequency.
Encourage your hamster to exercise
For hamsters, exercise isn’t optional. They are active creatures, no matter the breed or species, and they need to exercise in order to have a happy and healthy life. If you notice your hamster is bored, consider investing in a larger cage and fill it up with accessories that they can engage and interact with. If your hamster already has all these things, it may be bored of its surroundings. Consider investing in a Hamster Playpen and allowing it to play and exercise there daily.
Pay attention to their mood
These toothy critters are quite sensitive, much more than we would think. They can develop psychological disorders such as depression and be extremely affected by stress. Since every hamster is different, their responses to stimuli are too. Stressful situations can make your hamster sluggish and tired. If you are waking your hamster up when it’s sleeping, stop immediately. This causes them a lot of distress. Make sure that you’re accommodating their needs and giving them a soothing environment where they can play and roam freely without being disturbed.
If you found this article helpful and wish to understand your hamster’s behaviours when it comes to food, you might be interested in our piece that explains Why Hamsters Store Food.