Hamsters are adorable, great family pets. These small furry creatures live up to 2 to 3 years however, their ageing process is faster than other pets. That said, their care requirements change as they grow older. From keeping their teeth clean to preventing them from different diseases, caring for senior hamsters comes with a lot of responsibilities.
Here are some common mistakes that we should avoid while caring for a senior hamster.
Neglecting Regular Vet Checkups
Regular veterinary care is an essential aspect of caring for an old hamster. Our senior hamsters become prone to various health problems as they age. Things like tumours, arthritis, and dental issues are common in old hamsters.
Delaying regular checkups leads to late detection of health issues making them more difficult to treat. Scheduling routine vet visits ensures potential health problems can be dealt with promptly.
Overfeeding or Giving Inappropriate Food
The metabolism of an old hamster slows down due to less activity. And just like senior humans, senior hamsters need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.
Overfeeding an elderly hamster can cause obesity and other health problems. That's why adjusting their diet is crucial as they reach their golden years.
If your old hamster has lost teeth due to ageing, mush his food together to make it easy to eat.
Make sure you provide a constant supply of fresh drinking water to your hamsters to keep them hydrated.
Get veterinary guidance regarding which diet suits your ageing hamster best. Their diet might include a few treats and softer foods that are easily digestible.
Ignoring Behavioural Changes
Senior hamsters undergo behavioural changes due to ageing, such as increased aggression, reduced activity, and changes in sleep patterns.
If you ignore these signs, potential health problems may not be recognised and treatment may be delayed. Consequently, our hamsters may not get the care and attention they need. Keep an eye on these behavioural changes and consult with a vet if you have any concerns.
Ignoring Dental Health
Hamsters become prone to dental problems in their senior years. Gum problems, overgrown teeth, and abscesses can put our hamsters in great pain and discomfort.
Monitoring your hamsters teeth is crucial . Pay attention to dental problems, ignoring them won't make them go away.
Providing your elderly hamster with suitable chew toys, will help hamsters wear down their teeth to a comfortable length.
Consult with a vet immediately if you notice signs of any dental issues like difficulty eating or drooling.
Neglecting Cage Maintenance
Due to reduced activity, senior hamsters spend most of their time in their cage.
Neglecting cage maintenance results in unsanitary conditions. And like all senior pets, the senior hamster’s immune system isn't as robust as it was when they were younger. They find it harder to ward off foreign invaders which can make them more prone to illness.
Make sure to clean your hamster's cage regularly. Remove any visible contaminants and soiled bedding present in the cage.
Frequent thorough cleaning can be stressful for senior hamsters, make sure to move hamsters to a clean and secure place before cleaning their cage.
Preventing Proper Exercise
Exercise is essential to keep senior hamsters physically fit and healthy.
Try gently playing with senior hamsters and encouraging them to move around and stay active.
Providing an exercise wheel to older hamsters, helps them to be active even in old age.
Depending upon your old hammy's health, let him roam around in a hamster ball for exercise. But keep an eye on him, we don't want them to get too tired!
Inadequate Social Interaction
Although hamsters are solitary pets, social interaction still benefits them, even in old age.
Spend quality time with your ageing hamster to avoid their depression and loneliness.
Use a soft, calming voice while interacting with old furry companions as oud voices can startle our senior hamsters.
Handle a senior hamster carefully while carrying or placing him back in the cage. Elderly hamsters have body aches, just like older people.
Make sure to provide a comfortable and safe space for hamsters within their cage for social interaction.
Senior hamsters are adorable pets that deserve our love and attention even in their golden years. Providing the best possible care and avoiding these simple mistakes can make our hammy's last years pleasant and less painful. Though these changes are signs of ageing, it doesn't mean our furry friends no longer love us.