Hamsters look like adorable little fluff balls. They have a naturally chubby look which I just swoon over. Because they have that naturally chubby look, though, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether they’re just looking normal, or they’ve packed on a few too many pounds.
Weight really depends on a hamster’s age and what type it is. But, because most pet hamsters are Syrian, a good guideline to use is usually that they should be about an ounce for every inch long. About 5-7 ounces, then, would be considered a pretty healthy weight. If you have a little dwarf though, of course they’re gonna be smaller. And littler. And so stinkin’ cute.
If, after following the guidelines above, you think you could have a roly poly on your hands, it’s going to be super important that you adjust their diet and encourage exercise to get them back to a healthy weight.
The number one priority should be reducing the number of fatty nuts and seeds you’re giving your hamster. Choose treats that provide additional nutrition to their high-quality regular food. Try some dried fruit: papaya chunks, banana chips and strawberries are all great options. If you have an apple lover on your hands, these mini-snackers are also a great substitute for fatty treats.
Make sure you’re providing your hamster with an exercise wheel or an exercise ball. This is so important for them to be able to release that pent up energy. In the wild, hamsters can run for miles every night looking for food or for a mate. An exercise wheel or ball will allow your hamster to replicate this same activity in a domestic setting, which is vital for their health. Lots of cages actually have exercise equipment come with them, so this could be a really great option if you don’t have or are looking for a new habitat. Haven’t adopted a hamster yet and are kinda clueless on what they need? No worries. This starter pack has your name written on it.
I’d also recommend forcing that hefty hamster to work for their food. Rather than placing food in the same dish in the same place every day, hide a small amount around the cage. Your hamster is finding their nutrition while getting exercise. You gotta find it to eat it!
If you suspect that your hamster’s getting too heavy, nip the issue in the bud. Not only are you probably stressing, but they’re probably super uncomfortable. Hamster obesity, too, can lead to other hamster illnesses: diabetes, heart problems and overall shortened life expectancy.
So, keep that hamster right and tight! You’ll both benefit. Plus, they’ll probably start getting lots of compliments on that new, sexy bod. And everyone loves a compliment.