Tiny toothed and lovable, hamsters are cute domesticated rodent animals that can fit in the palm of your hand. Even though a hamster can be an entertaining company for you and your family, unfortunately the life span of a hamster is relatively short. If you provide your pet friend with a nice safe environment, a proper diet and plenty of exercise, your hamster can live up to 4 years.
Even though some hamsters will survive to the age of 4, keep in mind that most of them won’t. The Syrian (golden), which is the most common amongst pet hamsters, usually lives up to 2-3 years, while the average life expectancy of Russian hamsters (Campbell’s and Djungarian) is about 2-4 years in captivity. Chinese hamsters live up to 2-3 years on average, while the smaller Roborovski hamsters often live to 3 years in captivity.
In order to prolong the life of your cute little friend, you should do the following:
- You should feed your hamster everyday. Although pet hamsters can survive on a diet of exclusively commercial hamster food, like most rodents do, your pet also likes to eat fruits (like papaya, banana and mango), vegetables and seeds. You can buy hamster mix food that contains corn and seeds from your local pet shop. If you wish, you can even supplement your hamster’s diet with fresh vegetables, like carrots, lettuce and spinach. You can even place a bottle with a drinking tube by the cage, so your cute pet can always have access to water. This should be changed daily. In addition, keep in mind that the teeth of your hamster never stop growing, so it’s good also to feed your little friend with some crunchy treats, like nuts and sweet almonds. For more on what you can feed your hamster view this post.
- One more thing you have to consider is to provide your hamster with daily exercise in order to improve its health and behaviour. You can do that by providing a small hamster wheel, ball or tunnels within a cage, but you have always to supervise your pet while training, as to avoid any injuries. Also don’t forget to offer your hamster with quality bedding and change it regularly in order to stay healthy longer. You can put shredded paper at the bottom of the cage, which actually makes an excellent warm bedding and can also encourage your hamster to nest.
- Just like any other animal, your hamster can get sick; it can get a flu or a cold. So, you have to be careful in case you notice any change to it’s behaviour or loss of appetite. In a situation like this, you should immediately contact your veterinarian for advice.
- In addition, you should also take care of its cage and keep it clean. Generally hamsters are very clean animals but they do need a helping hand when living in a confined space. Providing your little friend with a cosy sleeping place, such as a box, with a small door opening will also help them feel at home and keep them calm. This should be positioned within a roomy hamster or rodent cage that is both safe and interesting.
Owning a pet hamster can be a rewarding experience and can give you and your children many hours of enjoyment. To prolong the life span of a hamster simply do all the above and show your petite pal some affection.