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How To Care For Hamsters

Vet Talks 3 min read
Grey hamster gently being held in a child's hands. How to care for hamsters.

Exotic and wild animals become more and more common in our homes. There are many reasons for owners to choose these cute pets, such as their size, maintenance cost. Some of these pets are very easy to handle and some of them are not as dependant on humans compared to dogs and cats. While some exotic pets like hamsters may be low maintenance, they still require the proper care and love. To help you give your tiny furkiddo the best life, here are some tips on how to care for hamsters.

What Having a Pet Hamster is Like

These beautiful and active little animals are nocturnal. This means that they sleep during the day and are active in the early afternoon and night. So, if you’re a light sleeper, having a hamster in your bedroom is probably not a good idea.

Good nutrition, enrichment, and care are very important.

Depending on the species, hamsters can live around 1.5 to 3 years. However, there are cases where pet hamsters reach five years old. They can weigh between 30 and 150 grams, depending on the breed. Chinese hamsters typically weigh 30 to 45 grams and Syrian hamsters typically weigh 85 to 150 grams.

Due to the short lifespan, good nutrition, enrichment, and care are very important to keep your furry friend active and happy.

Healthy Diet for Hamsters

Hamsters are omnivorous (eats plants and other animals) in nature. However, since they were domesticated as pets, their diet is often based on seeds, thus reducing their lifespan due to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, renal issues caused by an inadequate diet.

If your little one has one of these conditions, NHV’s all-natural, herbal supplements can be helpful. For example, NHV Mellit can be helpful for hamsters with diabetes. Mellit is vet-formulated to encourage pancreas health and help manage blood sugar levels. Turmeric is a herb that naturally has properties that are helpful for controlling body weight. NHV offers a liquid Turmeric supplement that is at a safe dosage for pets. NHV Tripsy supports healthy kidney function.

Unfortunately, some commercial diets, such as kibble, lack some important nutrients. Therefore, it is important to offer some grains, fruits, vegetables along with the kibbles. Also, adding a multi-vitamin safe for pets like NHV Multi Essentials may be very helpful in filling dietary gaps.


In nature, hamsters are solitary animals and are only found together during reproduction time. At home, it is important to follow the same idea to prevent aggression between hamsters. Hamsters can have an average of 6 offspring. A hamster’s gestation period is about 15 to 20 days.

Hamster sitting inside a wood and cork exercise wheel


It is important to maintain these little pets in a cage that has enough space for them and toys for enrichment. For example, giving them a cabin or something to hide in, and wood or acrylic exercise wheel is recommended. Metal exercise wheels are not recommended as they can cause dangerous accidents such as fractures.

They are very sensitive animals, so it is best to avoid products with strong smells, give them a nutritious diet, and clean their enclosure regularly. Daily cleaning of the enclosure helps prevent bad smells and diseases but hamsters do not require bathing.

Hamster poking out of a hamster house in an enclosure filled with cage bedding and enrichment toys.

Common Health Conditions in Hamsters

Since hamsters are very small pets and have a short life span, neoplasms (cancer) are very common. NHV supplements such as Natures Immuno can be beneficial for promoting their quality of life. Natures Immuno is a blend of medicinal mushrooms that support the immune system and can be helpful for supporting their body as they fight cancer.

Hamsters may have other health issues during their lifetime such as respiratory and skin problems. If your hamster is dealing with respiratory issues, NHV Resp-Aid may be helpful. Resp-Aid is a blend of herbs with natural properties to support respiratory health and can help with symptoms such as coughing.

If you have any questions about the best ways to naturally care for hamsters, just reach out! You can start chatting with an NHV Pet Expert by clicking the button below.

Dr. Marcos Martins DVM

Dr. Marcos Martins DVM

Dr. Marcos Martins has a degree in veterinary medicine from Paulista Univeristy (2010) and a specialty in zoological medicine – wild and exotic animals (2015) from ANCLIVEPA. He works in a veterinary clinic in Brazil taking care of many species of animals. Dr. Martins grew up surrounded by different species of animals such as cats, birds, rodents, reptiles, and more. His experience with different pets inspired him to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian specializing in wild and exotic animals. When Dr. Martins is not working, he loves spending time with his family and his pets, 3 dogs (Polenta, Cookie, and Maria), a snake (Jhow Snake), 2 Guinea Pigs (JJ and GG), and his birds including a parrot, macaw, and songbirds.

Published: November 10, 2021

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