Owning a pet enriches the lives of your family, and a hamster is a very cute and interesting family pet to have. An important but often overlooked aspect of pet care is taking care of your furry friend’s teeth, and a hamster definitely has special needs in this area that require a little extra care and attention. Here’s how you can keep your hamster’s teeth healthy.
When they’re healthy, your hamster’s teeth should be brownish-white in color. Unlike most animals, hamsters have incisor teeth that continue to grow throughout his life. As a result, rodents like hamsters continually need to grind their teeth down to keep them from getting dangerously large. That’s why it’s crucial to provide something for the little guy to constantly chew on.
Wooden toys, calcium blocks and hard biscuits will keep the incisors at a healthy and manageable level. If you go for a piece of wood, make sure it’s untreated and non-toxic. It’s best to use store-bought wooden chew toys, since pieces of wood found outdoors could harbor insects that are harmful to your hamster. Harder woods, such as apple are the best types to use.
hamsterOther problems that might occur include bad breath and discharge from the mouth. This is a sign that your hamster has cavities as a result of too many sweet treats. If this happens, it’s important to take him to the veterinarian to have them treated. Occasionally, your hamster may break a tooth. When this happens, the opposing tooth will tend to overgrow, since it has nothing to press against. The veterinarian can treat the overgrown tooth by clipping it down to keep it from causing damage.
If you have an older hamster, breaking teeth can become a more serious problem. If your hamster struggles to eat, feed him soft foods, such as bread, eggs, wet cereal or softened hamster mix. A calcium deficiency might also be the culprit. Milk, cheese and dog biscuits are great sources of calcium.
Hamsters are a great addition to the family, but caring for their teeth can present challenges. Follow these tips to keep your hamster’s mouth healthy, and if you’d like to know more about dental care for your furry one, talk to your veterinarian.