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Hamsters and Cold

Do you have a pet hamster? One thing that is very important for you to be aware of is the fact that your tiny little furball can get very sick if he gets too cold! In this article, an Aurora, CO veterinarian discusses the dangers of cold for hamsters.

Ideal Temperatures

Different species of hamsters have slightly different needs, but in general, you’ll need to keep little Hammie’s habitat between 65 and 75 degrees. Hammie needs to be in a spot that offers suitable ventilation, but isn’t very drafty. Even being chilly for just a few hours can put your pet in danger! It’s very important for your little buddy to have at least one hidey-hole he can go into: this can also help him stay warmer. We recommend keeping a thermostat in or very near your pet’s cage. If the room doesn’t stay warm enough, you may need to use heating equipment. Ask your vet for more information.

Warning Signs

If Hammie gets too cold, he may start shivering, or lose interest in his food and water. He could also seem lethargic. If your tiny furball’s tiny feet, ears, or nose feel cold, he’s probably too chilly. Your little pal may also begin to have trouble breathing if he gets cold.

Hibernation

If little Hammie gets too cold, his body may try to go into hibernation. This is very dangerous for your tiny friend! Because pets don’t really know how to how to hibernate correctly, they often get severely dehydrated. This, unfortunately, can prove fatal. It’s worth noting that the risks of hibernation and, subsequently, dehydration, apply mostly to Syrian hamsters. Dwarf hamsters don’t hibernate, though they can still get very sick if they get too cold.

What To Do If Your Hamster Is Hibernating

If you know or suspect that your hamster has gone into hibernation, contact your vet immediately. It can be a bit tricky to determine whether a hamster is hibernating or deceased. Generally, hamsters that are hibernating will be limp, while those that have passed on will become stiff. Sometimes hamsters can be brought out of hibernation with warm water and gentle massages, but you’ll need to ask your vet for specific advice and instructions on what to do.

Do you have any questions about caring for a pet hamster? We can help! Please contact us, your Aurora, CO animal hospital, anytime!

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