Pets, including your hamsters, are not 100% free from stress. But, perhaps you are wondering if they can die from stress, too.
Why do hamsters die? There are numerous reasons, normally it is due to medical reasons. However, stress also has something to do with their longevity. In this article, we will shed light on how you can spot if your pet is stressed and what you can do to help it calm down and prolong its life.
How Do You Know If a Hamster Is Stressed?
Each hamster manifests stress differently. For this reason, it is crucial that you are aware of the sudden changes in its behavior and even in its physical appearance.
Do you notice that your hamster is unusually hyperactive? Does it move constantly, run on the wheels much faster, and climb the cage frantically? If yes, then your pet is showing signs of stress.
Stress is one of the reasons why your hamster is acting aggressively. Not sure what the signs of aggression are? Grunting, showing its teeth as if wanting to bite and ears moving in a backward position are the signs that your pet is ready to attack.
Though hamsters chew a lot of time, biting its cage could also be a sign of stress. Other types of unusual behaviors are scratching incessantly, too much chewing, and constantly cleaning its body to the point of self-mutilation.
Have you heard your pet squeal or snort? Then chances are it is stressed.
Chronic stress leads to physical changes such as hair loss. Also, if you happen to notice that it scratches or plucks its hair, then there is no doubt that your hamster is under stress.
Proliferative ileitis is the other term for wet-tail. When baby hamsters are moved from the breeder to a pet store and then to your home, chances are, it will get stressed.
Aside from the change in environment, stressors like change in diet and being away from its family are the possible causes.
This disease causes the Campylobacter bacteria to multiply which causes diarrhea, lethargy, and ear and genital discharge.
Wet-tail is highly contagious so if you have multiple hamsters all together in one cage, all of them might get inflicted.
The other signs of stress to watch out for are wanting to escape from the cage, muscle tremors, and excessive salivation.
5 Tips to Calm Down a Stressed Hamster:
If you are sure that your hamster is stressed, leave it alone for a while to allow it to settle and calm down. From then on, we recommend that you talk to the Vet to rule out any medical pathologies.
Additionally, it is of utmost importance that you provide your pet with its basic care and medicines in order to have a balanced disposition. Follow these tips on how to make your pet happy:
1. Enrich the Surrounding:
Boredom is stressful, thus, our tip is to make your hamster’s cage as exciting as possible. Give it some toys to stimulate it mentally and physically. Since you are not present all the time, your pet needs entertainment like wheels, balls, play tubes, among others.
Where do hamsters come from? In the wild where they dig tunnels for storage and to rest. Give them tunnel playing toys and hamster digging tower.
If you have a new hamster, handle it with care and do it slowly. Give it treats to encourage it to come to you. Once your pet is used to being handled, spend time with it daily so both of you can form a bond.
Your hamster also needs to feel that it is an important part of your life to avoid getting stressed. So, always set a date-time with your pet.
3. Provide Preventive Medicines:
Illnesses are stressful for them. For example, the wet-tail disease is a life-threatening condition. If this is not addressed immediately, your pet will die within 24 to 48 hours.
The best way to prevent this disease is to avoid cramping your hamsters in one cage. And, upon bringing it home, avoid handling it too much until such time that it gets used to you and the new environment.
Giving wet tail drops is one of the things that you can do to avoid wet-tail disease. Additionally, isolate the sick hamster from the healthy ones.
4. Addressing Cage Rage Behavior:
Provide a bigger cage is the best way to address the problem of cage rage (cage-biting) behavior. Take it out from its cage and allow it to roam freely. Just make sure that there are no cats around and other things that can hurt your hamster.
Making it feel free at least three times a week is a good way to prevent it from feeling stressed.
5. Place its Cage in a Quiet Room:
Just like you, your pet also wants to have a safe and quiet place to rest. If not, it can lead to stress and anxiety.
The best place where you can put its cage is away from the entertainment room. And, if you have other pets like dogs and cats, be sure that they cannot go near the cage or else, they can scare and stress your hamster pet.
If you have kids at home, teach them not to disturb the hamster especially if it is asleep.
No one is immune from stress and that includes your hamster. This is why you have to know your hamster very well because that is the only way you can determine if there are changes in its behaviors that could signify stress.
If it is unhappy, there are steps that you can do for your pet hamster. Take it out on a date, let it be free and allow it to enjoy life by giving toys. Just like you, too much stress can take a toll on its health and eventually die if it is not relieved of its stress.