You can usually blame the fur of a hamster for its round size, but this will have its limits. From one point on you should be ready to find out that your hamster might be fatter than it should.
So when can you call your hamster overweight? When is it time for a diet?
As always, it is always best to talk to a vet if you believe your hamster has any issues but, most of the time, you can make an educated guess on whether or not your cute furball will be too fat for its own health.
The ideal weight of an adult hamster will be somewhere between 150g and 200g, or about 5 to 7oz. Not all species of hamsters have the same weight. For example, the dwarf hamster will be considerably lighter. You should expect an adult dwarf hamster that has reached its peak size to be around 25 to 50g in weight.
The easiest way of keeping track of your hamster’s precise weight is by measuring it with a kitchen precision scale. In this way, you will always know exactly how much heavier did the rodent get and when it is time for a diet.
The pet’s behavior might also give out some signs of concern at some point. An overweight hamster will usually refuse to use the exercise wheel or even walk around in more extreme cases. If the pet reaches this extreme case, then it would be a great idea to have it checked by a vet.
As I said right in the beginning, you will first have to figure out if your hamster is obese or just fluffy. Most people know that these pets are walking balls of fur, which is one of the main reasons for their cuteness. Their cheek pouches might also make them look fatter than they really are.
You might also like my articles on whether hamsters can eat oranges, bread, or cockroaches.
Before you get to measuring it, just give the hamster a treat and once you notice it starts to eat it, lift it up and look at its small body.
If you notice a flat and lean shape under its fur then you really shouldn’t worry the slightest. Instead, if the hamster is round even under its fur, then it really might be time for a diet.
Lack of exercise
People aren’t the only ones that would need a lot of exercise to be fit and healthy. Pets also need their fair share of physical activities to stay in shape.
A smart way of keeping your hamster’s weight in check is by giving it enough room to move around and toys to keep it active.
You shouldn’t even think of a cage for your hamster that doesn’t come with an exercise wheel. If you can’t find a decent wheel for your pet, an exercise ball should be almost just as good, but keep in mind that this is usually used when you take your pet outside of the cage.
You should make a habit of letting your hamster roam around your room, but always keep an eye on it to make sure it won’t hide somewhere.
Too much sugar
The type of food a hamster will eat will also influence its weight.
You will notice that your hamster will really like to eat nuts, sweet fruit, and sweets in general. When it comes to nuts, they are a great treat for a rodent, but should only be given occasionally.
Although different veggies and fruits are known to be great natural food for most pets, they can also come with a whole lot of sugar. Too much sugar will easily turn your hamster overweight, so make sure you keep the amount of sweets your hamster gets under check.
Too much food
It’s usually the obvious culprit: food. The amount of food it will eat daily will have a strong impact on its weight.
Considering that hamsters will usually try to hide some of the food they receive, you should always keep track of how much you actually fed them. Just because the food is gone, it doesn’t mean that the hamster ate it.
Most of the time, they will keep most of the food you give them stashed away in a hidden place and eat when nobody is around.
This is just part of their natural instincts and it’s something they also do in the wild. They will usually have to travel a lot to find food and whenever they would find it, they’d make sure it will keep them fed for as much time as possible.
They are known to either hide their food and eat it at a later date, or even keep it in their cheek pouches until they are ready to eat.
This will also happen when they are kept in a cage as pets. Their natural instincts will stick to them even in captivity and even though they might get food regularly, their natural behavior will still push them towards burying or hiding food around the cage.
Be sure to always keep track of how much food you give a hamster, and don’t just refill its bowl when you see it empty. A Syrian hamster, for example, will only need around two teaspoons of dry food per day. Anything more would be too much. Even though you might think you’re doing what’s right for your hamster, overfeeding it will be something you’d want to avoid.
If you notice some food still left in the bowl this shouldn’t worry you. It usually means that the hamster ate something from the stash instead of going for what you gave him.
Don’t believe me hamsters will eat without measure if you continuously feed them? Check out the video below
This isn’t usually the case when you have just one hamster, but is a possibility when you raise a loving couple.
Even so, if your hamster is a female and you see it gain weight even though you’re doing everything correctly, then take it to your vet, it might be carrying babies.
Although pretty uncommon, this too is a reason for a hamster looking like it is overweight. A few types of tumors can cause it to bloat up.
This should be a reason of concern only when you’ve eliminated all of the other possible causes.
You should never let your hamster stay overweight because this can be lethal if ignored for too much time. The hamster might look cute but trust me, it will have a really bad effect on its body.
These are some of the things you can do to bring it back to a normal weight:
Never ignore the little changes in how your pet behaves or looks, to make sure you start fixing the problem before it gets too complicated. This will ensure a longer and happier life for your pet hamster.