What should I do if there seems to be a problem?
If you are concerned that there may be problems with your hamsters teeth, get your vet to check it out. If there is a misalignment, then a quick teeth trimming may be the solution. This won't hurt your hamster but it may be something that will need doing on a regular basis. If you feel confident enough, your vet could show you how to trim your hamster’s teeth so that you can keep well on top of this problem yourself.
How can I prevent teeth problems?
One of the most important ways of promoting healthy teeth in your hamster is to provide it with the correct type of food and something in it's cage to gnaw on e.g. a piece of hardwood such as walnut. Some hamsters may resort to gnawing on their cage wire - a habit that can be difficult to break (lemon juice might help!) - so it's worth introducing plenty of gnawing diversions as soon as possible!
Despite your best intentions though, some hamsters just don't seem to want to gnaw at all and so it is even more important that they are provided with the correct diet to encourage some wear and tear on their teeth.
Commercially available hamster foods are a complete food that will provide all the nutrients that your hamster (and their teeth) need to keep fit and healthy. Many hamster owners like to provide some additional variety to their pet’s diet e.g. veggies, fruit, cheese.
Dental decay in hamsters
Dental decay, is becoming increasingly common in hamsters due to many of the sugar-filled “treats” promoted in many of the pet stores and through owners giving inappropriate foodstuffs to their pets e.g. chocolate and sweet treats. Although hamsters are omnivores, it really isn't in their best interests to be over-indulgent with their diet - junk foods are just as bad for them are they are for us!!
Older hamsters are more prone to dental problems. Their teeth are not as strong and may break of fall out (they’re more like us humans than we think!). Unfortunately, false teeth don’t come in hamster size and so your elderly hamster may need a little extra care and softer foods to ensure that it can feed properly and stay healthy, e.g. scrambled egg or bread soaked in milk.
Why not visit our hamster forum, where one of our members has devised her own special recipe that is great both for elderly hamsters, babies and those that are a little off their food.
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