In this guide
No matter what pet you own, it’s essential to know how to care for them properly and to be a responsible pet owner. But you’re here to see how often your hamster needs to be taken to the vet, so that’s a good sign!
Some may think that owning a hamster is easy and that they’re not as high-maintenance as a dog or a cat. In some ways, that’s true and the reason why many people opt for these small and cute animals.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to take your hamster to the vet at all. Hamsters, even though they’re so tiny and can seem like they’d never get sick, are still living and breathing animals. They can get ill or injured, just like the rest of us.
But when do they need to go to the vet, and why?
Do Hamsters Need Regular Vet Visits?
The short answer to this is no. Unlike cats and dogs who need vaccinations, perhaps spaying or neutering, hamsters don’t need anything like that.
Once you’ve picked up your furry new friend, they’re pretty much good to go, without needing a trip (or several) to the vets to ensure they’re in tip-top condition. This is great for first-time pet owners and a big plus for many people looking to own a hamster.
However, there are times when you will need to take your hamster to the vet.
When Do Hamsters Need to Go to the Vet?
Taking your hamster to the vet is only necessary if they get sick or injured. But, even if you take the best care of your hamster, they can still get hurt or become unwell. Sometimes they’ll fall from their cage, run into something, or simply be a little under the weather.
It’s important to keep a close eye on your hamster for any changes in their behaviour, bodily functions (poop and pee), and physical appearance. You know your hamster better than anyone, so you’ll be able to spot any noticeable differences.
Many people also think that even if their hamster is showing signs of being unwell, it’s not worth taking them to the vet. But anyone considering getting a hamster should always be fully prepared to care for that hamster no matter what. That includes unexpected vet visits and bills!
So, assuming your hamster’s health is a priority to you and your family, what do you need to look out for?
Signs Your Hamster Might Need to Go to the Vet
If you’re unsure when it’s best to take your hamster to the vet, here are some signs and symptoms that may be of concern:
- Weight loss
- Fur falling out
- Bloody poop or pee
- Runny nose
- Sleeping more than usual
- Irritation upon handling
- Lack of interest in their food
If your hamster is creeping into old age, so 18 months old or more, then it’s even more important to keep an eye on their overall health. With the first sign that your hamster may be unwell, it’s always best to make an appointment with your vet.
How to Prepare Your Hamster for a Vet Visit
So, in the unfortunate event that your hamster does need vet treatment, it’s essential to prepare your tiny family member for the visit. But hamsters can get stressed out easily, exacerbating their illness or injury.
If you have a travel cage, that’s the best option to transport your hamster to the vet. However, if you don’t have one, ensure you use something sturdy and secure. You don’t want them to escape or chew their way through.
It’s also vital that they’re comfortable and feel at ease. So, use some bedding from their cage, so there’s a familiar scent. A little food is also a good idea. A small cube of cucumber is an excellent substitute for water to keep them hydrated.
Once in transit, ensure your hamster is cool and not being jolted all over the place! You don’t want them to overheat from direct sunlight or their cage to slide around in the car. Strap them in safely or have a family member hold them if possible.
How Much Is a Visit to the Vets?
How long is a piece of string? Vet visits vary drastically, depending on where you live, the practice you visit, and the treatment your hamster receives.
Of course, that’s not much help to you, but taking out pet insurance for your hamster is always a good option. So, you know you’re covered if anything ever does come up with your hamster’s health.
However, we also know pet insurance is not always viable if you’re on a budget. So an alternative option is to create an emergency fund for your hamster. Then, simply save as much as you can each week or month. That way, you at least have a small pot of cash to use to pay for the vet bill.
Is It Worth Taking Your Hamster to the Vet?
Is it worth taking your hamster to the vet? Yes! Taking your hamster to the vet to check them over is always better than hoping they’re fine. It’ll put your mind at rest and ensure your hamster is healthy.
After all, you want to keep your furry family member as long as possible, so do everything you can to take care of them.