Home Remedies for Hamsters

at home remedies for hamsters

Hamsters are popular pets for the household because they are small, interesting to watch, and easier to care for than larger animals. The small creatures are still susceptible to medical problems, especially skin conditions. Knowing home remedies for hamsters can make sure you are able to care for your pet when something just doesn’t seem right.


Common Health Concerns

Just like with any other creature, hamsters face common health issues associated with their breed and species. Hamsters are subject to the following conditions:

• Wet Tail – As one of the most common skin problems for hamsters, wet tail causes the skin and fur around the rear of the animal to become wet. The condition is caused by diarrheal discharge that turns into a bacterial infection, and worsens when the hamster is in untidy living conditions or not eating a proper diet. Home remedies will not cure wet tail, but will only help supplement professional treatments. Without antibacterial treatment, the hamster typically dies within one to seven days.

• Hair Loss – Whether a littermate is too aggressive or they are suffering from an underlying condition, hamsters can experience hair loss, which makes them more susceptible to other medical issues, such as infection.

• Skin Problems – Skin issues are commonplace in hamsters – especially in pets with hair loss.

• Mites – Mites are a common parasite found on the skin and in the fur of your pet. Hamsters with mites frequently scratch, have skin irritations, exhibit hair loss, and have tiny black specks on their fur.

• Mange – When small mites live in the hair follicles and skin of a hamster, they can develop mange – a condition that causes dry, scaly skin and fur loss. Symptoms typically emerge around the ears or on the back of the hamster. Mange is contagious and affected hamsters need to be separated from other pets and humans during their treatment.

• Overgrown Teeth – If a hamster is not allowed to chew down their teeth, they can actually keep growing and prevent them from eating properly. The hamster will then starve to death.

Hamster Home Remedies

Hamsters tend to live between the ages of two and six years old. Although they are small, the critters still need medical attention every now and then. To be prepared when your pet shows signs of not being well, you may want to consider the following home remedies for hamsters for healthcare and maintenance:

a) Water Dropper:

When you must administer antibiotics or water to a hamster, a water dropper helps slowly push the liquid into their mouth. Even when some of the liquid gets on their fur, they will lap some up. Water droppers come in handy for hydrating a hamster suffering from constipation and diarrhea.

b) Remove Green Foods:

To treat stomach problems, you may have to take away all green foods from your hamster. Symptoms of a hamster with stomach issues include lack of appetite, loss of weight, diarrhea, and sitting in a hunched over position.

c) Cool Water Bath:

A hamster that is weak, unresponsive, or appears dead or comatose, could be suffering from a heatstroke. Transfer your pet to a cool room and while holding them in your hand, gently set the animal in a basin of cool water. Make sure that their head is kept above the water. Carefully dry the hamster completely, and make sure they are not placed close to any drafts. Once they are conscious, make sure they drink water.

d) Baby Nail Clipper:

Hamster nails can tear or bleed because they are too long. You don’t have to rush to the vet to remedy – you can trim the tips of the nails down with a pair of baby nail clippers [1].

e) Baby Shampoo:

If your hamster is heavily soiled or covered in mites, you can give them a bath using baby shampoo, which can decrease the activity of mites found in the fur and skin of your pet. Use a bucket or pail with height to bathe your hamster. They will try to run away during the cleaning process. Fill the bucket with ½ inch of lukewarm water, and add a small amount of baby shampoo. Always wear gloves when bathing a mite-ridden pet.

f) White Towel:

If you suspect your hamster has mites, rub their fur with a white towel. If you see black specks on the material, then your pet has mites, which will cause them to constantly scratch and lose their fur.

g) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Treat the bite wounds that come from unruly cage mates with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Use this home remedy to treat sores, lacerations, red or irritated areas, or infection.

h) Salt:

Prepare a solution out of two tablespoons of table salt and one pint of water to wash wounds and prevent infection.

i) No Cedar Bedding:

Hamsters that have difficulty breathing may be exhibiting a reaction to their bedding. Cedar bedding can cause a hamster to sneeze and wheeze.

j) Plastic Bottles:

To keep your pet entertained, let your rodent chew on an empty plastic bottle. Make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned out before giving it to him or her.

k) Paper Bags:

The sounds and mental stimulation of a brown paper bag can keep a hamster occupied. They like to chew on the material and hide inside.

l) Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls:

A common trick for pet owners to keep their hamster engaged is to give them an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll play with. They may use it as a tunnel or chew as a way to exercise their teeth.

m) Dog Biscuits:

You can actually give your hamster a dog biscuit to help control the growth of their teeth [2]. Overgrown teeth can hinder their ability to eat, and eventually lead to starvation.

n) Separate Rowdy Cage Mates:

When hamsters get feisty, they may chew the hair off of their litter mate. The hair loss can lead to skin infections, so it is important to separate hamsters that are a hazard to the health of your other pets. Also, separation is needed when one hamster has mites or an infection, and you’d like to prevent your other pets from suffering the same fate.

o) Lavender:

If you should have any springs of lavender on hand, the herb can calm an injured hamster. Some people will also burn lavender-scented aromatherapy items, such as incense, candles or oils, to produce the same effect.

p) Thyme:

Fresh thyme can be used to treat a minor cut on a hamster. Add a handful of fresh thyme sprigs to a pot of boiling water, and then pour the liquid into a cup. Allow the liquid to cool down for around 15 minutes. Occasionally stir the contents. Soak a paper towel in the thyme water and use it to clean the cut. Follow this remedy two times per day.

q) Olive Oil:

Constipation in hamsters develops when they are not drinking enough water and their diet consists of too much dry food. When looking for a home remedy for mild constipation, administer one to two drops of olive oil. A constipated hamster will most likely exhibit a swollen belly region and appear ‘hunched up’ when they walk. They will also have a decreased appetite.

r) Pair of Scissors:

A small pair of scissors with a rounded edge can be used to cut the fur around a wound, remove knotted fur, or carefully remove pieces of bandages.

s) Warm Towel:

When a hamster shows signs of constipation, massage their stomach with a warmed towel.

t) Well-Ventilated Cage:

When your hamster has received treatment for a fungal infection (such as mange), keep them in a well-ventilated cage – closed spaces can lead to worsened symptoms as the warmth and moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

u) Cod Liver Oil:

Add cod liver oil to your hamster’s food to encourage fur growth after they have suffered a bout with hair loss.

v) Carrots:

Feed your hamster carrots, which contains vitamin A that can treat fur conditions, such as mange and hair loss from unruly cage mates.

w) Milk:

The vitamin D found in milk can help a hamster grow his or her fur back.

x) Aloe Vera:

When a hamster is dealing with a skin infection or itchy skin, use aloe vera gel to provide soothing relief.

y) Pedialyte:

A hamster that is suffering from diarrhea can benefit from a diluted solution of Pedialyte and water (50/50 mix), which will replace lost fluids and minerals. Use a dropper or syringe to administer the liquid.

z) Wire Cutters:

If your hamster should ever get stuck in between the bars of their cage, a pair of wire cutters can safely free your pet.

aa) Listerine and Witch Hazel:

To treat hamster mites, add one tablespoon each of Listerine and witch hazel to two cups of boiled water. Allow the solution to cool to room temperature before transferring to a spray bottle. Cover your hands in the solution and rub your fingers over your hamster’s body. Make sure not to soak the fur. Work the remedy into the face, but do not let any get into their face. Repeat this remedy for about three to four day, and you should not see any signs of mites. Also, wash down their cage and accessories with two tablespoons each of Listerine and witch hazel per two capfuls of water.

bb) A Brand New Home:

Sometimes you have to spring for a new home for your hamster when their sleeping quarters have been contaminated with infection. A brand new cage with fresh bedding can prevent an infestation of mites and prevent bacterial infections.

cc) Antibacterial Soap:

After handling an infected hamster, thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

dd) Proper Diet:

To ensure the health of your hamster and a speedy recovery, make sure they are eating a proper diet.

ee) Fresh Water:

Giving your hamster access to fresh water at all times is important to preventing and treating some of their health problems.

ff) Clean Bedding:

If a hamster is suffering a skin infection, mites or mange, supplying clean bedding and changing it often could help stop the worsening of an infection.


[1] http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Sleepy-Baby-Clipper/dp/B001579YRM

[2] http://www.hamster-club.com/article.asp?ID=55