Hamsters

Hamster Teeth

Hamster Teeth

        A hamster’s teeth never stop growing and they have a ‘self-sharpening’ system where the incisors grind against each other while gnawing, which wears the teeth down.

Hamsters are  born with a full set of 16 teeth. They don’t have milk teeth and adult teeth, but only one set that lasts their entire life. They have four incisors; two on the top and two on the bottom. Hamsters have no canine teeth, only a gap between their incisors and cheek teeth called a diastema.

Incisors

Hamsters use their incisors to groom, grab food, and occasionally-bite attackers. The incisors are long and thin and curve towards the hamster’s head. They aren’t used for chewing, but without them, hamsters would have a difficult time eating, staying clean, and shredded materials for their bedding.

Cheek Teeth

Hamsters have both premolars and molars, but they are nearly identical, and servce the same purpose, so they are generally grouped together as cheek teeth. Cheek teeth are vital for crushing and chewing the tough foods like seeds and grains that hamsters feed on. The irregular (chewing) surfaces of these teeth do a good job of crushing and masticating tough foods when hamsters chew.

Elodonts

Like many rodent teeth, hamsters chompers keep growing for their entire lives. This is because hamsters have a diet that requires a lot of chewing, and if their teeth didn’t keep growing throughout their lives, they would wear out long before the hamster reached old age. The Latin root of the word ‘rodent’ actually means ‘to gnaw’; so you can see why hamsters are considered rodents.
Hamsters teeth are not like human teeth, which only grow once and then wear down over the course of our lives. Unlike other kinds of teeth, hamster teeth do not have true roots. Instead, they have open roots. This allows their teeth to keep growing forever.

Why do Hamsters Have Brown Teeth.

Many first time hamster owners ask the question; why are my hamster’s teeth brown? Or orange? Or yellow? They expect their healthy hamster to have pearly whites, but hamsters have a unique kind of enamel. This enamel develops below the gumline, and helps the hamsters’ teeth continuously grow. And what color is this enamel? It tends to be yellowish orange to brown, and is almost never white.

Yellow or brown teeth are perfectly normal and healthy in hamsters. The older they are, the darker their teeth get. So it’s even possible to tell how old a hamster is by the darkness of its teeth.

 

Dental Problems

Because their teeth never stop growing, pet hamsters often have tooth issues. If you choose a hamster as a pet, it’s important to provide them with the appropriate diet and plenty of pet safe wood blocks to chew. However, even with a good diet and plenty to chew on, hamsters may still develop dental problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that plague hamsters’ teeth.

Overgrown Teeth

One of the most common health problems hamsters face is overgrown teeth. Teeth become overgrown when the hamster doesn’t use them enough, either for chewing up tough food or for chewing on things like wood and cardboard. Their teeth keep growing, whether they use them or not, and this can quickly become a problem if they’re not worn down fast enough.

Overgrown incisors can quickly become misaligned, meaning they get so long they actually start growing crooked. They can also pierce the gums or mouth, and may even cause abscesses or infections.

The cheek teeth can become overgrown too, though it’s much harder for owners to see these teeth to know whether they are too long. Overgrown cheek teeth may cause a variety of problems; including entrapment of the tongue and interference with the cheek pouches. Tongue entrapment happens when the cheek teeth get so long that they actually prevent the tongue from moving, which severely impacts the hamster’s ability to eat. Because hamsters have cheek pouches located right next to their cheek teeth, overgrown cheek teeth may actually lacerate the cheek pouches, and could cause infection.

Caries

Hamsters spend much of their lives chewing with their cheek teeth. The cheek teeth are pressed close together, and it’s not uncommon for food to get stuck in between or behind them. Because of this, hamsters are prone to caries (cavities). Left untreated, caries can rot the tooth, and may even cause an infection or abscess. If you suspect that your hamster has any kind of tooth problem, be sure to consult a veterinary specialist immediately.

In order to maintain good tooth health throughout their lives, two things are extremely important for your pet hamster.

First, owners should provide a suitable diet of primarily seeds and hamster formulated pellets. Hamsters can also be give produce and fresh greens, but these should be given sparingly as treats, and should not make up the bulk of the hamster’s diet. Sugary treats should also be avoided, as these can contribute to dental caries.

Second, hamsters love to chew. This means they need more than just food in their enclosure; they need wood blocks too. The best place to buy these is at the pet store, where pet safe, non-toxic wood blocks formulated specially for hamster teeth can be found.

It’s fairly simple to prevent dental problems in your pet hamster with the appropriate diet and chewing supplements, but tooth maladies may still occur. Most issues are treatable by veterinary specialists, who can file or even extract problem teeth.

 

Information From :A-Z Aniamals

Hamster Maze

Hamster Mazes

Many options are availabe to keep your hamster entertained and yourself also. CLICK ON PICTURE TO PURCHASE ITEM.

Kaytee CritterTrail Triple Habitat

Kaytee CritterTrail Triple Habitat

Please note that the product information displayed is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and other third parties and is not independently verified by Petco.

Discover the CritterTrail Difference with the new Triple Play Habitat. The habitat includes everything you need to create 3 different challenging environments for your pet

  • – Create a tower, arch, or tunnel design
  • – Narrow wire and spring-loaded door locks ensure that your pet will remain safely and securely inside while your pet explores each of your different cage designs
  • – Includes a food dish, water bottle, and exercise wheel
  • – Features top and front access doors
  • – CritterTrail Habitats are completely compatible with all CritterTrail accessories
  • – For dwarf hamsters, hamsters, gerbils, mice, or other small animals
  • – Bar Spacing: 1/4″
Kaytee CritterTrail Two

Kaytee CritterTrail Two

Please note that the product information displayed is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and other third parties and is not independently verified by Petco.

16″;W X 10 1/2″;D X 16″;H. Expandable home has two spacious levels of living space for all hamsters, gerbils or mice. Includes comfort shelves, water bottle, food dish, exercise wheel, and climbing tubes.

  • – Ideal for use as a mouse, gerbil or hamster cage
  • – Made with sturdy wire and durable plastic for your pet’s safety and comfort
  • – Colorful home compatible with CritterTrail, Habitrail and SAM systems

Specifications

  • SKU

    799157

  • Primary Brand

    Kaytee

    • – Includes Rehydrator Water Bottle, Energizing Food Dish, Xtreme Wheel, E-Z Climb Bubble Wave Fun-nel, and Xtreme Spiral Slide
    • – Plastic housing and wire cage (6 mm spacing) make the CritterTrail X a great hamster cage or mouse cage
    • – Modular design compatible with CritterTrail, Habitrail and SAM systems

      Days to Ship

      Ships Next Business Day


      Super Pet CritterTrail X

      Super Pet CritterTrail X

      Please note that the product information displayed is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and other third parties and is not independently verified by Petco.

      Activity center for hamster, gerbil, or mouse includes 10 oz., Rehydrator Water Bottle, Energizing Food Dish, Xtreme Wheel, E-Z Climb Bubble Wave Fun-nel, and Xtreme Spiral Slide. You add the food and bedding, CritterTrail X will add the extra fun!


      YML 3 Level Plastic Clear & Pink Hamster Cage

      YML 3 Level Plastic Clear & Pink Hamster Cage

      Please note that the product information displayed is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and other third parties and is not independently verified by Petco.

      The H3030 is a great triple leveled home for rodents like dwarf hamsters and mice.

      • – 1 platform extention with house roof
      • – Removable hamster ball
      • – 1 slide, 1 water bottle, 1 dish, 1 playhouse, 1 mini dish, 1 wheel, 2 tubes, 2 cage clips
      • – 3/8 inch bar spacing

YML Tubed Hamster Cage in Pink
  • Please note that the product information displayed is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and other third parties and is not independently verified by Petco.

    Habitat for 2 hamsters. Plasic base and 17 plastic tubes. Food trough, plastic wheel.

    • – Snap-latch door opens and closes easily
    • – Plastic hamster cage is durably built to stand up to playtime
    • – Easy to assemble hamster cages; no tools required
    • – Fun home for hamsters, mice and other small pets

Hamster Food

What do hamsters eat?

Hamsters are one of the most popular rodent species to keep as pets throughout the world, and that has a lot to do with how low maintenance their diet is. When kept as pets in captivity, hamsters can be raised as gentle herbivores with relatively simple nutritional needs. Grains, seeds, and nuts are the cornerstone of the hamster’s diet both in the wild and in captivity — but dark greens and other vegetables should be a part of the diet as well. Hamsters enjoy fruit but should enjoy them in moderation as they’re prone to diabetes.

Human food like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided. Processed hamster feed and blocks are available that help finds a nutritional balance, but many owners choose to feed their pets human food like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you feed your hamster dry food rather than human food, they should generally be fine with a tablespoon or two of feed a day. Dwarf hamsters require less food than the common Syrian hamster. Both Syrian and dwarf hamsters should be fed timothy hay for the health of their teeth rather than for its nutritional value.

Diet is a bit more complicated for hamsters in the wild. While most hamster owners aren’t in the habit of feeding their pets live animals, hamsters in the wild are actually omnivores, although meat isn’t a major part of their diet. The ideal hamster diet consists of 16% protein and 5% fat, and many nuts and seeds offer both. But hamsters in the wild can help fulfill those requirements through protein-heavy meat sources like mealworms and insects. Syrian and dwarf hamsters are the two most popular choices for pets, but they’re just two of 18 species found in the wild. And while all of these are omnivores who eat fruits and vegetables in addition to rare pieces of meat, the specific foods that make up their diet can vary depending on their environment. In captivity, some owners will help these omnivores achieve their protein needs by providing them with pieces of boiled egg.

How Do Hamsters Find Food?

Though their diets may be roughly the same, the hunting and foraging habits of hamsters can actually vary wildly. Some rare hamsters in Africa have been observed hunting insects in packs, but most species are solitary foragers more likely to end up with a piece of meat by happenstance more than from an active attempt at hunting. Most hamster species prefer desert environments where they build elaborate burrows. These dens keep them cool during the hottest parts of the day, and they venture out only when it grows darker and cooler outside. For the most part, hamsters look to minimize their time spent outside. Most species will only journey out for about an hour after daylight and keep their time spent out in the wild as limited as possible.

Fortunately, hamsters have developed a unique quirk that helps them dramatically minimize their time spent outdoors. This helps them avoid predators, but it also keeps them insulated against the frequently frigid desert nights. Their cheeks are designed to be both highly durable and highly flexible, able to expand outward like a balloon as the hamster stuffs its mouth. With the ability to store up to 20% of their body weight inside their mouths, hamsters are capable of stockpiling food in large quantities and bringing them back to their dens. Considering that the typical wild hamster needs to eat every two hours and only has a precious window of safe time to forage, stuffing nuts, fruits and vegetables is more necessity than a convenience.

While mothers have been known to sometimes eat baby hamsters when stressed or starving, they’re generally very protective of their young. In fact, mothers will sometimes hide baby hamsters in their cheeks to carry them away to safety. Baby hamsters are nursed for about two to three weeks. After that, baby hamsters can subsist on a diet resembling those of adults — but mothers will usually continue to forage for their young for a while after.

 

What Animals Eat Hamsters?

The small window of time that hamsters spend foraging is a defense mechanism developed in part because of the inhospitable climate of many hamster habitats — but it’s also a reflection on how many dangerous predators there are. Hamsters are near the bottom of the food chain in most of their natural habitats, and the common medium-sized predators you’d expect to find in deserts and prairie hunt hamsters with regularity. The wide-open nature of these environments makes birds of prey, especially dangerous predators. Owls and falcons can often pluck up a hamster without stopping in flight, but they also face predation from the common buzzard.

Hamsters dig elaborate burrows as a form of protection, but they’re often a poor defense against snakes. Serpents will often be small and flexible enough to navigate through these tunnels, but they’re large enough to swallow a baby or even adult hamster whole. Rattlesnakes, king snakes, and rat snakes are some of the more common threats. On land, a variety of larger mammals pose threats all their own. Depending on the environment, hamsters might find themselves being hunted by red foxesbadgers, or jackals. In more conventional environments, hamsters are often victims of domesticated species like dogs and cats. Most of a hamster’s predators are nocturnal, as hunting them down while they’re in hiding is typically more trouble than it’s worth.

What can hamsters not eat?

There are plenty of types of human food that hamsters should stay away from. Junk food and processed human food are bad for hamsters, but there are a few human foods that are particularly worthy of note. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and chocolate should never make their way into a hamster’s diet. But for the most part, these are flexible omnivores that can feast on any number of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and even meat.

What meat can hamsters eat?

Hamsters in the wild are technically omnivores but the only meat they usually eat is insects and mealworms. But they’re physiologically capable of digesting more complex meat as well. Hamsters can be fed bugs or worms in captivity, but they also enjoy and can benefit from cooked and high-protein meats like chicken and beef. Lean, white meats like poultry and fish are significantly healthier for hamsters than gamier red meats.