How To Comfort A Dying Hamster?

Hamsters are a beloved pet of many due to their small size, curious nature, energetic personalities, and ease of care. Although small, these little pets can quickly become part of the family, making it imperative for some to find the right way to comfort them in death, 

The different ways to comfort a dying hamster include putting your hamster in a separate habitat away from other hamsters, keeping your hamster comfortable in its cage, keeping your hamster nice and warm, and holding your hamster to make it feel loved and cared for.  

Hamsters are the perfect pet for those who want an animal around to love, but simply cannot (or will not!) take on the task of other animals that require more extensive care and attention. Even with the simplicity of their care, hamsters quickly become some of the most cherished pets in people’s homes, making it very difficult to say goodbye when the time comes. If your hamster is dying, take a look below to find all the ways you can comfort it during this time. 

Put Your Hamster in a Separate Habitat 

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Many hamster breeds are very social creatures, and since owners cannot stay with their pet day and night, many remedy their need for social interaction by placing them with one or more hamsters to keep them company. This is beneficial to healthy hamsters in so many ways, but when they are in the stages of dying, should they still be close to other healthy hamsters? If you know your hamster is dying, read below to see how you should house them. 

One way to comfort your hamster when it is dying is to move it into a separate habitat away from other hamsters. Although healthy hamsters will not typically gang up on the sick hamster, being around so much activity can be stressful to the dying hamster which makes moving them important.

When moving your hamster from its original habitat, remember to be as gentle as possible when handling it. If your pet is still strong enough to walk into your hands, allow it to do so on its own accord to avoid any type of discomfort from grabbing, However, if this is not possible, use a gentle grasp to pick them up from their current cage and gently place them in their new habitat where they will have a bit more space to be at complete peace. 

Keep in mind, if you go to grab your hamster and notice that its breathing begins to speed up and it is trying to physically avoid you by shrinking away or running from your hand, allow them to remain in their cage. If the other hamsters are not bothering the sick hamster and you know there is not a contractible disease, it may be best to allow them to rest rather than force them from their area as this can cause unneeded stress. 

Keep Your Hamster Comfortable 

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If you move your hamster to a new habitat, it is likely that this area will need a bit of preparation before it is ready to host its sick companion. The cage will likely be bare, which should not be the state in which it stays when your sick hamster is placed within it. Physical comfort is important for hamsters in death, therefore, what are the ways you can make this cage a temporary home for your hamster? Take a look below to find out. 

If your hamster is dying and has to be removed from its original cage to a new habitat, be sure to keep it comfortable by making its new habitat home. To do this, give them fresh water, plenty to snack on, and a thick cushion of wood chips or pellets on the bottom of the cage so they can burrow.

Never place your hamster in a new environment that does not have a few comforts, especially that of proper bedding, as this could lead to them not only being generally uncomfortable but too cold, dehydrated, and hungry. Be sure to give your hamster plenty of available fresh water, some food to nibble on, and warm bedding with even a hideout spot so that they can retreat away to undisturbed solitude if they feel the need. 

You may have all of the basic comforts for your hamster within its new cage, but you may be tempted to give them a few other items to keep them occupied. If you know for sure that your hamster is dying, resist the temptation to give them an exercise wheel. Although sick hamsters are known to prolifically use an exercise wheel, this is an activity that should be avoided as this can lead to injury or dehydration. 

Keep Your Hamster Warm 

© blushing rubies

If you have given your hamster plenty of food and water that is easily accessible within their cage, but they are still not eating, this can cause owners to panic. It is normal for dying hamsters to avoid eating or drinking, however, this can cause them to become very cold. If you cannot get your hamster to eat or drink as it normally does, try to make it comfortable in a different way, which includes keeping it warm. 

To keep your hamster comfortable when it is dying, one of the most effective methods is keeping your hamster warm. To do this, either place a heat lamp above their cage or a warm water bottle within the area wrapped in a towel. Place this next to their body and allow them to absorb the heat. 

A hamster’s cage should stay anywhere from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit to keep comfortable. When using a heating lamp, this temperature control can be difficult due to the increased temperature the longer the lamp stays on. Therefore, be sure to monitor the heat within the hamsters cage if using this item and if it gets too hot, place the heater further away from their cage on another elevated surface that still has access to their cage. 

If you don’t have a heating lamp or would like to avoid this method, you can try to keep your hamster warm by placing a warm water bottle in its cage. Simply fill the water bottle with warm water, wrap it in a thin towel to avoid any chance of burning your hamster, and place it in the hamster’s cage next to where it usually lies. You will notice that your hamster will burrow next to the bottle, but if it goes away from it, the bottle may have cooled and can be refilled again. 

Hold Your Hamster 

© Hamsters101

As previously noted, most hamsters are very social creatures. When you first brought your hamster home, after a few weeks of training, you likely found that they were more than happy to be held by their owners for playing, cuddling, and munching on their favorite treats. This makes for a great owner and pet bond, but even more, can benefit your hamster when it is near death. What can you physically do for your hamster when it is dying? 

Another way to comfort your hamster when it is dying is to hold it. Gently draw the hamster from its cage and place it in your hands, securely on your lap, or bring it to your chest. Once it is there, place a small towel or blanket over its body to allow heat to stay trapped around it. 

If your hamster was one that loved to be held before it fell ill, it is very likely that this same act is something they will crave (maybe even more) when they are nearing their final moments. Not only does the scent of their favorite human calm them, but your body heat can also work in very beneficial ways to keep them warm and cozy. This also is a great way of bonding with your pet before you are forced to say goodbye. 

When holding your hamster, be sure to keep your hands lightly on their body and avoid pressing down too hard or petting them in a way that is rough. Gently stroke their back and quietly talk to them to help calm their nerves. If your hamster seems resistant to being handled, be sure to respect their position and give them the space they are requesting. Struggling against your touch will only cause them further distress.

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