One of the most important debts you owe your hamster is giving him an enabling environment for healthy growth.
A dirty habitat can cause your hamster an ill-health and ultimately result in his death.
As a caring hamster owner, you have the responsibility of removing uneaten food and feces from your hamster’s cage and changing his bedding.
So, how often do you change hamster bedding? You should change hamster bedding once a week and do daily cleaning of the cage.
In today’s post, we’ll be looking at how to change hamster bedding, what happens if you don’t change your hamster bedding, and what bedding is bad for hamsters.
Get set. Ready? Let’s go!
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How Often Do You Change Hamster Bedding?
You should scoop out your hamster dirty bedding every day and change out all of the bedding in your hamster’s habitat once a week.
You have to do more than just changing hamster bedding every week. Make sure you also remove any food your hamster may have stored throughout the week.
However, they usually urinate in one or two specific corners of their cage. That’s the more reason you have to put up a routine check on your hamster bedding.
What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Hamster’s Bedding?
Neglecting to clean your hamster bedding comes along with a lot of undesirable returns.
As you have observed, your hamster spends most of his day in and around his bedding. It only implies that if you don’t change his bedding as often as required, you will make his entire habitat undesirable for him.
As a responsible hamster owner, your job ensures you maintain a suitable living environment for your hamster.
Another thing you may not have discovered about your hamster is that it has a susceptible sense of smell.
When the air quality in the hamster’s cage is too poor, your hamster is likely to fall ill and possibly die. Can you endure that?
Three major diseases are likely to attack any hamster in a dirty habitat:
- Pododermatitis: Pododermatitis affects a hamster if exposed to urine and feces over a long time. It affects the hamster’s foot and introduces raised red patches there.
- Wet-tail: This is another illness your hamster will risk contracting if you fail to give him clean, safe bedding. It is an illness that is caused by stress, which a dirty cage is wont to produce. The worst about this illness is that its attack is so serious that it can leave your hamster dead.
- A prolonged dirty environment can also cause your hamster illnesses such as a runny nose, weakness, or diarrhea.
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What Bedding is Bad for Hamsters?
Providing your hamster bad bedding is worse than not changing the bedding once a week and cleaning his cage daily.
Hamsters are great gnawers. They can gnaw at anything they find in their path — their bowl or bottle of water, and even their bedding.
They eat anything that comes to them with no question of how good or healthy it is for consumption. Of course, they are animals.
It’s then important that you purchase digestible and non-fibrous bedding material for your hamster.
The following can guide you in making the right choices of bedding materials for hamsters:
- Litter made from paper products, wood, vegetables, or grain is absorbent and generally considered the safest type of bedding for your hamster.
- Shredded paper (such as paper towels and plain paper) is okay if you’re in a pinch. However, this type of bedding is not absorbent and stays damp easily. As such, avoid shredded newspaper all completely; the ink can be hazardous.
- Timothy hay or dried grass can be a suitable bedding source and can be found at your local Petco.
- Wood shavings are a common bedding source, and Aspen shavings are recommended most for your little one. Please stay away from Cedar shavings, as they can cause nasal and bronchial irritation for your hamster.
- Shredded cardboard can be a safe bedding source, but it can also be coarse and uncomfortable for your hamster. It’s a bad idea to use fabric scraps, so avoid using them at all.
To cap it up, the bedding is where your hamster leaves its waste daily. The result is usually a strong ammonia scent, which can cause respiratory problems for your hamster.
Keep up with the daily cleaning of your hamster cage and change the bedding once a week.
You should do a few other things daily to help keep your hamster’s habitat clean besides changing the bedding weekly.
Providing your hamster with a clean habitat, and the items they need to maintain their grooming routine will help them remain healthy and happy.