When you take your hamster out of its cage it’s important that you keep an eye out for possible dangers that can result in injury to your hamster. Think about each of the following when your hammy is out.
You may have seen the cute YouTube videos that show hamsters swimming. DON’T DO IT! Put in water, a hamster will probably start kicking. But that’s not swimming – it’s just trying NOT TO DROWN. What’s more, if your hamster stays in water long enough there’s a good chance he or she will then catch a cold or get pneumonia. So, please, keep your hamster out of the water.
If you let your hamster out to play on his own – in a tightly closed room, of course – be careful who is around. Because a hamster is so small, even a small foot can crush a hamster. Warn other family members and friends when your hamster is out to play.
Cats or snakes can and will try to catch and eat a hamster. A bird may try to peck it to death. Your dog may not want to eat your hamster, but its paw can easily crush it. So when you take your hamster out to play, please keep it in a place where other animals won’t be tempted to hurt it.
To keep their teeth in shape, hamsters have to gnaw on things. That means they may try to gnaw on any electrical cord they come across on the floor. This may include a cord going from a computer or lamp to a plug in the wall. If your hamster is going to be out, you should hide electrical cords, lift them off the floor, or pull them out of the wall and move them out of the way.
Small, sharp items
Your hamster uses its expandable cheek pouches to carry food and bedding. But outside its cage, a hamster is likely to put any small object it finds in its pouch. If any of these items are sharp, such as a pin, staple, or screw, the hamster can cut itself when putting the item in its pouch. Check for small, dangerous items in any areas where your hamster is going to play.
Hamsters like exercise balls, those clear plastic round balls. When you put them inside the ball it lets them to run as if they were on an exercise wheel. Your hamster can explore your house while being in a safe space. But there are dangers associated with these hamster balls.
First, the hamster can get dehydrated if you keep him or her in there too long. Recommendations for allowing your hamster to stay in the ball range from 15 to 20 minutes.
Secondly, you must be sure the ball doesn’t get near a staircase. The bumping and jolting of the ball as it goes down stairs can easily break the bones of your hamster.
Finally, remember that the exercise ball should only be used inside a house. The light outside a house is too bright for a hamster. What’s more, a lawn may be too difficult for a hamster to push the ball through.
Keep these possible hazards in mind when you’re taking your hamster out of its cage to play.
For other hamster dangers, read Hazards Inside Your Hamster Cage.