(Russian Dwarf hamster (Image Credit: Fahima Shaikh)) 

While all our hamsters look adorable and scrumptious on the outside, is there something they are missing, and are they always fulfilled? 

Hamsters are stout-legged rodents with short tails and often referred to as ‘pocket-sized’ pets. They are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day, and at night can run up to 5 miles in the wild. Despite their oblivious, endearing demeanour, hamsters may feel anxious or even intimidated by their surroundings. Hamsters are highly active animals that need a large living space. To prevent boredom and stress in hamsters, you must provide them with a hamster wheel and other hamster toys . Hamster care ranges from an excellent quality diet to fun boredom-breakers, making these critters quite the handful! In this article we will be discussing a few factors essential to a hamster's wellbeing. 

However, it isnt always easy to discover the needs and wants of your fluffball. Halima, a passionate hamster owner in Birmingham describes taking care of hamsters as surprisingly complex. “Feeling my delicate hamster flattened against my palms is truly a heartwarming experience but sometimes I wonder if my hammy is okay” While it is extremely difficult to judge a hamster's health, there may be some tell-tale signs to recognise unsettling behaviours or potential health problems in hamsters. 

Hamsters don’t speak their mind (they may occasionally squeak), so it’s important to keep a note of their body language. Frightened hamsters may stand on their hind paws to show they are scared or will become aggressive if not left alone. This may result in the unleashing of a Hamsters darker and possibly dangerous side, in which they may attack their owner without mercy! A hamster biting the bars of its cage may also show stress and boredom, signalling that the owner should consider purchasing a larger hamster home or enrich their home with activities. A poorly balanced diet may also cause fatigue and malnourishment in hamsters. Hamster food must have the correct levels of protein, fats and fibre.  It is recommended that hamster diets contain 17-19% protein, 4-7% fat and 6-15% fibre. 

A fatal disease that hamsters may acquire is ‘wet tail’. Symptoms of hamster wet tail disease include the appearance of a wet posterior which is the result of diarrhoea or a dirty, discoloured tail. Other signs of this illness may be extreme fatigue and hamster anorexia and bent over due to extreme abdominal pain. This must be treated immediately by a veterinarian to ensure the hamster's life is not at risk. 

We all adore our fluffy, furry friends so we should strive to satisfy their simple pleasures and make their time with us truly special. Good luck!