How to care for a hamster when it is hibernating

If you have a pet hamster or are thinking of having one, you should know some basic care that these small and friendly rodents need. Some elementary knowledge about the hamster is that you need a cage at least 40 centimeters long and 30 wide to live comfortably, you need materials with which to build a burrow or to provide an already manufactured, you must feed it daily with pellets, seeds, fruit or vegetables or that are going to spend a good season hibernating as soon as winter arrives.

If you did not know that hamsters hibernate and you do not know exactly what this means and why it is good for your hamster, in .com we teach you how to take care of a hamster when it is hibernating in a very simple way.

Hibernation, everything you need to know

Before going into explaining the care that a hamster needs during its hibernation, you can skip some questions: Why does my hamster hibernate? during how much time? How can I know that he has not died? How do I wake him from his lethargy?

First, not all hamsters hibernate. Hibernation will depend on the temperature at which the rodent is exposed, although in the wild the hamsters also tend to hibernate during times of great droughts and when there is a shortage of food in order to conserve forces when water and food arrive.

The hamsters, domestic and in freedom, will also hibernate whenever they feel very cold when the autumn and winter seasons begin . In a house with heating or if the cage of your hamster is located in a warm place, and if you also feed it daily, the animal will not hibernate. And it's better for him, because if he does not hibernate properly and the environment is very cold your pet could die of hypothermia. The best way to avoid it is to keep the temperature at more than 15 degrees Celsius, to supply it with abundant food and to ensure several hours of light a day.

Hibernating hamsters wake up to eat every five or seven days, so you'll notice that they do not lose all activity for a long time. Anyway, if you notice the following symptoms, it is that your hamster is hibernating:

  • He is sleeping all the time
  • Your body temperature drops as do your vital signs.

In a state of hibernation it may seem that our pet has died but if we look carefully we will notice its slow breathing and its body will not show as rigid as the corpses are. Although if you want to make sure you are well try to touch the whiskers and expect it to react to rubbing. It is also interesting that you read some articles on how to know if my hamster is cold or how to exercise a hamster.

Your pet can hibernate as long as the temperature is so low. The best way to wake him up is to start rubbing him gently as if we were stroking him to give him warmth and for him to wake up. Make sure you have water and food available when you open your eyes and that the ambient temperature is above 15ºC.

These rodents will take a while to recover the activity, in fact, it can take three hours until you dare to walk again, so if necessary feed it yourself and offer water directly in the mouth.

If you do not want to fall back into hibernation you must offer a warmer shelter than you had previously. Some people use thermal blankets for reptiles and put them under the cages, or give something that serves as 'mantita' to the animal where they can shelter, for example thick socks.

How to care for a hamster hibernating

If your hamster has already entered the somnolent state of hibernation, you must take care that the temperature is not too low for him to die. Remember that it is better not to take risks to avoid hibernating, but once you are doing it, there are several things you should do to ensure your well-being:

  1. Procurale 'warm' materials with which to shelter
  2. Let there be no lack of water or food . Even if you see him asleep most of the time, every few days he will wake up to feed and hydrate before continuing to sleep.
  3. Make sure that the room temperature does not lower more than it is. Think that if the animal hibernates it is because it is already less than 15ºC. Lower temperatures could cause death by hiportermia.