The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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If you are a hamster owner, you likely want to give your pet the best life possible. Thus, when you notice something odd about your hamster’s behavior, you might start getting worried about its well-being.
One action that could cause alarm in a pet owner is when a hamster lays its ears down. Perhaps your pet has displayed this behavior, and you are trying to figure out why this is the case or whether it is a cause for any concern as a devoted hamster parent.
This article will be covering this topic in detail, then going over some information regarding properly caring for your pet hamster. Read on to learn about why your hamster is laying its ears down.
Why Your Hamster’s Ears Are Down
There are various ailments that can affect hamsters’ ears. For instance, they can get ear infections, and if you notice your pet running in small circles or doing constant backflips, this may be the case for your hamster.
However, when hamsters lay down their ears, it is not typically a sign of any health issues, and there could be a couple different reasons why your pet is displaying this behavior.
1 – Sleepy Hamster
Probably the most common reason for these animals laying down their ears is simply that they are still in the process of waking up after a long sleep. Many times, right after hamsters awaken, their ears will still be folded in, but they should eventually become perkier.
If you notice that your hamster’s ears stay laid down for several days, you could always get them checked out by a vet to see if anything is wrong with your pet’s ears.
2 – Scared Hamster
Another potential reason for a hamster’s ears laying down is that it is fearful of something or someone, such as a loud sound, an intense person (or child), or some other threatening thing.
If you also notice your pet cowering and becoming as small as possible, this could very well be the reason for its ears laying flat, and you should work to make your pet as comfortable as possible by removing the threat.
How to Properly Care for Your Hamster
Hamsters are easy to care for, as long as you give them the attention they need as far as feeding them, providing water to them, providing them with a safe habitat, and cleaning out soiled bedding goes. This section will take a look at how to adequately care for your beloved hamster so it can live a long and healthy life.
Feeding Your Pet
In regards to feeding your pet hamster, it is advised that you give it around two tablespoons of pellets each day, or one tablespoon in the case of dwarf hamsters. Keep in mind that younger hamsters are more energetic and so they typically require more sustenance.
Make sure that you keep an eye on your hamster’s store of food in its enclosure. Do not feed your pet more until it has run through its store so that the food does not go bad.
Along with regular pellet food that you can pick up from a local pet supply store, there are loads of different foods you can give your hamster as a snack, mainly vegetables and fruits, though your hamster can also occasionally enjoy some seeds and nuts.
A few favorite hamster foods include blueberries, kale, turnip, mango, strawberries, lettuce, carrots, and green beans, among many others. You should avoid giving your hamster citrus fruits and onions.
Housing Your Pet
When it comes to your hamster’s home, it is ideal for you to opt for an enclosure that does not have wire sides nor a wire bottom, as this type of cage can result in injuries to your hamster if it tries to climb the sides. You should also make sure to put plenty of deep bedding into your pet’s home so that it can freely burrow into it to create a network of tunnels.
Additionally, it is important for you to have the enclosure in an area that stays around the same moderate temperature. Keep a bottle or bowl filled with water, as well as have food available in the cage, and put items and nooks into the enclosure that keep your hamster entertained and active.
Another vital thing to note is that it is best to keep your hamster in its own cage away from other hamsters, as this is what its life would be like in the wild except for when it is actively seeking out mates. They are territorial creatures, so you may end up with violence in a confined space if you have more than one in a single enclosure.
Bond with Your Pet
You should make sure to let your hamster run freely outside of its cage at times so it can get some good exercise in. There are actually special enclosures you can buy made for letting small pets run around in, though you can create your own using objects in your house.
Letting your hamster run around outside of its cage makes for the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your pet instead of being forced to only interact with it in its small enclosure or on your lap. Keep your hamster familiar to you by handling it regularly, letting it sniff your hand and take in your scents.
Make sure you have several toys laid out so your hamster can have some fun playing with those while also running around on the ground and, likely, on you as well. You can create makeshift toys out of items such as old paper towel rolls, popsicle sticks, and tin cans—get creative with it, and have a blast with your pet.
You should now know some of the potential reasons for your hamster’s ears laying down and how to properly care for your pet. Hamsters are delightful creatures to keep in your home, and they are especially great as first pets for older kids, so it is no wonder you decided to get one.
If you maintain a healthy environment for your hamster and provide it with everything it needs, your pet should be around for a long while.