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HAMSTER FITNESS

Have you thought about your hamster's weight? Did you know that an obese hamster is subject to a wide variety of potential health problems that can significantly reduce her life span?

If your hamster is 15 percent over average weight, she is too fat. An average-sized hamster weighs about 150 grams. If your hamster is overweight, make sure you are giving her the proper amount of food. Hamsters need 6 to 10 percent of their target body weight daily in a balanced formula. If you are overfeeding her, slowly decrease the volume of food to her proper intake level. If you do not know your hamster's appropriate weight, consult your veterinarian. To discourage overeating, remove the food bowl one hour after serving. Encourage your hamster to get exercise by taking her out of her cage and letting her run around for a while under well-supervised conditions. Make sure the exercise area is safe, and if you are going to allow her to run outside, be sure the area is properly enclosed and free of herbicides and pesticides. If you think you are doing everything correctly, and your hamster is still obese, your veterinarian may need to evaluate her.