Dwarf hamster lifespan might be relatively short, but they are still wonderful little pets. Today we take a look at how long you can expect your dwarf hamster to live, and what you can do to increase dwarf hamster lifespan. We’ll also look at how long different types of dwarf hamster live.
- Average dwarf hamster lifespan
- Dwarf hamster lifespan by breed
- Health and care
- How to help dwarf hamsters live longer
Dwarf hamsters may be small, but they bring much joy into the lives of their owners. Despite the relatively short dwarf hamster lifespan, they make excellent pets, especially for children that need to be taught proper pet ownership and responsibility.
One common question is, of course, “How long do dwarf hamsters live?” In fact, questions about dwarf hamster lifespan are some of the most common concerns potential owners have. Today, we’re going to answer the question of the dwarf hamster lifespan for most of the common breeds and types, so that you can make an informed decision before bringing one of these wonderful creatures into your home.
General Dwarf Hamster Lifespan
There are a number of dwarf hamster breeds (that we cover here) but in general, you can expect a dwarf hamster life expectancy to be about three years. There are health issues and things that can shorten that time span, but there are also things you can do to make sure your little buddy is with you for the most amount of time possible.
Specific Dwarf Hamster Breed Lifespans
Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 1.5 – 2 years
Syrian Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 1.5 – 2 years
Chinese Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
Robo Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 3 – 3.5 years
Winter White Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 2.5-3.5 years
Russian Dwarf Hamster Lifespan: 2-3 years
Health Concerns with Dwarf Hamsters
Hamsters can suffer from a variety of health issues that can dramatically shorten their lifespan, or put them at risk for developing more severe complications, but proper care can help prevent these issues.
First and foremost, dwarf hamsters can actually catch the common cold, so be sure not to handle, or get too close to your little friend if you’re feeling under the weather yourself. You’ll also want to wash your hands carefully when feeding them, changing their water, or cleaning their cage if you’re sick. Better yet, have a friend or family member do it until you’re feeling better.
Next, hamsters can fall victim to a number of stomach and intestinal issues such as the condition known as “wet tail” or the more rare Tyzzer’s disease. Both of these conditions are characterized by diarrhea, dampness, or fecal matter around the tail, and hunching of the spine. If you notice any of these things, it’s important to take your hamster to the vet immediately so that antibiotics can be prescribed, as well as treatment for any dehydration.
Increasing the Dwarf Hamster Life Expectancy
Aside from addressing potential health issues quickly, it’s important that you meet your hamster’s health and exercise needs.
Dwarf Hamster Diet
Diet is extremely important, and fresh food should be used to supplement pellets and other dry foods to make sure your hamster has all the nutrients it needs for a long and happy life. You can give your hamster fresh fruits and veggies like carrots, lettuce, apples, spinach, and other leafy greens. These will ensure they have plenty or iron and other essential nutrients.
You can also buy vitamin supplements and other products specifically designed to supply minerals and other nutrients your hamster needs. But for the most part, some veggies and some hamster-specific pellets or food mix will be just fine.
One thing to note about seed mixes is that you should keep an eye on your hamster and make sure he or she is eating all the different varieties of seeds. Some picky eaters will only eat the seeds they like and ignore the rest, and in doing so will miss out on vital nutrients. If you notice this, try mixing in fresh greens with the seeds, or switching to a different diet.
Dwarf Hamster Exercise and Care
Just as important as a dwarf hamster’s diet is a dwarf hamster’s exercise. Make sure your little friend has an enclosure big enough to run around in. You will also want to provide chew toys, exercise wheels, and other things to stimulate and engage your hamster so that they actually get up and move around, instead of just sitting still all the time.
Just like us humans, hamsters need their cardio and daily exercise to live a long and happy life. You can also give them something to do by filling their cage a little deeper with litter than you might otherwise. This gives them something to burrow into.
If you do these things – and provide your hamster with the nutrients it needs, and keep an eye out for any potential health issues – you’ll be sure to have the maximum number of years to spend with your little buddy!
Find Out More
Resources & Further Reading
- Wet tail
- Dwarf hamster care guide
- Carol, H. Roborovski Hamster. Southern Hamster Club.
- Lannster, C. The Dwarf Hamster: A Guide to Selection, Housing, Care, Nutrition, Behaviour, Health, Breeding, Species and Colours. Kingdom Books.
- National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of the Hamster
- Walker M.D. et al Negative affective states and their effects on morbidity, mortality and longevity.. Southern Hamster Club.