Do hamsters need vitamin drops?
A hamster that has a balanced diet, a good mix of seeds, fresh vegetables, dried herbs and occasionally nuts and fruits, does not need vitamin drops, it gets its daily dose of vitamins from its food. However, if the vet detects a vitamin C deficiency in your hamster, you can administer it by injection or increase its ration of foods that contain more vitamin C, until it regains its balance
What vitamins does my hamster need?
Hamsters are mammals and their vitamin requirements are no different than any other.
Hamsters essentially need vitamins: A, D, E and K, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and pantothenic acid.
Don’t let all these technical words impress you; the hamster only has to enjoy a good balanced food to not lack any vitamin or molecule essential to its well being.
Nature is well done and the hamster only needs farmers and not pharmaceutical laboratories to get its vitamins.
So just make sure your hamster is well fed.
What about C vitamin , is it necessary for my hamster?
Yes, hamsters need vitamin C, which they cannot synthesize naturally, as is the case with almost all mammals.
According to a hamster breeder, it is necessary to provide an average of 10 mg of vitamin C per day for a hamster (Syrian) and maybe half that for a Dwarf hamster.
Your hamster can easily find his vitamin C in his daily food as long as you respect the recommended rations and varieties of mixed seeds and cereals, fruits and vegetables, fresh and dried vegetables and herbs…
How do I know if my hamster has a Vitamin C deficiency?
First of all you should know that your hamster is at risk of contracting scurvy, skin problems, blood clotting and joint problems if it has a vitamin C deficiency.
The signs (Symptoms) that your hamster needs to have more food rich in vitamin C are :
- He will shed easily and his coat will become dull and lose its luster.
- He will be lethargic
- A difficult walk (limping) because of swollen joints.
- Weight loss, loss of appetite
- He will not like you to touch him and will squeak every time you do.
- The vet will notice subcutaneous bleeding.
How can I be sure my hamster is getting his daily dose of vitamin C?
Your hamster must have in its menu, foods rich in C vitamin , here are some of them:
Broccolli, uncooked Brussels sprouts, spinach, sweet peppers, cauliflower, garden peas, Lettuce, cabbage, green bean, carrot, cucumber, cantaloupe, kiwi, watermelon, Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, a tiny piece of chestnuts.
Your hamster will get for example:
- 1.9 mg of Vitamin C from dried Pumpkin seeds
- 1.9 mg from Sunflower seed
- 1.6 mg from pistachio nuts
- 1.1 mg of C vitamin from hazelnut
Plain branflakes are rich in C vitamin too and you can also give your hamster as treats, the dog biscuits, enriched in vitamins.
You can also find bags of mixed salad and other veggies in almost any supermarket.
Vegetables should be as fresh as possible and not boiled (potatoes should be boiled in a minimum of water, just a little water) because vitamin C quickly dissolves in the air and in water.
If I have to give vitamin C to my hamster, what is the best way?
The best way to administer vitamins to your hamster is with a balanced diet or with vitamin-rich foods when it is a deficiency.
But if the Vet recommends a vitamin to your hamster, do not put it in its water, it will deteriorate quickly and the hamster will not drink because the water will taste bad and will change color.
Use the same method as for giving vitamin C to a guinea pig
Put the drops of vitamin prescribed by the vet on his vegetables, right in front of him in a plate or the best is the injections, made by a veterinarian of course or directly in the mouth with a syringe without needle of course.
How to avoid vitamin deficiency for my hamster?
In order for your hamster not to be exposed to a vitamin deficiency, especially those known to be essential for him, mostly vitamin C and B, take care of these few conditions:
1- Offer your hamster a balanced and complete food, a varied dry food, vegetables and fruits and protein food and herbs …
2-Avoid stressing your hamster because the more stressed a hamster is, the more vitamins it will need.
3-Vitamins are known to deteriorate quickly, so make sure that the vegetables you give your hamster are always fresh.
4-If you notice any signs of vitamin deficiency (I mentioned some above), contact a vet, you can also give a supplement of debittered brewer’s yeast (this is just a temporary solution, see a vet), known to provide what your hamster is lacking, especially for vitamin B
5- Young hamsters and old hamsters, weak hamsters and sick or convalescent hamsters, pregnant females, are the hamsters that will need the most of these vitamins, so pay more attention to your hamster’s diet if it is in these categories.
You can get it from here ( from England ) :
Here is what your hamster risks depending on the vitamin it may lack:
Hamsters do not need vitamin drops, they will get all the nutrients and vitamins they need from their daily food.
If you only feed your hamster pellets or poor seed mixes that are not varied, and especially no herbs or vegetables, your hamster will surely suffer from vitamin deficiency in this case.
The best source of vitamin is fresh vegetables, give your hamster every day a piece of vegetable as big as your little finger (rotate each day a different vegetable or small cubes of each vegetable).