How to Deal With Your Hamster Dying

Four Methods:Preparing for LossAiding in the ProcessGrieving Your LossMoving On

Hamsters make fantastic and loyal pets. However, their lifespan of 2-3 years can seem cruelly short.[1] If your hamster pal is suffering from old age or disease, know how to reduce suffering for you and your pet by reading this article.

Method 1
Preparing for Loss

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    Recognize the signs. There are many reasons that may claim the life of your hamster. Old age, for example, may make your hamster’s eyes go dull. You may notice his fur getting thin. It may make your hamster listless and cause his appetite to disappear. Your hamster may exhibit unusual signs, such as urinating in its nest. [2]
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    Talk to someone who can help. Your parents may be able to offer advice on how to help your hamster. You may be able to talk to an experienced professional, like a vet, for more specific details on how to care for your hamster. She will give you advice on diet, exercise, and care.
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    Consider your hamster's suffering. If your hamster in too much pain, you may want to consider other options. Euthanasia may be the best option to stop his suffering. This is a painless process and the professionals will do what they can to make the last stages of your pet’s life as comfortable as possible. [3]
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    Prepare your friends and family. You want to tell those close to you about what is going to happen. This may be your child’s first experience with death, and you want to approach it with care. Be honest and approach with empathy. [4]

Method 2
Aiding in the Process

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    Make your hamster comfortable. In your hamster’s last days, make him as happy as possible. Put soft material in his cage. Let him sleep as much as he wants. Put his favorite toys in his cage.
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    Avoid excessive holding. Your hamster may lose energy and may not participate in its usual exercise. You do not want to make him excessively tired by holding him.
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    Feed and water appropriately. Talk to your vet or parents about what diet would be best. If your hamster is suffering for heart damage, for example, you may want to avoid fatty foods like sunflowers. Teeth issues can also plague older hamsters. Try feeding him soft foods like rice or cereal. [5]

Method 3
Grieving Your Loss

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    Acknowledge your grief for the loss of your hamster. You are going to be upset and are going to hurt. You might feel strong emotions like anger, grief, depression, or guilt. It is okay to feel these strong feelings after a loss of a love one.[6]
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    Take some time. Your hamster was a part of your family and you will need time to grieve. Consider taking time off work or school to feel your grief. Statistics show that the pain you feel when you lose a pet is akin to losing a human family member. [7]
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    Talk to friends and family. Your loved ones probably are aware of how much you loved your hamster. They can help you through the grieving process if you reach out to them. Talk to them about what you are feeling, and they may help to ease the passing.
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    Memorialize your hamster. Remember the positive things about your friend. You can go through pictures of your pet. You can think about the games and toys you played with him. These good things may make your grief a little less painful. [8]
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    Write out your feelings. You can start a blog or journal. Writing out your feelings may help you work out your grief. You can write about the positive memories and thoughts of your beloved family member. [9]
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    Reach out to resources. There are national resources you can reach out to if you need someone to talk to you. Reaching out to resources like the ASPCA hotline can connect you to people who understand.[10]

Method 4
Moving On

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    Volunteer at a local shelter. Once you start the healing process, you might be hesitate to bring a new hamster into your home. You can volunteer at a local animal shelter to help others in need. Helping animals in need might help you with the grief process.
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    Look for a new friend. After you start to heal, you may feel up to bringing in a new hamster. Visit your local shelter or pet store for a new addition to your family.
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    Get back to a regular routine. To fully move on, it might be best to get back to your day to day schedule. It might hurt for awhile, but if you take one day at a time, you will find that your grief lessens. [11]
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    Remember it will be alright. Everyone experience loss, know that you are not alone with your loss. This may be a very hard time for you, but things will get better. Remember these steps and take time to grieve your loss.

Warnings

  • You can reuse your hamster's cage, bowls, and toys. Make sure you properly disinfect these items as to not pass on any diseases. Discard old bedding and purchase new for a new hamster friend.
  • Do not flush the hamster down the toilet. This will cause serious plumbing problems. Memorialize your hamster by burying it or cremating it. Talk to your vet about options.

Article Info

Categories: Hamster Health | Pet Loss