All of us in the kitchen often use baking soda mostly to clean certain items. We often use it to clean the cage of hamsters as it destroys the unpleasant smell.
I personally often wonder what would happen if my hamster ate some baking soda.
Can baking soda kill my hamster?
Baking soda can only kill a hamster if it is ingested in large quantities and is not taken immediately to a veterinarian for treatment. If the hamster ingested only a small amount of baking soda, nothing terrible will happen.
Baking soda can cause respiratory problems in hamsters if it is in their bedding.
In today’s article, you will learn when baking soda can kill a hamster, how to know if a hamster has ingested baking soda, and similar questions related to the topic.
Can baking soda kill my hamster?
Baking soda can only kill a hamster if it ingests large amounts. Small amounts of baking soda are not dangerous for your pet, however, it is best not to consume it at all.
Baking soda in small quantities is good for better digestion of food in humans and animals.
While in large quantities it can kill not only hamsters but also other rodents, because when it mixes with other acids in the stomach of rodents it creates carbon dioxide which is deadly.
If you put baking soda in your hamster’s bedding, it can help reduce the unpleasant odor and neutralize it, but it can also cause respiratory infections.
Respiratory infections are a big problem for hamsters and can lower their immunity and make your pet sick.
What are the symptoms when a hamster ingested baking soda?
If the hamsters ingested baking soda, the first symptoms appear after 10 hours or it can be much faster in 2-3 hours if he ingested a significant amount.
The most common symptoms when hamsters ingest baking soda are the following:
lethargy – the hamster begins to become more passive and hides in tunnels and hiding places in the cage and does not want to run and play.
Diarrhea – hamsters begin to have problems with the digestive process and as a result will have softer or watery stools as a reaction to the baking soda.
Vomiting – of the food he takes into his body.
Loss of appetite – since there will be problems with the digestive system, they will not be able to eat enough as usual.
Bloating – their stomach will look bloated due to the effects of the baking soda and changes in their digestive system.
If he ingests large amounts of baking soda, he may start having difficulty breathing, seizures and problems maintaining balance while moving.
Ingestion of baking soda and its effects on hamsters
Hamsters ingesting baking soda can have serious side effects on their health.
You may experience:
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Altered pH levels
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Metabolic disturbances
- Dehydration risk
So let’s look at them in more detail and see what baking soda can cause in hamsters.
When hamsters ingest baking soda, it can disrupt the normal function of their digestive system and cause side effects.
This will immediately lead to the creation of diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pains as a reaction to the baking soda.
Dehydration of your pet and problems with the intake and processing of nutrients in their organism can occur.
Altered pH levels
When hamsters ingest baking soda it can affect their pH and change it.
Baking soda is an alkaline compound that increases the pH level in the stomach and digestive system of hamsters.
When hamsters have a change in their natural pH it can negatively affect their normal digestion process and create improper processing of nutrients.
Hamsters ingesting baking soda can cause imbalances and problems in your pet’s body.
Electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium are of great importance for many physiological functions in hamsters.
Electrolyte imbalances in hamsters can cause problems with the functioning of all the organs in their body and impair the general health of our little friends.
Ingesting baking soda can cause metabolic disturbances in your hamster.
When hamsters have a disturbed metabolism they will have problems in their normal functioning.
They will have problems maintaining their body temperature and producing the energy they need for daily play and running around the cage.
When hamsters ingest baking soda it can cause dehydration and health problems.
This is associated with the occurrence of diarrhea as a reaction to a higher intake of bicarbonate of soda in their organism.
Because when hamsters have diarrhea, they start to dehydrate and lose water from the body.
Of course, that’s why you should make sure that they always have enough fresh and clean water for the prevention of possible dehydration of your pet.
What to do when hamsters ingest baking soda?
Whenever hamsters ingest baking soda you must act immediately and take your pet to the vet for an examination regardless of the amount ingested.
You don’t have to wait to see if he shows certain symptoms or not, because your pet’s condition can change very quickly.
When hamsters ingest baking soda, it can cause heart problems and in a short time, your pet will have fatal consequences and die.
After the visit to the vet, you need to clean the cage and remove the old bedding, as there may be baking soda residue in it.
Can baking soda be used to clean a hamster cage?
It is not recommended that you use baking soda to clean your hamster’s cage, although some owners use it for that purpose.
Baking soda can be abrasive and irritate the delicate respiratory system of hamsters.
To clean your pet’s cage, it is best to use only warm water with mild soap, or a solution of water and vinegar.
Can baking soda be used as bedding for hamsters?
Baking soda must not be used as bedding for hamsters because it can only cause problems with their health.
For hamster bedding, it is best to use specially designed materials that will not harm his health.
The best bedding for hamsters is the following:
- aspen shavings
- paper-based bedding
- recycled paper pellets
There is no need to use baking soda on bedding when there is already proven bedding that is completely safe for their health.
Can baking soda be used to bathe a hamster?
Baking soda should never be used as a bath additive.
Hamsters groom and clean themselves and do not need you to put baking soda for cleaning and bathing.
If the hamster is too dirty, which happens very rarely, you can use a sand bath, but under no circumstances should you use baking soda.
Baking soda in small amounts is not dangerous for hamsters, but if they ingest large amounts it can easily lead to fatal consequences and kill the hamster.
When hamsters have ingested baking soda then symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, bloating, and other unwanted symptoms appear.
Whenever hamsters ingest baking soda you must immediately take them to the vet to examine them and see if they need to be given medication to improve their condition.
It’s best to keep baking soda away from your pet so it doesn’t pose a health risk.