Hamsters, just like other animals, can get allergic reactions, mostly from food or from dirt, dust, polluted air, etc.
When hamsters have allergic reactions, symptoms such as dry skin, breathing problems, sneezing, swelling of the limbs, and excessive itching often appear.
Allergic reactions in hamsters are not life-threatening, but it is still necessary to prevent them in time so that they do not interfere with the hamster’s daily life.
In today’s article, you will learn in more detail what hamsters are allergic to and how to help them when they have allergic reactions.
What are hamsters allergic to?
Hamsters are allergic to food, dirty bedding, and dust, but also to chemicals in the air.
Sometimes hamsters can develop an allergy to certain objects made of plastic, metal, and other similar objects that irritate your pet.
It is necessary to find out in time what hamsters are allergic to and easily eliminate the causes of an allergic reaction because otherwise, your pet will be anxious and nervous, which is not good for its health.
Here is a more detailed explanation of all the possible causes of allergy in hamsters:
Hamsters can get food allergies
One of the most common causes of allergic reactions in hamsters is food.
For example, hamsters can often get an allergy from food that contains artificial preservatives, colors, and other additives, or food that is grown using pesticides.
The smallest chance of food allergy in hamsters is if you use pellets for hamsters, seeds, nuts, etc.
Vegetables and fruits should be washed well before being given to hamsters so that they do not get an allergy to dirt and chemicals.
Hamsters get allergic reactions from bedding
Bedding is often the cause of allergic reactions in hamsters, especially if there is dust that will irritate your pet.
The material from which the bedding is made can again be the cause of allergies, for example, cedar and pine bedding often causes allergies.
Bedding that has an artificially added smell and is treated with artificial colors are also causes of allergic reactions in hamsters.
The best bedding for hamsters is aspen shavings, because there is nothing artificial in them, and at the same time they absorb liquids and unpleasant odors from the cage.
Paper-based bedding is also a good choice because it will not cause allergies in hamsters, the only problem with this bedding is its low ability to absorb liquids.
If you decide on paper-based bedding, then you will need to change it more often, because otherwise, the hamsters may develop an allergy to urine or poop after a certain time.
Hamsters get allergic reactions to objects
Hamsters can also get allergic reactions from items you use in their cage.
For example, the food bowls, water bottles, or maybe the exercise wheel can be the cause of your pet’s allergy.
This happens if they contain an ingredient that irritates hamsters and causes allergies.
Therefore, if you notice that your pet is allergic to some of the objects, replace them with another object, for example, put a wooden or metal plate instead of a plastic food plate.
Hamsters get allergies from ingredients in the air
Hamsters can get allergies from airborne ingredients in their environment.
For example, if you use artificial scents, perfumes, or similar deodorants in your room where you keep hamsters, they can cause irritation and the appearance of allergies.
Scented candles, varnishes, and essential oils have very strong smells that will disturb the hamster and may cause discomfort and allergy.
Therefore, it is best to put scents, perfumes, and similar products in another room that will not be close to your pet, and to protect it from a possible allergic reaction.
Cleaning products cause allergies in hamsters
Products used to clean the hamster’s cage can cause an allergic reaction.
Especially if you use products with heavier and stronger smells that hamsters will find and may irritate their respiratory system.
It is best to use white vinegar, water, and possibly baking soda when cleaning their cage, as these ingredients are the least likely to cause allergies in your pet.
Whenever you clean the cage, wait for it to dry thoroughly before returning your hamster to its cage.
What are the symptoms of allergy in hamsters?
When hamsters have an allergy, they show certain symptoms that are easy to recognize, which will make your job easier to detect.
Symptoms of allergy are:
- decrease in appetite
- swelling of the feet
- itching too often
- breathing problems
- dry skin
When hamsters have allergic reactions, you need to find the cause and prevent further allergies that will only upset your pet.
Do humans cause allergic reactions in hamsters?
It is very rare for a hamster to get an allergic reaction from humans, this can only happen if the oils in your skin are sensitive to the hamsters, but this is a very rare occurrence.
Hamsters can get allergies from people most of the time only if you have previously used soaps or fragrances and perfumes that have ingredients that cause allergies in your pet.
It is best to use regular soap and not to use colognes and perfumes when you are near the hamsters or when you want to play with them.
What should I do if my hamster has an allergy?
If your hamster has allergic reactions, you should first find out what the cause is, that is, what causes the allergy in your pet.
Start by changing the bedding in the cage to see if it is the cause of the allergy.
If the hamster continues to have an allergy, next clean part by part of the cage, i.e. change the toys and see if your pet gets an allergy from any object.
Then you will continue to check the food and finally check if any smell from the cleaning products or smell in the room is the cause of the allergy.
When you find the cause of the allergy, eliminate the problem and your pet will no longer have problems with allergic reactions.
Can a child be allergic to a hamster?
Children can get an allergy from hamsters, it’s possible and you shouldn’t be surprised, although it’s still not that common.
The occurrence of hamster allergy in children is mainly because all animals that have fur are possible causes of allergy in children.
However, we should emphasize that children can be allergic to a certain breed of hamsters, for example, allergic to Syrian hamsters, but not allergic to dwarf hamsters and vice versa.
Can hamster allergies go away?
The allergy in hamsters can go away, that is, after a certain time, it will reappear.
You can never know for sure whether hamsters will not get allergic to certain objects or other allergens again.
Hamsters can sometimes show more significant allergy symptoms, while sometimes the allergy can be with or without more significant symptoms.
Can you be allergic to guinea pigs and not hamsters?
Yes, it is possible to be allergic to guinea pigs and not be allergic to hamsters.
The allergy that appears from animals can be different, you cannot know in advance whether you will be allergic to hamsters or guinea pigs, and sometimes to both.
This question is asked a lot because some families keep both hamsters and guinea pigs and are afraid of whether or not they will have allergies from their pets.
Do hamsters cause allergies to humans?
Hamsters can cause allergies in humans, although this is not so common.
However, people often get allergies from dogs and cats, while less often they get allergies from hamsters.
Humans get allergies from hamsters because these animals produce allergens that cause allergies.
Hamsters often get allergic reactions characterized by breathing problems, redness and itching of the skin, dry skin, loss of appetite, and other symptoms.
When hamsters have an allergy, the most important thing is to find out the cause promptly, which could be dust, dirty air, dirty bedding or toys, etc.
When hamsters have an allergy, the most important thing is to find out the cause in time and remove it so that it does not continue to cause allergic reactions in your pet.