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Caring for your hamster

There are no vaccinations that you can give your hamster to prevent diseases in the way that you can with pet cats and dogs. Fortunatly, hamsters are pretty sturdy, low-maintenance pets, and as long as you provide them with suitable food and housing, problems should be rare. A healthy hamster should be bright and active, except when asleep during the day. Don't forget that hamsters can go into a state of hibernation if the temperature drops too low some owners have even been known to bury their hibernating hamster, thinking it was dead. Hamsters teeth grow all the time, but they normally wear down naturally, providing the hamster has plenty of things to gnaw on. Sometimes the teeth do not grow in proper alignment, and they become overgrown. If this happens, the hamster will show signs of discomfort around the mouth, and the teeth may need regular cutting. If you are concerned about your hamster's teeth, ask your veterinarian for advice. Hamsters generally keep their toenails short by digging and scrabbling around the cage, but you should check them from time to time to ensure they do not need clipping, especially if the hamster's is elderly. It is best to get a vet to show you how to clip nails and teeth at first. After that, nail clipping can be carried out at home, using nail clippers. If you cut a nail too short, it will bleed, which will be painful for your hamster.

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