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Dieting for Rodents: When Is It Necessary to Keep an Eye on Their Weight?

author Lucy Byrne | Health and diet

I’ve seen hamsters so fat that they could barely fit in the hole to get into their house and their legs could barely bear them. Rodents do not belong to long-lived animals and a bad lifestyle may even shorten their lives. Therefore, do not underestimate their balanced diet and if needed, check their food portions.

Checking a rodent’s weight might be a bit more difficult than checking a dog’s or cat’s weight. Weight fluctuations are not so obvious in rodents due to their small size. Therefore, even if your rodent does not look exactly obese, its nutritional health should be under your control. If you don’t know how to do that, here are a few tips for you:

The fundamental thing is a healthy and balanced diet. It slightly differs for each rodent. For example, rats need more protein and less fat in their food than mice. And also rabbits, guinea pigs or hamsters have different needs with regard to the composition of their food. Therefore, it is important to feed them with mixtures determined specifically for the given type of a rodent and also pick suitable supplements for them.

Also be careful if you choose food in the form of seed mixture. Even rodents are sometimes picky and they will choose only the seed they like which then leads to unbalanced nutrition. Weigh their food and do not allow unlimited access to it for your rodents. Even the healthiest food might lead to obesity with enormous consumptions.

Even treats should be healthy. And don’t forget about moderation. Fruits and vegetables might be great food supplements. But first learn what kinds are suitable for your pet. You may also decide for healthy bought goodies. They consist of dried herbs, fruits and vegetables. Not only that they do not harm the animal, they can even support its immune system.

Besides healthy food, enough exercises is also important, of course. Therefore, make sure your animal has a sufficiently large cage or another type of accommodation and it does not lack enough inputs for games such as a running wheel, various tunnels and constructions and other similar things and you may also let it run around often enough. Branches and other toys for chewing are also great.

Even if you provide your pet with enough exercise and the proper amount of balanced and healthy food, its weight is worth observing. Rodent obesity might mean also serious health problems besides diet mistakes. In such case, the condition of your rodent is worth consulting with a vet.

Do you manage to have the weight of your rodent under control or do you fight obesity? And how did you manage to get your pet in shape again?