Allergies can go both ways when owning a hamster. Some people are allergic to hamsters, while hamsters can also be allergic to certain substances.
Human Allergies to Hamsters:
- Caused by Exposure – Allergies develop from exposure to hamster proteins in their urine, saliva, and fur. Common symptoms include congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
- See an Allergist – Get medically tested to confirm you are not reacting to other allergens before assuming a hamster allergy.
- Take Antihistamines – Oral antihistamines like Zyrtec help control symptoms upon hamster exposure. Nasal sprays also help some.
- Use Air Purifiers – HEPA air purifiers in the hamster environment filter out allergens.
- Rehome as a Last Resort – If allergies persist despite treatment, rehoming the hamster may be necessary.
- Bedding Irritation – Hamsters can develop respiratory irritation from low-quality wood shavings, dust, or scented bedding. Use only unscented paper or aspen bedding.
- Scent Reactions – Strong perfumes, candles, cleaning products, and scented oils can irritate hamster’s sensitive respiratory system. Avoid using these near your hamster.
- Dietary Sensitivities – Some hamsters may have gastrointestinal reactions to certain fresh foods. Slowly introduce new foods and discontinue anything causing diarrhea.