The teeth of a hamster are much different from that of humans but share one thing in common.
They both require special care so that they do not cause harm to them.
Having teeth that are constantly growing
But different to humans, they have teeth that are constantly growing and so they need grinding down constantly.
Otherwise the grow out of control and start to cause the hamster a lot of pain.
They will find anything they can to chew on, but will usually start with some kind of food and work back from there.
However, providing your hamster with other things to chew on is very beneficial for them.
When they have good things to chew on it makes for a happier and healthier hamster.
So providing chewing items for your hamster is part of the responsibility of owning one.
If they do grow faster than a hamster can grind them, then your hamster will find it difficult to eat and chew their food.
This will have a knock on effect that they will not be able to consume the food they need and will begin to starve.
The way to solve this, is to take them to the veterinary surgeon to have their teeth clipped.
It is actually a useful exercise to do to have them regularly checked to see if they are the right length and not causing them any issues.
Like other rodents, they do not let on that they are in pain and you would not be able to tell other than a slight change in behavior.
What do they chew on in the wild?
When they are in the wild, hamsters will grind their teeth on rocks, pine cones and sticks which provide a good place to grind them down as well as through regular eating.
So items such as toilet roll holders, chew sticks, wooden blocks and sticks make for good chewing items for them.
Wooden items such as untreated and unpainted wooden items are usually the best option to give your hamster if you are looking for wooden chew items.
Avoid using wood from outside in the wild.
This is because wood from outside the home can carry parasites and bacteria which in turn would cause a hamster to become sick.
So with this, what types of wood are find for hamsters to eat?
Fruit woods: apple, blackberry, blackcurrant, crabapple, kiwi, pear, quince, and mulberry
Nut woods: hazelnut and pecan
Evergreen woods: pine (but only kiln dried white)
Avoid other types of wood that are not part of the above list and if you do decide to try are done so at the owners risk.
As stressed before, it is important that hamsters chew wood that has not been brought in from outside and only that which has been stored inside.
Store purchased wood is fine for this purpose.
Also avoid those woods that contain oils or varnishes which may poison a hamster.
Woods are not the only item that provide a good chewing option for your hamster.
However, they do provide them with welcome relief from the constant pull of their teeth growing.