Best Pet Insurance Plans for Hamsters (2022 Review)
When we think of pets, what generally comes to mind are cats and dogs because these two are the most common household pet. However, hamsters have really risen in popularity in the past decade or so. They’ve become so popular that the demand is almost higher than the supply. It can often be hard to find a hamster. Once you manage to find one, how will you take care of it? You may have heard about pet insurance or may even have insurance on your dog or cat. What about pet insurance for hamsters? Is it real? If so, what will pet insurance for hamsters cover?
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What is Hamster Insurance?
Hamster insurance is a type of insurance that will help pet owners pay for veterinary care for their hamsters. While it is quite common to find pet insurance for a cat or dog, it is not common for a hamster. In fact, it’s very hard to find. It’s often even hard to find a veterinarian to treat a hamster. They may treat dogs and cats, but hamsters are typically categorized as exotic pets and can only be seen by a vet that treats exotic pets.
Between finding a qualifying veterinarian and an insurance company that will cover the pet, caring for a hamster can get quite costly. If you do manage to find pet insurance that covers them, the price can vary a lot. It can also be expensive. Many hamster owners choose to just put some money away each month so they’re prepared for any health issues that may come up with their hamster.
Pet Insurance Companies That Will Cover Hamsters
Two companies that will cover hamsters are Pet Assure and Nationwide.
Nationwide wide offers what they refer to as nose-to-tail coverage, and hamsters are covered under their Avian and Exotic Pet Plans. Its plan covers accidents and illnesses, and things like examinations, x-rays, prescriptions, lab fees, and hospitalizations, among other things. You can choose from two reimbursement amounts, one of which is 90 percent.
Check out our Nationwide review here.
Pet Assure is not actually pet insurance but an alternative to pet insurance and an alternative that will help you provide your hamster with the care it needs. Pet Assure covers all in-house veterinary services, and this even includes pre-existing and hereditary conditions. What they mean by in-house is one of the 50 Pet Assure network veterinarians must see the hamster. You may only be getting a 25 percent discount on the services provided, but there is also no deductible you need to meet.
Check out Pet Assure review here.
Hamster Insurance Cost
Since many hamster owners have more than one animal, it might make sense to get a plan that is comprehensive enough for all the little critters. A Pet Assure plan is $9.95 a month for one small animal, and $16.95 a month for a ‘Family’ plan, where they cover unlimited animals.
For Nationwide, a policy is upwards of $20/month for a single pet, but you will need to call for an exact quote. Mention ‘365 Pet Insurance’ for a discounted rate!
Hamster Facts and Lifespan
Hamsters come in different colors, sizes, and hair textures. Their colors include black, beige, cream, mink, blond, tan, white, chocolate brown golden, and sable. A hamster sold in a pet store will generally run from $20 to $25. However, this amount is the smallest of what you’ll be paying.
Setting up a home for your hamster can cost from $150 to $250. These fees are for cages, toys, food, bedding, and other miscellaneous. You can also expect to pay around $50 per month for the pleasure of owning a hamster, and this includes veterinary costs.
Many families choose to buy two hamsters so they have company. This can almost double the cost of hamster ownership. Because they’re omnivores, they’ll eat a variety of foods, but prefer to eat fresh veggies, fresh fruit, and dry hamster food.
Hamsters have cheek pouches in the sides of their mouths where they can store food. These pouches can expand and go all the way down to the sides of their hips. They can then hoard their food for a long time.
In fact, the name hamster is derived from the German work hamster, which means hoard, and they are very good at hoarding. In the outdoors, hamsters can dig holes as deep as three feet, which is why they should always be kept in their cage unless they’re being held. Other interesting facts about hamsters include:
- They have 16 teeth.
- They are illegal in certain areas like Hawaii and Australia.
- Hamsters can travel up to five miles in the wild at night.
- Unlike many other animals, hamsters can eat dairy products.
- Hamsters can start reproducing as young as four weeks old.
- White teeth in a hamster can indicate malnutrition or stress.
- They have four toes on their front feet and five on their back feet.
- Hamsters have two types of feces, one of which they eat to aid in digestion.
- Hamsters have a lifespan of only two to three years.
Common Hamster Health Issues
Owning a hamster and playing with it can be a lot of fun, but it also required providing your hamster with good care. There are several specific health problems that may affect hamsters.
- Hair loss – This may occur from thyroid issues, kidney disease, and adrenal tumors. Hair loss may also occur from the hamster rubbing against the cage or another hamster chewing on it.
- Chronic diarrhea – This can be caused by bacterial infections, poor diet, and stress.
- Abscess or skin disease – These are generally caused by mites infestation or ringworm parasite. Skin disease can also cause allergic reactions and infections.
- Respiratory infection – Hamsters should not be exposed to sick people because they are very susceptible to catching a cold or pneumonia. The symptoms are the same as with humans: wheezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.
- Diabetes and dental issues – These may develop as part of the aging process.
As you can see, caring for a hamster can be costly if you want your pet to remain healthy. So, taking out a hamster insurance policy or supplemental plan like Pet Assure, can ensure you don’t take chances when it comes to getting your little friend the care they need.