As you get to know your pet, you’ll be able to recognise a healthy hamster when you see one! The longer you’ve had him, the better you’ll know how active he usually is, what his fur generally looks like, how much he eats, his posture when he walks, and so forth.
If you watch your pet every day, you'll soon get to know what his 'normal' looks like
A healthy hamster will have a normal, smooth gait, bright, clear eyes, healthy skin, nose and ears, and a glossy coat with no dry patches, bald patches, parasites, cuts, or swellings. The animal's teeth will be of an even length, and not overgrown. There will be no cuts or scabs in or around the mouth. The toe nails will be a good length (not too long), and the feet and legs will have no scabs or swellings. Their bottoms will not have any discharge, blood, dried feces or wetness.
Even though a well looked after hamster will usually stay in good health, there are still several diseases that the animals can suffer from. We have described a few of them in our Hamster Illnesses section, but note that there are many other conditions, many of which an owner will struggle to diagnose. Again, if in doubt, consult a vet.
In general, simply be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, and any sign that your hamster is unwell or in pain.