How and how often do you check on you hamsters?

I know waking them up it's a bad thing and I feel really bad by ruining their tunnels to find them and check if they're okay, but I had a hamster die because I'd only check by seeing if he had eaten and drank water and when he went a day without coming out at night I thought it was because he was on his tunnels and didn't want to ruin them, something that had happened before and he was okay, but he had gotten stuck in a toilet paper tube and ended up passing away. Happens that my hamster (Alex, the lion) is an antisocial that hates human interaction and gets scared very easily. He hardly comes during the day and always sleeps deep in his tunnels. I can't see him because my cage it's 3 wood walls with a glass panel on the front. I'm very paranoid because of what happened to my other hamster (Motomoto), so when he goes a long time without appearing I dig into his tunnels till I find him, I try to be careful but I do ruin them a bit. It's there other ways to know that he's okay without having to do that? It's a camera really necessary then? Or there's any tips on bonding with him to convince him to come out on his own?

Edit - Thank you to everyone that answered! I think an important piece of information my post missed was that although his cage has access to natural light daily so he can tell when it's day and when it's night, maybe due to the country I live in instead of coming out at 9 or 10pm, he actually comes out at around 2-3am, which is the reason it's hard for me to see him when he's awake. I'll be looking into pet cameras, the one suggested came out at a very good price and I think it's a worthy investment for both my anxiety and Alex the lion's tunnels, and work harder on bonding with him. I've tried it before with not much success but even if he doesn't come to my hand but just put his head out if I make a little noise as recognition it's already enough for me.


For most pets you are going to want to do a health check once a week, especially for pray animals because they commonly hide illness/injuries. Doing this can also help them get used to you and make them realize that you are not a threat/going to hurt them. For your specific hamster I think at first it would be best to wait until he is out of his burrows and then lure him to you with a treat. Then look over the important parts (eyes, nose, ears, and if you can see it vent.) Eventually you can train him to come out and let you hold him. You can do this by tapping/ruffling the bedding, and giving him a treat once he comes out. Eventually make him walk into your hand to be able to get the treat and then lift up your hand once he is in it. This is what has worked best for my hamster and gerbils. [Victoria Rachel “how to: hamster health check”](https://youtu.be/k3UiRlQWfwE)


I got a $30 pet camera, and it helped a lot for my peace of mind, especially since my hamster is new and I didn’t want to risk bothering him in the initial stages Mine is the Wyze Cam v3 on Amazon


if your going to use a toilet paper tube make sure in the future you cut it down the middle of the tube and sorry to hear for you lost 😔


Mine runs out to see us any tike anyone walks past to beg for food, even though she has lots of food!


My hammy is super shy and easily scared. Whenever she eats a snack out of my hand she will run back into her tunnels almost every time. When I'm in the same room for the evening she won't come out. I rarely see her and don't interact much. I installed a small pet camera inside the cage. That way I can see if she was awake during the night. I would not disturb her in her tunnels unless she hasn't been awake at all in the night. The camera helps ease my fear.


My current syrian hamster is pretty antisocial. I wake him 1-2 times per week to check he’s okay. He doesn’t come out when i enter the room. My other hamsters were very social and came out of the cage constantly to play and get treats.


Well first of all since they’re nocturnal creatures why not do your check at night once they’re awake, as they’ll be active and you’ll Be less likely to be waking them up when you check. I wouldn’t ruin the hamsters tunnel cause if you think about it he’s probably in there longer fixing the damages you cause. Id try entice him out with a treat or make some noises, they are curious little things so im sure he will come out.


My hamsters are pretty friendly so I check on them about once a day when I go to feed them. Purin will usually come out the minute food enters his cage, but my other hamster Gummy is a pretty heavy sleeper. I know where he usually sleeps so I just move the bedding a little, make sure he’s all good and breathing and leave him be. About once a week when they are active I’ll do a full body health check and make sure everything is looking good.


I check on my hammy every few hours. But to be fair she is a social butterfly. She loves attention so I see her a lot during the day.


Hey! Can you send me a few pictures of your enclosure? I would love it as a reference as yours and mine seem to have similar structures. Please and thank you 😊