Hamsters are often known as “beginner pets”, an amazing pet animal that implies that they have less value and fewer needs than other animals and that they can be used as a “learning experience” for children struggling with responsibility for the first time. Hamsters are common pets. They can be a lot of fun and don’t take up much space due to their size.
Before you have one as a pet, there are a few things you should know. It can be tempting to acquire a hamster on the go. After all, these little ones are the symbol of tenderness: small, round, hairy, and curious. Here are some important things to consider before choosing your first Hamster.
Three of the most popular hamsters you can choose
Let’s have a look at the three most popular types of hamsters: dwarf hamsters, Chinese hamsters, and Syrian hamsters.
- Dwarf hamsters
Dwarf hamsters are available in different colors. Some are brown with a white belly and others are white with dark spots. They have the same physical characteristics as the Syrian hamster. Russian dwarf hamsters were first discovered in Russia, which gave rise to their name. They are also known as the winter white dwarf hamster and are popular in India.
- Syrian hamsters
Syrian hamsters, also known as golden hamsters, are one of the most docile hamsters, making them the perfect pet for children and adults. However, keep in mind that Syrian hamsters are about twice the size of dwarf hamsters, so they need more space in their cage for moving and decent living space.
- Chinese hamsters
Chinese hamsters are characterized by a black stripe on the back and a longer tail compared to other breeds. For the most part, they are good-natured and relatively easy to care for and train which makes them good pets. They tend to be calmer than other races, are quite social, and like to be maintained. Now that you have an idea of what kind of hamster you can choose, your task has become easier!
Hamsters are cute and children easily fall in love with them. But they are also sensitive. A child can drop, squeeze or frighten the hamster. If a hamster is frightened or suddenly wakes up, it can bite. For this reason, children under the age of eight should only require to handle hamsters under adult supervision.
Hamsters usually eat grains, seeds, vegetables, and fruits, such as apples. You can feed your pet with combinations of rat blocks (rodent food) and a mix of hamster seeds or pellets. Use a proper diet like a seed mix that contains a mixture of seeds, pellets, grains, and dried vegetables. Don’t forget to give your hamster clean and fresh drinking water to keep them healthy. Hamsters eat and chew vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, and spinach.
If you are thinking about adding a hamster to your family or are already taking care of one, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
1. Hamsters need a large, safe home
Hamsters can be seen as prey by other animals and may be at risk of being injured or killed by other pets if precautions are not taken. To prevent pets from hurting each other, it is imperative that hamsters have a safe, spacious, and sturdy enclosure to call home. Large hamsters must have at least 800 square inches of ground clearance and dwarf hamsters must have at least 640 square inches. As very few commercially available cages meet these recommendations, It is recommended that you build your own hamster box.
2. A lonely hamster is a happy hamster
while some animals need friends and company, hamsters don’t. A Syrian hamster can connect with a human guardian, but it shouldn’t live with another hamster. Dwarf hamsters, including members of the Roborovsky species, Russia and China, can live with a partner when introduced at an early age. However, fights can take place regardless of how long they coexist. Instead of adopting another hamster to keep you company, be friends with your hamster: spend time with it every day to keep it fit, snuggle up and play outside its cage.
3. Hamsters must have a sleep schedule
Hamsters are twilight, which means they are active at dusk and dawn, spending day and night in their nest. This can be frustrating for a guardian who wants to play with his partner during the day. Waking up a sleeping hamster can be stressful for them and cause them to act nervous, sad, and aggressive. There are good reasons to wake up a sleeping hamster, just as there are reasons to wake a sleeping person, such as administering medication or changing something potentially dangerous in their environment. Just wake them up with caution and caution!
4. Clean and wash your hamster’s room regularly
There is a good remedy to keep your hamster’s house clean and comfortable and create excessive stress by cleaning it too much. Generally, you need to:
- Clean the bathroom area daily
- Change bedding on-site as needed (if dirty/wet)
- Clean the water food tray and bottle weekly
- Change the bed daily
- Empty all your living space weekly or twice a week
- Place all new bedding weekly or every two weeks
Soap and water and clean the entire living space once it is empty of bedding, toys, and other parts. This extra step will make your hamster’s room smell good.
5. Give them enough time away from living space
A great way to exercise your hamster and get the required bonding time is to provide enough playtime away from their living space each week. It is recommended to set up a small, enclosed area with lots of toys and some goodies so that they can explore their human family and say hello. Remember to always supervise your hamster when it is out of its habitat.
6. Take the time to connect with your hamster
Patience, regular feeding, playing a lot outside the habitat and kind conversations will help you bond with your hamster. Always approach your pet slowly and talk to them in a conversational way. You will learn to recognize your scent and voice and you will see yourself as a source of comfort.
Unlike other small animals, hamsters and gerbils should be collected with both hands and kept in shell hands. The same goes for lowering them, but be very careful so that they do not accidentally slip out of your hands or slip between your hands. Because these pets are naturally nocturnal, be sensitive to the time of day when you want to manipulate your hamster. You don’t want anyone to take you out of your sweet dreams!
Kate Liberty, Hamster Care: A Complete Guide to Learn How to Take Care of Your Hamster as Pet. Behavior, Diet, Health, Keeping, Training Paperback – February 3, 2021