Things need to know before buying HAMSTER

Things need to know before buying HAMSTER

Hamsters make great pets for school-aged children because though they are low maintenance, they are super fun to play with and watch and are quite interactive with people and their environment.

I wanted a hamster a year ago and did a lot of research, so here’s what I’ve learned and realized on what you need to know before adopting a hamster (or buying) #adoptdontshop.

How to choose a healthy hamster

Choose a hamster that is in good health. Clean ears, a clean and dry bottom, a tiny rounded tummy, no bald spots or lumps (save the smell glands on its thighs, which many people mistake for cuts or scabs), clean bright eyes, and healthy teeth that aren't overgrown or curled upwards are all signs of a healthy hamster.

Ask to hold the hamster.

Ask for holding the hamster. If the staff or breeder is uncomfortable with this (depending on where you go, of course), have him place his hand in the hamster enclosure. If you want a hamster who bites or scratches a lot, don't get one. Also, avoid buying one that is exceedingly afraid, such as one that darts, hides, and then vanishes. A curious hamster that sniffs but does not crawl into your hand is an excellent choice. Another nice pick is someone who is curious and nips lightly to test your hand (like some pups do).

Different breeds of hamsters

  • Syrian Hamster.
  • Winter White Hamster.
  • Campbell's Dwarf Hamster.
  • Roborovski Hamster.
  • Chinese Hamster.

Syrian hamsters may reach 5-7 inches (12.7-17.8 cm) in length as adults. Dwarf Campbell hamsters and Dwarf Winter White hamsters reach 3-4 inches (7.6-10.1cm). Chinese hamsters can grow to be 4-5 inches (10.1-12.7cm) long. And Roborovski hamsters barely reach 3 inches (7.6cm) in length as adults.

Pick the right cage.

A cage greater than 600 square inches, or 30 inches by 15 inches, is ideal for your hamster, while 450 square inches, or 30 inches by 15 inches, is the very minimum. It should also be taller than 12 inches in order to accommodate a wheel of appropriate size, 10-12 inches for Syrians and 8 inches for Dwarfs. A hamster can live happily in a glass tank (as long as it fits the minimal floor space requirements). Because of the absence of ventilation, make sure the lid is wire mesh to allow air to circulate.

Place the cage in a safe place

Make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Don't place the cage in front of a hot window. Make sure to find a place that is quiet and free of any other household pets such as dogs and cats. This will reduce the stress of your pet hamster. At no point should you let your dogs or cats interact with your hamster.


Understand your hamster’s territorial instincts

Syrian hamsters and female Chinese hamsters should be kept apart. They become territorial around the age of 5-8 weeks and will frequently fight to death if placed in the same space as another hamster. Some dwarf hamsters can live together if they are appropriately linked from an early age.

Food and Water

Feed the hamster every day

To avoid selective feeding and ensure your hamster gets all the nutrients it needs, use a pelleted food rather than muesli or seed mix. Each day, feed your hamster enough food to fill both cheeks, about 15g (1/2oz) for a Syrian hamster and 8g (1/4oz) for a Dwarf hamster. Make sure they have fresh food in their bowl on a daily basis.

Have water ready and available at all times.

Your hamster will not drink much water, but it is critical that it has access to water when it does become thirsty. If you place it in a dish, the bowl will quickly become dirty, and your hamster will become wet and perish. Use a water bottle or dispenser instead. To keep the water fresh, change it every day if possible, or once every three days at the most. The water bottle can be cleaned by filling it with uncooked rice and a small amount of water and aggressively shaking it. Any algal build-up will be dislodged by the rice. Before returning the water bottle to the cage, make sure to remove all of the uncooked rice.

Avoid “human” foods. 

This includes things such as candy, pasta, raw meat/fish, sugar, and desserts. Hamsters can develop diabetes. Foods that you might not consider high in sugar content will be too sugary for your hamster. This can be damaging to their health

Give it treats

Feed treats twice or three times a week on a regular basis. Carrots, cucumbers, apples, bananas, peppers, lettuce, celery, kale, collard and dandelion greens, and a variety of other vegetables and fruits are among the hamster's favorites. Some of these meals can be eaten on a daily basis by hamsters. Hamster goodies, such as yogurt chips, hamster chocolate drops, or chewable chunks of wood, are also available at all pet stores. Some fruits and vegetables should not be fed to your hamsters. Onions, almonds, beans, potatoes, seeded fruits, avocados, chives, eggplants, scallions, spices, leeks, garlic, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are all no-nos.

Getting Your Hamster to Exercise

Get a suitable hamster wheel

The wheels that come with the cages are generally too small and aren’t good for the hamster's back. A wheel is too small if your hamster's back curves upwards. Buy one that is a minimum of 20cm (7.9in) for a dwarf hamster and 28cm (11in) for a Syrian. Don't be afraid to go bigger.

Cleaning Your Hamster's Home

Clean the cage thoroughly

Use regular dish soap mixed with water. Even the tiniest trace of other types of soap (like hand-wash) can prove uncomfortable for your furry buddy. Use special hamster or rodent cleaning soap, which you can buy from most pet shops