If you’ve ever wondered if a hamster is the right pet for you, here are some points to consider before you commit.
There are a number of advantages to owning a hamster. They require very little maintenance and upkeep – as they live in their own self-contained cage, they don’t need the attention that dogs and cats demand (though there are those rare occasions when your hamster might leave wet droppings or chew through its water bottle). When it comes down to it, all they really require is food and water.
Hamsters are also very easy to take care of. They can live quite healthily in groups and thrive in their own habitats, even if you don’t always have the time to change the water bottle or feed them treats. The best part is that hamsters are small and lightweight, which means they can be moved from home to home without too much trouble. They will do well in any type of environment, from indoors to outdoors – all you need is a cage with everything they need inside it.
They also come in a variety of breeds and types, such as Robos, Teddies, Syrians (the most common variety), Campbell’s Russians and Chinese Dwarfs.
Hamsters are also considered a very affordable pet. They can be purchased at pet stores for as little as five dollars (some are even cheaper). They can live for three to four years, and they have a life expectancy of eight years or more. In addition, their coat is short and thin, meaning they don’t require frequent bathing or grooming.
These animals are also fairly easy to find. Pet stores sell only the common Chinese Dwarf variety, but you can easily purchase hamsters online – it will cost a little more, but it’s still cheaper than getting a cat or dog that you will need to feed regularly. Breeders may also sell a variety of other breeds through hamster forums (many of which will be less common).
Hamsters are always having babies, so many pet owners will often find themselves with more and more hamsters throughout their life. If you have the space for even just one pair of hamsters, you can expect to see a number of babies in a very short period of time.
Even though they are well-fed and cared for, your hamster may still die at some point. Some breeds tend to live slightly longer than others (Chinese Dwarfs have a higher mortality rate than Campbell’s Russians), but no animal is totally immune to death from disease or age.
There are some things to consider, however. These animals do bite, but rarely. Some people may not be okay with that. If you have a child, keep in mind that hamsters can be very small and will almost certainly get away from the child if they are holding them. It’s also important to remember that your house will smell like a hamster cage for the first few days, since they do produce odour – this can be avoided by placing the cage in an area where it won’t bother anyone with its scent (and by cleaning it every few days with vinegar). Hamsters also make quite a bit of noise, but some breeds are less noisy than others.
If you’re not into cleaning and feeding your pet every day, a hamster is probably not the right choice for you. If you like to be home with your pets and play with them most of the day, however, a hamster may be the right option.
As long as you treat them well and take care of them, they will provide you with years of entertainment and fun. Remember that there are many benefits to having a hamster as a pet, but that there is still an element of risk involved. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian before deciding whether or not it’s the right choice for you or your family.
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