There is plenty you need to know if you’re considering adopting one of these furry rodents as a pet. We have put together a list of helpful hamster tips that will help keep your hamster happy, healthy, and safe! These tips are perfect for first time hamster owners. You will learn how to housebreak them, feed them properly, deal with their dirty cages- and more!
1) Consider the breed- Remember some breeds are bigger than others or require different diets. Syrian hamsters are the biggest breed, and require a much larger cage compared to dwarfs. Dwarf hamsters make better pets for children because they are easier to handle.
2) Do not purchase any hamster that seems ill or lethargic or shows any signs of injury. They do not have long life spans and you don’t want them passing away in a day or so. You will want to pick a healthy looking animal! Once you get the hamster home, keep an eye on it for any sign of illness; be sure to take your little friend back if he/she does not seem well.
3) Remember to keep your hamster’s cage clean and odor-free. You may want to consider buying a second cage if you have more than one hamster, so that they can spend time in each others’ cages. Don’t use pine or cedar chips in your hamster’s cage, as these can cause respiratory problems.
4) Avoid any sudden changes in temperature such as keeping his/her habitat in the freezer or refrigerator unless you are cleaning it out.
5) You should not allow children under 8 years old have unsupervised contact with a hamster because they could drop it and injure it, or if the child is unknown to the pet, he/she could scare it. Adults should always supervise children when they interact with pet hamsters.
6) Never leave your hamster unsupervised outside his/her habitat! They can escape and get lost, and are not used to such wide-open spaces. If you do take your hamster outside, only do so in a secure cage; and take care to watch for any signs of stress as they will be out of their element.
7) Remember that a hamster only lives 2-3 years on average so it is important to consider this when deciding if you want to own one. You will want to buy a hamster now not later.
8) Hamsters love to be handled, but they can bite. It is best to keep them in a small cage/container and carry them around while taking care that your hands are outside of the container. This way you won’t get hurt!
9) Always wash your hands after handling your hamster or cleaning out his/her cage. You should also wash their food dishes and water bottles as well. (If you are using plastic toys or carrying cases, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned before putting them back into the habitat. )
10) Make sure to get a good hamster cage for your furry new friend! Good cages should be made out of metal wire and have solid plastic bottoms. Look for one with at least two levels; the more levels the better and make sure both are secured firmly.