Guide to Keeping Hamsters
Hamsters are popular pets for children and adults alike. They are small rodents that typically live for two to three years. The benefits of them are that they are cute so kids will love them and they are inexpensive to purchase and also to maintain as they don’t consume huge amounts of food like a dog can.
If you are thinking of buying a hamster or hamsters, have a read of the below.
Hamsters Need the Following, as per the ISPCA
- To have a peaceful daytime nap.
- Predictable lighting schedules: Keep them in a space where the lights are kept on during regular hours and are only on until late at night.
- There is lots of room to play and work out at night. Wild hamsters may run up to 5 miles per day and are typically active at twilight and at night.
- They can exercise using a running wheel, but this shouldn’t be your main source of enrichment for them. Wheels must have a large diameter and be of high quality, like those made for rats. They must have a sturdy construction, be devoid of axles, and ideally have a non-slip surface. If your hamster experiences sore feet while utilising the wheel, consult your veterinarian for help.
- A substantial layer of litter in which they can dig and build burrows (learn more in our article on hamster home cages).
- When letting your hamster out of its cage after they have grown accustomed to it, always keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t wander off or cause trouble. Make sure your hamster is protected from other pets, such as a dog or cat, if you have any. Never leave your hamster alone in the cage overnight or unattended.
See Full Details on our Ham House Hamster Home Here
Here are some tips on how to keep hamsters as pets
- Choose a healthy hamster: Not every hamster in the pet store is in optimal health. Moving from a breeder or supplier to a pet store can be stressful for hamsters, so it’s important to choose a healthy one.
- Provide them with a clean cage with adequate space: Pet hamsters should be kept in a clean cage with adequate space. Hamsters — especially dwarf hamsters — have a tendency to burrow.
- Provide them with dust-extracted bedding: Hamsters are sensitive to dust and can develop respiratory problems if exposed to too much of it.
- Feed them a balanced diet: Hamsters require a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as commercial hamster food.
- Monitor their health: Owners should monitor hamsters for any growths, check their teeth for dental disease, and check their rear ends for fecalbuildup or urine staining. Hamsters typically keep themselves clean and do not require additional bathing with soap and water, unless instructed to do so by your vet.
- Keep them isolated from other pets: If you have other pets at home, it’s important to keep your hamster isolated from them5.