Owning a hamster can be a very rewarding experience and lead to countless hours of enjoyment; but with it, comes responsibility in the way of proper maintenance and husbandry. In this comprehensive guide, you can read about topics ranging from picking the right pet, finding an appropriately sized cage, selecting safe bedding materials, choosing healthy food options, treating illness and injuries, breeding and carrying for babies and much much more.
Learn how to take care of a hamster by following the information and advice bellow:
There are several breeds and number of colors and coats to choose from these days. But beyond the pure esthetics or the appearance of the hamster, one needs to select a hamster that they can can manage to take care of. Different breeds have different dispositions and different tendencies. If you are a beginner, choose a Syrian or Golden hamster breed; they are probably the most friendly and curious of all the breeds. Some Dwarf species are harder to keep due to their small stature and their skittish and shy behavior. Find out if you are allowed to own small pets in your state.
There are several options for selecting a cage. Each options has its pros and its cons. The best habitats however, are large and spacious. Whether they are made of plastic, metal wire or glass, they key here is to buy the largest home for your pet that you can afford at the time. Get one that you can add on to over time. This will make your hamsters happy and not stir crazy or bored.
Choose your hamster bedding carefully. Some bedding preforms better than others. You can make your own bedding but its better to buy packaged hamster bedding form a local pet store. These usually stand up well to wear and tear and absorb waste rather well. Avoid using cedar chips because of the the combination of urine and cedar wood can be toxic. Pine chips can be toxic too if the wood has been treated with chemicals.
Hamsters like a diet that consists of both plants and protein. Like most small rodents, they do mostly eat plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts but they also occasional like to eat a bug or two. This is the diet they would have in their natural habitat. There are several types of diets that should be considered based on the age and health of your hamster. some older ones can’t handle all the protein and thus should be fed a lower ratio of protein to greens. Additionally, if a hamster has too much greens, fruits or vegetables, it can lead to diarrhea. This would then require a reduction in the amount of these types of foods in their diet.
Hamsters need a lot of space to be happy and several options for exercise. You could never give your pet a cage as large as its natural habitat, so it’s important to provide good care in the way of an exercise wheel, ball, ladders, tubes and tunnels. With a wide range of accessories to keep it occupied and fit, the hamster won’t become stressed from a lack of exercise or stimulation. Other accessories like a sleeping house will also reduce stress as it give them a safe place to hide. Read more about accessories…
A happy and healthy hamster will poke it’s head up and look curiously at you when you open its cage. If it seems to have no interest or cowers in fear, this could be a sign of an illness or a lack of trust. If it’s sleeping, it’s best to slowly wake it up if you want to handle it. Startling a hamster while it slumbers can be very stressful on it. This could lead to getting bitten. However, the most important behavior to be concerned about is any unhealthy repetitive habit. if it keeps running in circles of constantly gnaws on the cage bars, this could be a sign that it doesn’t ave enough stimulation or space to roam around in.
Hamster get sick just like any other living creature. Many of the illnesses are similar to that of what humans can contract. These include things as common as the cold or flu. Treating a sick hamster can require some quality care and potentially a trip to the vet. if you notice a change in behavior of your hamster or notice a change in its physical appearance, there’s a good change your little guy has an illness or injury. Find out more about what might be troubling your hamster.
Author: Tim Winter