Caring for your pet hamster


If you have decided to adopt a pet hamster, congratulations! You are in for a beautiful journey with a new best friend. Hamsters might be small, but they certainly have big personalities, each one different from the rest. This guide puts together the key care tips that will make you a good hamster parent.

Housing

Syrian hamsters must live in solitary, whereas Dwarf hamster prefer to live in pairs. Be careful to get male pairs or female pairs though, as a male and female pair will likely breed often, yielding large litters.
You can house your hamster in an aquarium with a wire or mesh top, or purchase a special hamster cage with hideaways and tunnels. These cages are harder to clean as they have many nooks and crannies, but provide a lot of stimulation for your little pet. They can also be quite expensive, depending on the model you purchase. Get the largest cage you can afford to; your hamster will be grateful for the space.
Place your hamster’s new home away from direct sunlight and line with shredded paper or aspen shaving. Make sure you keep a running wheel as they love exercise. Also keep a small enclosed space for him to sleep in. Throw in leftover paper towel tubes for him to play with.

Housekeeping

Change soiled bedding and remove uneaten food and droppings from your pet’s home daily. Change all the bedding and wash the cage or aquarium weekly. You can use warm soapy water or special pet detergent for this.

Food

You can purchase a hamster mix from your local pet store, which will likely contain a mixture of seeds, grains, corn and pellets. You can also give him a few fresh seeds, nuts and vegetable such as carrots and spinach to supplement his diet. Provide water in an inverted bottle with a tube and change it daily.
You will also be able to find hamster treats at the pet store. Give these to your pet occasionally and in moderation.

Health

Your hamsters teeth will grow continuously, so make sure he has a piece of wood or dog biscuit to chew on.

Handling

To get your hamster used to being handled by you, start by giving him hamster treats from your hand. Once he accepts the treats, gently pick him up. Start by holding him for short periods and gradually increase the time.

Exercise

Let your pet out of his cage every day for supervised play. Keep him in an enclosed area that is free from anything he could chew, or alternatively purchase a hamster ball and let him roam to his heart’s content inside it.

Veterinary care

Hamsters are highly susceptible to catching colds from their pet parents so make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before handling your pet, and avoid going near him when you are sick.
If you suspect that your hamster is sick, seek medical attention immediately. A few signs that your pet may indicate of illness are diarrhea, runny nose, weight loss, matted fur and dull eyes.

About The Author-Lana Joseph an entrepreneur and a freelance writer who writes about things that inspires and gets notified to her in society.  At present she writes about society, travel, food habits, niger foods and pet caring.