How to Take Care of a Pet Hamster
Learn the helpful guides on how to care for hamsters from one of Videojug’s professional experts.
Even though cats and dogs are the most common types of pets not everyone wishes to own one as a pet, especially children. Your child might be dying to have a pet and when you finally bring him or her to the pet store expecting to bring home a puppy they fall in love with a cute little hamster. As much as you do not want to break their little hearts you have no idea how to take care of a hamster, you don’t have to however with this guide you can learn how to take care of a hamster so that you can not only have a happy child but a new little furry member of the family.
Choosing a hamster
If you are your child has decided to get a hamster as a pet then you need to choose a healthy hamster. Here is how you will know if the hamster you have fallen in love with is healthy.
A healthy hamster should have clean ears, clean and dry bottom, a slightly rounded tummy, no bald spots or lumps, clean, black eyes and teeth that are not over grown or curled upwards. It is best to get a hamster that is about 4 weeks old.
To make sure that the hamster is for you ask to hold it and see how it behaves, remember also that a healthy hamster should be active, alert, awake and curious and that hamsters with wet fur are usually sick.
Buying a cage
Make sure that you buy a cage that is big enough and attends to all your hamster’s needs. A glass aquarium cage is best for a hamster as the space between bar cages might be too large and since hamsters love to climb they might escape. If you wish to buy a bar cage however make sure the space between the bars is not more than 1cm. Your cage must be at least 3 feet long and have a lot of floor space for the hamster to run around. The cage will need food, water, toys and an exercise wheel. It is best to use a wire mesh for the lid to ensure that your hamster, a skilled escape artist does not escape from its cage and place the cage in a quiet area in the house to reduce the stress of the hamster. It is also best to have one hamster per cage, as they will fight usually to death or until one is seriously injured.
How to set up the cage
There should be at least three inches of bedding as layer for the cage. It is best to use CareFresh, CritterCare or shredded paper. If you are planning on buying a dwarf hamster then the wheels on the cage should be at least Cm and for a Syrian hamster Cm. Also as mentioned before hamsters are very smart so make sure that there are no escape routes for your hamster, not even at the top as they are very skilled climbers. Make sure that the cage is filled with toys to occupy your hamster or it will end up having unhealthy habits. Toys such as toilet paper rolls, empty tissue boxes, tubes, tunnels, old slippers, chew-able hamster toys, exercise wheel and ball are all great for your hamster. It is also best to rotate the hamster’s toys to make it interesting to your hammy.
Bringing home your hamster
After purchasing your hamster, bring it directly home and place it in its cage and leave it alone for a while so that it gets used to its new surroundings. Have the cage filled with all the hamster’s needs and cover it with a light cloth and leave it for a few days, do not disturb it.
After 2-3 days you may visit the case, speak softly to alert the hamster of your presence let the hamster get to know you when you are changing its soiled bedding, water and changing its toys. Get to know your hamster’s habit, do not disturb it while it’s sleeping.
You can start taming your hamster after a while. Taming sessions should be done when the hamster is most active, place your hand in the cage and let the hamster sniff it. Place treats in your hand, allow the hamster to climb on your hand, knowing they have nothing to fear. Once your hamster has started to make progress you can now slightly lift it out of the cage. It is best to sit on the floor once you have done so in case your hamster gets nervous and decides to leap out of your hand.
Feed your hamster every day, always have water ready (it is best to have water in a dispenser or water bottle). It is best to feed the hamster in earthenware or metal dishes, feed the hamster the same time each day and pellets or block-typed foods are best. Do not feed your hamster with human food and regularly feed it treats. And regularly clean your hamster’s cage.