Hamsters are popular pets. They come in different species and each one of them has special and distinctive features, so their future owner must know the choices they have before choosing the right one. Certain hamsters also cannot cohabit in the same cage, while others are better off having a companion. So beware of the type of hamster you choose if you want to buy more than one. Following, you will find some important things you should know about hamsters.
1. Species of pet hamsters
Even though there are about 25 species of hamsters (the number may vary due to classification), only five species of hamsters can be kept as pets. The most common are:
Syrian hamster, also known as golden hamster
Roborovski hamster, also known as Desert hamster Robo
Chinese hamster, also known as rat hamster
Campbell’s Dwarf hamster, also known as Russian dwarf
Winter White Russian dwarf hamster or Siberian hamster
2. Choosing a healthy hamster
Hamsters in a pet shop are not all healthy. Moving from the breeder to the store can prove to be a particularly stressful process for hamster babies and they may get sick. You need to learn how to choose a healthy hamster and what to watch after taking it home. The younger hamsters are better and more friendly. Choose a lively hamster that has no wet butt or tears. If the cage in which the hamster lives seems to have some sick hamsters, it is best to avoid buying from it because hamster diseases are highly contagious.
3. Cages and supplies
There are many cage options available online and in pet shops. Some cages, however, are better than others. Several cages (such as those with colorful tubes) may look beautiful but are not particularly functional since they are difficult to clean. Some others do not offer any good living conditions for hamsters. The breeds of the smaller hamsters have different cage requirements than the Syrian hamsters.
So what you need to prepare your hamster cage is the bottom material, the water bottle, the toys that your four-legged friend will chew in order to keep their teeth healthy and, of course the wheel. Find out exactly what you need before you buy your hamster or make sure you have it before you bring in your new “roommate”. There is a wide variety of toys. The pet shop will help you with that.
4. Choosing the proper wheel for its size!
Hamster wheel is one of the most important hamster toys for the very simple reason that your cute hamster gives vent to its energy through the wheel! And because, it is a rodent…and rodents run for miles in search for food!!! This is their nature. Be sure the wheel is the correct size for your hamster – the pet shop will help you on this – and it’s also advisable to avoid the metal wheel because there is the danger for your hamster to get stuck on the ladder-like bars of the wheel. It’s safer to choose a plastic wheel, to avoid injuries.
5. Hamsters are nocturnal animals!
I suppose you haven’t thought about it yet but the truth is that your cute hamster may be a headache during nights as they tend to be very quiet during day (they sleep) and, their activity begins after 7 PM and can last until 6 AM! Actually, hamsters can be particularly noisy during night, running on their hamster wheel as much as 8 Km! So, be prepare to hear the hamster wheel running all night long…
6. Hamster Nutrition
Pet shops offer ready-to-eat food – but that does not mean it suffices. Proper hamster diet should also include protein, fresh fruit and vegetables.
7. Train your hamster
Yes, it’s true! Hamsters can be trained to behave nicely. Don’t forget that they are rodents, so if your hamster bites you, it’s probably because it got scared! Learn how not to scare it, let it to get it to climb in your hand and gain its confidence.
8. Do not breed hamsters
Hamsters should not be hatched by owners and amateurs but by responsible professionals. It is of utmost importance to understand that rodents, such as your hamster, may develop and carry serious and highly contagious diseases. Nevertheless, accidents happen … and if you have both a male and a female hamster in the same cage, you can find yourself with a hamster baby! In this case, it would be advisable to visit a vet, since he has the knowledge to tell you how to properly treat the newborn and tell what precautions you should take in order to minimize any health dangers!