Choosing the Right Hamster for You and Your FamilyHamsters are loved as pets around the world by young and old alike. Their cute antics and playful nature make them a popular choice for a family pet. The average hamster lives anywhere from one to three years, so when considering a hamster as a pet for a child it is important to keep this in mind. Coping with the loss of a pet hamster can be a sad yet important life lesson for a young child, and in the meantime they can learn responsibility while they care for the daily needs of their pet hamster.
The two most common pet hamsters are the Syrian hamster and the Dwarf hamster. The Syrian hamster has been bred into many different types that go by several different names: Teddy Bear hamster, Golden hamster, and Fancy hamster to name a few. A fully grown Syrian hamster can reach about seven inches in length, with the females being just a touch larger than the males. The most important thing to remember about Syrian hamsters is that they''re extremely territorial, so you must only ever have one Syrian hamster per cage. They will fight to the death if housed with another Syrian hamster!
Dwarf hamsters are smaller, and most importantly, can share a cage with other Dwarf hamsters without fights breaking out. Dwarf hamsters are a popular choice as they tend to be quite tame and friendly as long as you handle them correctly.
When taking your hamster home it''s important to remember that hamsters are extremely susceptible to stress, so you want to make the journey to their new home as pleasant as possible. A pet store will typically give you a small cardboard box to carry your hamster home with, but if possible you should bring a larger container filled with hay and some hamster food.
You should buy and prepare your hamster cage before heading out to get your hamster so that when you return to your house his home is ready and waiting for him. Be sure to get the essentials such as bedding and nesting material, a food dish, a water bottle, and some toys. Having all of this prepared will drastically reduce the stress on your hamster.
If you choose a wire cage for your hamster make sure that the distance between the wires is no more than half a centimeter or else your hamster can squeeze right through!
The location of your hamster cage is just as important as the type of cage you choose. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures and so they sleep during the day. They''ll need some peace and quiet during daylight hours, so don''t put their cage next to a blaring TV set! Hamsters are also very susceptible to temperature changes, so keep them away from direct sunlight or drafts. And even though they''re in a cage, having a cat or dog tormenting them all day long will lead to a very stressed-out hamster. If you already have other pets please keep this in mind when deciding on a location for your hamster cage.
Hamsters are naturally quite clean creatures, but even so you''ll need to clean the cage about once a week. The hamster will need to be removed from the cage while you do this, so it''s a great opportunity for him to get some playtime in a hamster ball. Throw away all the old bedding material and replace it with fresh material. Use a light disinfectant as any strong smells left behind by your cleaning will upset your hamster, and make sure that the cage is completely dry before you put the new bedding material back in the cage.
Visit the Hamster-Zone website for even more detailed information on hamster care, hamster diet, hamster cages, and much, much more. Learn important tips on how to keep your hamster healthy and happy, including proper diet, care, and cage enrichment.