Hamsters are adorable little creatures that make great pets. They are playful, curious, and can bring a lot of joy to your life. But taking care of a hamster involves more than just providing them with food and water. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about caring for your furry friend.
Behaviour – What do I need to do?
Dwarf hamsters are known for their nocturnal behavior, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of activities and space to explore during the night. Wooden or cardboard tubes and tunnels are great for keeping them entertained, and a solid wheel attached securely to the cage will allow them to burn off energy. Make sure the wheel has no open rungs to prevent their feet from getting trapped.
Shelters and tubes also give dwarf hamsters a place to hoard food, just like they would in the wild. Deep bedding is essential for them to dig in, and wooden gnawing toys help keep their teeth healthy. Additionally, a secure hamster playpen filled with toys and hiding places can provide exercise outside of the cage, but always supervise them while they’re in the playpen.
Syrian hamsters also have specific needs to keep them happy and healthy. Providing opportunities for them to chew, hide, climb, explore, dig, and forage stimulates their natural behavior. Shelters and tubes can be used as hideaway holes for food, and a deep layer of bedding allows them to dig.
Like dwarf hamsters, Syrians are active at night, so they need plenty of space and things to explore. Wooden or cardboard tubes and tunnels are great for keeping them entertained, and a solid wheel attached securely to the cage allows them to burn off energy. Ensure the wheel has no open rungs to prevent any potential foot trapping.
A hamster playpen filled with toys, hiding places, and tubes can provide exercise outside of the cage in the evening, but always closely supervise them.
Did you know? Hamsters can sometimes run the equivalent of four to eight miles in an evening!
How to handle me
When you first bring your dwarf hamsters home, give them a day or two to acclimate to their new surroundings without disturbance. Check on them regularly to ensure they are behaving normally and have everything they need.
Start by talking quietly to your hamsters, allowing them to get used to your voice. Introduce your hand into the cage and offer a treat. Over time, your hamster may climb onto your hand, but be patient. Handling them gently using cupped hands will help build their confidence and maintain your bond.
Remember to handle dwarf hamsters in the evening when they are naturally awake. Hold them over a table or close to the floor to prevent any falling accidents. Children should always be closely supervised. Hamsters are sensitive to rough handling, so be gentle to earn their trust.
Never wake a dwarf hamster abruptly and pick him/her up – this could frighten your animal, and he/she may react by biting you.
Similarly, give your Syrian hamster a day or two to adjust to their new surroundings without disturbance. Talk quietly to your hamster to help them become familiar with your voice. Introduce your hand into the cage and offer a treat. With patience, your hamster may climb onto your hand.
Regularly handling your hamster will build their confidence and strengthen your bond. However, never wake them abruptly to handle them, as it can frighten them and cause a defensive reaction. It’s best to handle your hamster in the evening when they are naturally awake. Always handle them over a table or close to the floor to prevent any accidents, and ensure that children are closely supervised.
Keeping me clean
Cleaning your hamster’s cage is an essential part of proper care. Thoroughly clean the cage once a week using an animal-safe disinfectant. If your dwarf hamsters have a specific area they use as a toilet, that area may need to be cleaned more frequently.
Hamster-sized litter trays are available to make cleaning easier. However, cleaning can be stressful for hamsters since they use scent to communicate their territory. To keep your hamster happy, place a small amount of used but dry bedding and nesting material back into the cage after cleaning.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your hamster is happy, healthy, and well cared for. Remember, hamsters are small but require attention and care just like any other pet. Enjoy the journey with your furry friend!