When choosing a hamster, always choose one with bright looking eyes and dry fur. If these aspects are not present, you could be buying a sick pet. A healthy hamster will have bright eyes, smooth fur and a robust body structure. Hamsters sleep most of the day, so the evening is a good time to shop for a hamster. Hamsters are very shy; so don’t be put off by timid ones. Eventually, hamsters can be tamed.
There are two types of hamsters that you’ll find at most pet stores.
Housing Your Hamster
It is relatively easy to house a hamster. There are several different cage options to choose from, all fairly inexpensive. The wire cage, the glass aquarium and the plastic expandable tube habitats are all good choices. Any reputable pet store selling hamsters should carry at least one of these cages.
There are several items that you will need to equip your hamster cage. An exercise wheel is a great thing to have to give your hamster exercise. A water bottle is vital – just make sure that your hamster can reach it. Bedding is important; pine shavings are the most popular type. Lastly, a sturdy food bowl should complete your hamsters’ new environment.
Regardless of the house that you choose, your hamster’s cage should be cleaned out every week. Bedding should be changed, and any urine or feces washed out with mild soap and rinsed very well with water.
Feeding Your Hamster
There are many commercial hamster diets available. They contain various seeds, pellets and a number of other items necessary for your hamster’s health. Commercially prepared diets ensure proper nutrition for your hamster. It is possible to supplement your hamster’s diet with a variety of treats. Your little critter will appreciate apples, carrots, greens, grapes, celery, cilantro and various other fruits and vegetables. It is advisable to give your hamster only small quantities of these items, as too many can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can be fatal to hamsters.
Your hamster should be fed fresh food every day. Also, the water bottle should be rinsed and filled daily.
Exercise and Play
Hamsters need plenty of exercise. An exercise wheel should be adequate for keeping your hamster entertained. However, some people construct mazes and exercise areas to keep their hamsters from getting bored. If you do this, just make sure these areas are escape proof.
When you first bring your hamster home, it is important to let him rest and get used to his new environment. Too much stimuli right away can cause stress. Slowly handling your hamster will allow him to assimilate to his surroundings.
Grooming and Care
It is not necessary to groom your hamster. Hamsters will usually groom themselves. If your hamster’s coat becomes untidy, it may be indicative of health problems. It is a good idea to take your pet to your veterinarian if this occurs. Make sure that, when transporting your hamster, you put him in a chew proof container.
When handling a hamster, always be sure to go slowly. You should always pick him up gently, with both hands. The more tamed the hamster is, the easier it is to pick up. Eventually, your hamster will jump into your hand.