Today’s post is a guest post by Amy Green from www.hamsterhappy.co.uk
Today’s blog is answering the questions – ‘do hamsters make good pets?’ And the main answer is that they absolutely do! Hamsters are a cheap and cute pet that is low maintenance and low cost. Of course, if you want a pet to get you out and about then a dog is perfect. But for someone who wants a house pet to look after and spend time with then hamsters are perfect.
Are hamsters good for kids?
Hamsters are particularly great pets for children because they teach them responsibility and hamsters are usually friendly as long as they have been handled and trained from a young age. Remember that young children should be supervised when looking after and handling hamsters. Also, the welfare of a hamster should never be left 100% to a child – there should always be an adult available to check that the pet has everything it needs and to check on the health of the pet and pay vets bills.
Also, remember that they are nocturnal and so they need to be exercised early in the morning or later on in the evening (not the middle of the day when kids come home from school!). They are likely to be running around the cage at night time and could keep kids awake, so make sure that you get a silent hamster wheel.
Hamsters are Good Value Pets
You can pick up a master for a couple of pounds – they are not expensive. You will find yourself spending more money on the cage and setup. Some hamster essentials that you will need are a cage, wheel (for exercise), a house/bed, a hamster toilet, and a food bowl and water bottle. You can expect to spend anything from around £30 to £100 on the setup of your hamster’s cage, depending on what you want and what your budget is.
You will also need to set yourself up with basic supplies including bedding, sawdust (for the bottom of the cage), hamster mix, and hamster treats such as sunflower seeds.
What do hamsters eat?
A classic hamster mix will include a variety of nuts and seeds for your hamster. If you want to know what to buy to stock up then check out this hamster food list. There are other treats that you can give to your hamsters such as cherry tomatoes, spinach, and raisins. It’s important to learn what hamsters can and cannot eat because some foods and nuts are toxic to hamsters such as almonds. Some nuts are ok for hamsters but only in small quantities such as peanuts (because they have a very high salt content).
Are Hamsters friendly?
Most hamsters are friendly, but they always need to be trained and handled from early on otherwise they can be fearful which leads to aggression. Hamsters should not be touched when they are newborn and with their mother. At around 3-4 weeks hamsters go to their adoptive homes and it’s important to get them used to be handled gently straight away. Do this in stages…
- First, put your hand into the cage to put in food and treats – do this a few times.
- Then stroke your hamster gently on the back without startling him.
- You can allow your hamster to approach your hand to take goodies such as sunflower seeds.
- Next, get your hamster used to sit on your hand in the cage
- Once your hamster is used to you and no longer scared you can start to gently take him out of the cage.
Remember not to make any sudden movements when attempting to handle your new hamster – this could startle him and this is when they might bite.
What are the Benefits of owning a Hamster?
Hamsters are really fun pets to own. In their natural habitat, they would run for miles in the desert and so it is great fun watching them exercise. You can get a hamster ball or playpen for them to go running outside of the cage.
Many friendly hamsters like to run up and down your arm! It’s also fun watching them take food and stuff their cheeks which have pouches – and also unstuff them!
Hamsters are also great at labyrinths and mazes. You can buy hamster mazes online or DIY your own hamster maze using cereal boxes and cardboard kitchen rolls! It really is great fun.
Caring for your Hamster
The most important thing that you will need to do is clean out your hamster’s cage on a regular basis which needs to be at least once a week, possibly twice a week for larger cages. If you leave it too long the cage will start to smell and it will become an uncomfortable environment for your hamster. You will need to empty your hamster’s little tray or hamster toilet every couple of days. Food and water will need to be checked and topped up daily. Never leave your hamster without food or water supply.
Which Breeds are Popular?
Syrian Hamsters also are known as Golden Hamsters are probably the most popular breed. In my opinion, they are the cutest and friendliest! Some people also like to own Roborovski and Russian or Chinese dwarf hamsters. With dwarf hamsters, you need to be careful about the cage size. Because some dwarf hamsters are really tiny, you need to make sure that they cannot escape through the bars.
How long do hamsters live for?
A hamster’s life expectancy is around 2 years, but it will vary with the breed. Generally, there will be infrequent vets trips if your hamster is in good health. Sadly cancers are much more difficult to treat in hamsters due to their size and difficulty of surgery and so your hamster gets ill sadly his life may get cut short. But usually, your hamster will have relatively few health problems.
Do hamsters make good pets?
So, do hamsters make good pets? We think they do! As you have seen there are many advantages of owning a hamster as a pet including fun interactive time together and little maintenance other than cleaning out. Remember to exercise your hamster and keep him topped up with everything he needs and you will enjoy owning a hamster as a pet! Check out our blog for other tips on keeping your hamster happy.
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