Hamsters are amazing and intelligent pets that can be loved by all ages. I’m assuming that since you clicked on the article you are either curious about hamsters or planning to adopt the wonderful rays of sunshine and fun that they are. You probably have a myriad of questions: in this article, I’ve addressed the main things that you should get before getting a pet hamster and recommended some useful products/items at the end. Never fear, by the end of this article you will know about the seven things you need to care for your pet hamster and your excitement levels should be through the roof!
The first major decision is to decide whether your hamster would prefer a bar cage or a tank style cage. The cage that you pick for your hamster has to be as large as possible to give your hamster space to run around and play. From past experience, I noticed that the bar cages made it easier for my pet to breathe since they had better ventilation. However, the disadvantage is that your hamster may try to chew the bars and that can ruin it or bear an annoying sound.
Check the size of your cage and make sure your hamster will have enough space – this is essential as the type of hamster you get can determine the type of cage he needs. If you can’t get a large cage, be sure to allow your hamster out to exercise each day. You must ensure that your hamster cannot escape – do not underestimate your hamster’s ability to figure out a way to escape.
When choosing the correct bedding for your small pet, you should steer clear of wooden shavings like pine and cedar as they can be harmful to your hamster since they have the potential to affect your hamster’s respiratory system.
If you prefer wooden bedding, aspen is the safest but the most preferred choice is paper or tissue – the added benefit is that it’s easily accessible and cheaper than buying wooden bedding.
Bedding can be cleared out weekly but remember to keep a handful of your hamsters bedding so that you don’t eliminate the original smell of your hamster and make him uncomfortable. Your hamster might feel as if he’s in a new home which can be unsettling.
Could you imagine eating the same food day after day, week after week? No? I didn’t think so, the next tip is that you should offer your hamster a wide variety of food. However, try to be slightly consistent as a sudden change may make your hamster uncomfortable.
I recommend pellet food instead of loose food mixes; they ensure that your pet’s diet remains balanced instead of him being able to pick out his least favourite parts.
The occasional fruit and vegetable is okay for your hamster – just be aware of which ones they can and can’t have. For example, (washed) fruits and vegetables like mango, peaches and tiny pieces of bananas are fine but almonds, potatoes, large amounts of tomatoes, spicy foods and more can be harmful to your hamster. Do your research!
Make sure you remove any uneaten food after a few hours to prevent it from spoiling.
Hamsters need a water bottle instead of a water bowl to reduce the change of getting their fur wet and getting the chills.
Make sure you get a water bottle that works well with your cage; a water bottle that can be attached to the side is more suitable for bar cages. For tank cages, I recommend buying one that can hang from the top.
When placing your water bottle, make sure you keep your furry friend in mind; make sure that he can reach it or else your hamster won’t be able to drink.
Hamsters are smart small pets so obviously they are going to need some stimulation to prevent them from going crazy – we all need something to do. Hamster wheels allow your little guy to run around when he can’t get out of his cage and keeps him healthy.
Choose a hamster wheel that doesn’t make a lot of noise – hamsters are nocturnal so you don’t want a noisy wheel keeping you up at night.
Tip: You can try putting a bit of vegetable oil around the axis to limit the noise.
The wheel must be big enough to prevent your hamster from having to bend his back to run on it – the bigger the better to avoid spinal issues in the future. Try to avoid wheels that risk your hamster getting stuck.
Toys and Things to Chew On
Hamsters tend to have long teeth which need maintenance – chewing on food just won’t do it.
Buying a wooden toy can give your hamster something to do and will stop you from being irritated by the sounds of a cute hamster gnawing away at his cage.
My hamsters are fascinated by the strange but entertaining cardboard tubes that are also known as toilet/kitchen roll tubes.
Hamster Balls are useful when it’s that time of the week when you begin the sometimes daunting task of cleaning out your furry friend’s cage. They allow your pet to roam around the room without getting stuck in small places.
Remember these rules when it comes to Hamster Balls:
- Make sure your hamster ball is large enough to avoid back issues that can be caused by having a small cage.
- Small Pets Guru recommends to keep your hamsters free time to a maximum of 30 minutes to avoid them getting weak.
- Avoid dropping your hamster ball from high places.
Sand baths are another method of keeping your hamster clean without risking their health. Plus, it’s really fun for your hamster and they happen to look really cute when rolling around having the time of their lives in the sand – it’s probably as close to the full beach experience they will get.
You can buy large containers to put your sand in or you could sacrifice a bowl you won’t miss from your kitchen and fill it up. I recommend changing the sand every few days because your hamster may use it as a toilet too.
Hamsters, like humans, love to have a comfy environment where they can sleep. Along with the bedding, tissue paper makes your hamster’s nest a nice place to be.
Try putting some tissue paper in your hamsters cage and watch as he rips it up to shreds. This is indispensable because if your hamster has a comfortable bed, they will sleep better and therefore live a longer and healthier life.
Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out some of the basics that your new friend will need. A hamster who has the correct equipment will most likely be a happy hamster and will treat you nicely. At Small Pets Guru, we put small pets first and we hope that your hamster will have the most fulfilling life possible.