Hamster Owner's Guide

Why get a hamster

There are many factors to consider when getting a hamster and there are other commitments aside from just effort and time. The importance of making an informed decision when it comes to getting a hamster exceeds far beyond how small and cute it looks. Take your time to do some research to know what you are getting yourself into. To start off, here are some important points you have to know before jumping ahead with any other decisions.

Providing the best for your hamster

Hamsters are sweet and curious animals. They usually live up to about two to three years.

They have poor eyesight but good hearing and a good sense of smell. Most hamsters are social and can live together happily with same gender pair trios, as long as they have been raised together. Single hamsters that have been raised separately usually do not react well to each other when they are introduced or made to live together. These hamsters will usually fight and may even end up killing each other.

Before you get a hamster, you should take some time to consider if you will be able to provide everything for your hamster to have a happy and active life.

Some future events in your own life that may affect the life of your pet in one way or another include:

  • change in marital status
  • change in place of residence
  • change in employment status
  • pregnancy in the family
  • addition of children in the family
  • overseas posting due to work or other reasons
  • addition of other pets to the household

Budgetary concerns

Having a hamster will require a permanent financial devotion on your part as owner. Even though hamsters have a relatively short life span, the cost of a hamster's necessities does add up over the years and it is important to keep that in mind.

Here are some of the recurring expenses that you may incur for your hamster:

  • Food (dry hamster food mix or fresh vegetables)
  • Veterinary fees and medication
  • Hamster toys and treats
  • Cages and bedding

Time management

Hamsters are nocturnal creatures that sleep during the day and require attention and playtime in the evening. Hamsters that are ignored or not given enough attention end up being unfriendly and lethargic. Their cages need to be cleaned and replaced with fresh bedding on a weekly basis, or every four days, depending on how many hamsters you keep in the cage.

Young children & toddlers

Hamsters do not make the best pets for young children. When compared with other small rodents, they have a higher tendency to bite. In addition, hamsters are not usually known to form close relationships with their owners. Due to their small size, hamsters are not the most suitable pet for cuddling or rough play. Young children may be too rough with these tiny creatures and this may cause the hamster to bite in self-defence. Lastly, hamsters are most active at night and since most children have early bedtimes this may not be convenient.

Fur allergies

Being allergic to fur does not mean that it is the end of the line for animal lovers suffering from this natural condition. The allergies are caused by the allergens secreted by the oil glands, dander (dead skin cells), saliva and urine. There are some measures you can take to reduce the probability of allergic reactions. When choosing a hamster, you can opt for breeds that are not long haired. Other measures that can you take to lessen your allergies would be to keep your hamsters cage clean and brush your hamster gently with a toothbrush to remove loose hair.