Below are a few considerations to keep in mind before petting a hamster:
1. Environmental Safety
One of the most important considerations to put in mind is the environment of the hamster. Living with multiple pets can offer you benefits, but you should also know the cons.
If you have other animals at home, you must think about the welfare of the hamsters and the other animals. Some animals view hamsters as prey and thus, you might be putting the hamster in danger, or worse, get it killed by other companion animals. Before you welcome a pet hamster, consider reading some useful tips on how to live with multiple pets.
How to Create a Comfortable Environment for Your Hamster
1. Find a place where they can rest peacefully. This could be any dry or quiet place. Put in mind that hamsters need drought-free conditions and a clean space.
2. Avoid random hours of lighting. Hamsters are very sensitive to bright sunlight. It is better to go off the lights at the same time each night.
3. Hamsters are sensitive to high frequency sounds. That said, it’s better to house hamsters away from sound emitting home appliances.
4. Make sure to put enough bedding and nesting material for your hamster. Be careful in choosing a nesting material because there are materials that can get easily separated into thin strands. These thin strands can be a choking hazard for hamsters.
5. Hamsters need appropriate durable and spacious cages. They are great escape artists, that’s why you need to choose a cage that does not have huge holes.
2. Veterinarian Accessibility
Many people do not know that hamsters are considered “exotic animals” that need specialized veterinary care. When hamsters get ill, most of the owners unconsciously prolong their agony. They do not know that their pets are already in dire need of medical assistance, which they cannot provide right away because of the scarcity of vets that specialize in hamster care.
3. Hamster Species
To provide your pet hamster a proper and sustainable care, you should know what species he belongs. A hamster’s characteristics and abilities vary by species. That’s why knowing what species your pet belongs will help you in better raising and caring for him.
Recommended Hamster Species That Can Be Raised as Pets
1. Chinese Hamster
It is usually called dwarf hamster due to its size. However, Chinese hamsters are not actually dwarf hamsters. This species is not as common as others and are hard to find at pet stores.
As its name suggests, this hamster species comes from China and Mongolia. Although it is nocturnal, it may sometimes be active at day. Because of its size, it could be a real challenge to raise it as a pes, especially if you have children at home. Since it is known to be an active species, you will need a large cage for it.
2. Dwarf Hamster
This is the most common type of hamster species. The Roborovskis and Russians are among them. While they are often confused to as Chinese hamsters, they can be easily distinguished because they are smaller in size and are more sociable. In addition, unlike others hamsters that are territorial, dwarf hamsters usually live in pair or small groups.
Dwarf hamsters are easier to handle and require a little care. With just the necessary items like food and water, a clean and dry cage, and an outlet for exercise, you can properly raise them.
3. Syrian Hamster
This hamster species usually comes in different color variations. However, the most popular Syrian hamster color is the one with golden variations. This hamster species is easy to tame. Among other species, Syrian hamsters are the easiest to handle even among kids.
4. Life Span
The expected life span hamsters also vary according to its species. But on average, they can live approximately up to 2 years. The Roborovski hamster and the Chinese hamster are among those that live longer than expected.
According to records, they can live up to 2.5 to 3 years. Syrian and Dwarf Campbells, and Russian hamsters, on the other hand, are among those that only live within their maximum life expectancy which is around 2 to 2.5 years.
5. Hamsters Are Easily Frightened.
Since hamsters do not have good eyesight, they perceive danger using their other senses. In most cases, they just bite anything when they are caught off guard. It’s their defense mechanism. Though hamsters are known to nip, know that this behavior can be trained.
How to Stop Hamsters from Biting
What you really need is patience. To stop them from biting, your hamster should trust you. You need patience because earning his/her trust is a slow journey. But as long as you get his/her trust, then everything else will follow.
6. Hamsters Are Nocturnal.
Hamsters are nocturnal creatures that mostly stay up at dusk and sleeps at dawn. That is the reason why many children get frustrated when wanting to play with hamsters at broad daylight. Then again, not all hamsters are the same. Some have this odd early morning routine which may cause disturbance to their guardians.
Of course, you can help your hamsters adjust to your schedule. Let your hamster get used to you first. Do not be discouraged too quickly. It may take a month for a hamster to trust his/her guardian. Sitting by the cage and talking to him/her may be a great help to earn his or her trust.
7. Hamsters Are Escape Artists.
Hamsters are intelligent creatures and they can easily escape from their cage. They can flatten their bodies, allowing them to fit within the smallest hole or narrowest openings and cracks.
So, do you think you are now ready to raise a pet hamster? Let us know!