Hamster Care 101

Are you considering getting a hamster? Perhaps your child has been asking for a pet, or maybe you want a furry friend that is easy to care for and doesn’t need much room. Hamsters can make wonderful pets! These adorable furballs are pretty easy keepers, but, just like any other pet, they do need proper care to stay happy and healthy. Below, a Crown Point, IN vet discusses basic hamster care.

Habitat

Hammie will spend most of his time inside his cage, so make sure it’s comfortable for him. It’s not difficult to make a hamster luxury mansion. Start by getting a cage or tank that is at least 360 square inches, and offers good ventilation. Next, add a few inches of a suitable substrate. Aspen is a good choice. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, which are toxic to hamsters. Your cute pet will also need nesting material, such as shredded tissue paper; a hidey-hole; a water bottle; and toys. Set your furry pal’s new home in a quiet area, where he can see and hear you but isn’t completely isolated. Hamsters have specific temperature requirements, so pick a room that always stays between 65 and 75°F.

Diet

A proper hamster diet is based on commercial hamster food, which would be supplemented with fresh produce. Hamsters are notorious for stashing their favorite snacks, and then begging for more food. Don’t fall for this: you could end up with a chubby hamster on your hands! Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including suitable treats and safe and unsafe foods.

Entertainment

Make sure your adorable pet has lots of fun toys. Hamsters really like mazes and labyrinths. They also enjoy exercise wheels. Just be sure to avoid wire wheels, which can be dangerous. You’ll also want to offer little Hammie several chew toys, such as wood, wicker, cardboard, and paper items. For safety reasons, don’t give your pint-sized pet anything coated with varnish, paint, or dye, or items that have sharp edges or small pieces.

Handling

Spend time with Hammie regularly. Pet him, play with him, and talk to him, so he feels safe, loved, and happy. When handling your tiny furball, avoid picking him up from behind or when he’s asleep, as this could really scare the little guy.

Do you have questions or concerns about your hamster? Contact us, your Crown Point, IN animal hospital, anytime!

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