Can a Dwarf Hamster Make a Good Pet?

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If you're looking for a great little pet that does not take up lots of space nor eat you out of house and home, then it's hard to beat the cute and lovable dwarf hamster. They're very clean animals that maintain themselves quite well when given the proper environment and essentials. They're also quiet, affectionate, extremely entertaining and unlike the canine alternative, you'll never have to walk them in the rain.

Dwarf hamsters, also known as "pocket pets", exist as several different species in the wild, however those suitable as pets generally represent just four of the different hamster types that are typically friendly and easy to care for. The most common pet store variety is the Dwarf Campbell's Russian hamster, also known as Djungarian hamsters. These are the larger of the dwarf hamster species reaching a length of around four inches. Their color is generally gray to grayish-brown with a black stripe running along the spine.

Second on the list of popular dwarfs is the Winter White Russian dwarf hamster, also known as the Siberian hamster. Their natural coloration is a brown-black pattern, as well as "pearl", which is mostly white with a mixture of gray. The unique character, by which it gets its name, is the ability in the wild, to change color to nearly all white when the temperatures drop during the colder periods of winter. Other features include a length of 3 to 4 inches, fur covered feet and a tail that's so tiny it disappears when in the sitting position.

The third most commonly found species is the Roborovski dwarf hamster, a name derived from its discoverer, Vsevolod Roborovski, while on expedition to China in 1894. These little creatures are the smallest of the three Russian dwarf hamsters stretching out at little more than two inches . They're very active, lightening fast and consequentially difficult to handle, especially for youngger children. Two features that set them apart from the other dwarfs are first of all their longer legs, which accounts for their quickness, and the lack of a vertical stripe along the spine. They have a great temperament and rarely bite.

The last of the popular dwarfs is the Chinese Dwarf hamster, which is considered a dwarf because of its size, but in fact is not related to the other dwarf hamster species. Native to southern China, these little rodents have a body type that's similar to a mouse or a rat, an inch-long hairless tail, and reaches a length of about four inches. Better known as the Striped Chinese hamster, the color most commonly found is a darker brown with black stripe down the spine and ivory white on the underbelly. They are generally aggressive towards their cage mates, but good natured with humans and seldom bite.

Dwarf hamsters require a degree of care and maintenance that's similar to other small mammals, with including an exceptionally sized and secure hamster cage or aquarium, safe bedding and nesting materials, toys to chew on, a water bottle and nutritious snacks and high quality food. Additionally, a safe hamster wheel or ball is essential, as it will provide a means for the high degree of physical activity necessary to maintain optimum health.

Dwarf hamsters are no different than any other pet, in that do require some degree of responsible care, but you should decide to buy a hamster dwarf, you'll quickly discover that the rewards are worth every ounce of effort and minute of your time.

Copyright 2010 Walter Tekman. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share the entire contents of this article with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, including this notice.

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Source by Walter Tekman

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