Dwarf Hamster Care
The Dwarf Hamster is affectionately called a Pocket Pet, a term used for companion animals so small, they can fit in your pocket! These small animals are originally native to the exotic and desert areas of Northern China, Manchuria, Mongolia and Siberia, understandably why they are referred to as Desert Hamsters.
There are several different species of Dwarf hamsters and they all make wonderful pets. Each species is unique in appearance, size, temperament and personality. Four of the most popular types are: 1. Roborovskii hamster 2. Djungarian hamster 3. Siberian hamster 4. Chinese hamster
Although they are smaller then their Syrian cousins, they require the same amount of care.
Dwarf hamsters are often more delicate, skittish, and quicker to make an escape. Because of their small size, it allows them to squeeze into small cracks and spaces and therefore require a secure enclosure. Hamsters make their homes in tunnels that they dig themselves in the sand and dirt of their native homelands.
In the home environment, Dwarfs can thrive in the plastic tubular habitats that are readily available at most pet supply stores. Because of their tiny size, hamster habitats are often too big for the Dwarf Hamster to climb and maneuver around in properly.
Luckily, they now make tubular habitats that are built on a smaller scale and custom for mice. This types of enclosures is better suited for the dwarf hamsters. Another alternative is a 10-20 gallon tank which they can habit well in. When looking at cages, often the wires are too far apart making for an easy escape.
The Dwarf Hamsters are naturally very active creatures and having a wheel specifically made for their size is important. One study found that a hamster can run up to five miles on their wheels! Opportunity to exercise on their wheels is very important.
To satisfy their borrowing instincts a dust free and absorbent substrate like wood shavings placed on the bottom of their cage. Never use wood shaving that are pine or cedar based as this can lead to respiratory problems for the Dwarf Hamster.
Their cage should be completely emptied, cleaned and substrate replaced weekly. Hamster are big nesters and enjoy making nest out of their substrates. You can give them some additional nest material like tissues, paper towels, cotton and shredded paper. A small box would be appreciated as they are often shy and would provide additional privacy.
Dwarf hamsters eat as much as the larger Syrian hamster because of their high metabolism. They eat different types of pellets, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables. A regular and fresh supply of food and water is required.
As hamsters teeth never stop growing it is important also to provide chewing toys. Preferably soft wooden toys, as plastic toys can become rough, broken and could injure them.
The joy of owning a dwarf hamster far out weighs the maintenance and effort that needs to be put into the care of these amazing creatures.
Source by Kym Sutherland