Dwarf Hamster Care – A Pocket Pet For You?
Dwarf Hamsters come in a variety of species and all are delightful to have as pets. You might think that because dwarf hamsters are smaller than their Syrian counterpart, they must require less care. But surprisingly, that is not so. They require the same care if not a little more because of their smaller size.
Due to their nature, dwarf hamsters are quicker to escape to a hiding place. Their small size makes them more elaborate to handle. Truly a pocket pet and lots of fun to play with and train. Because of their small size, it's easy for them to slip into small cracks and crevices. Here is their cage must be safe and secure. In their natural habitat hamsters make their homes by burrowing into the dirt and sand. But in the environment of your home, you'll be quite happy in the plastic tubing that can be bought at standard pet supply stores. Here again the tiny size of the dwarf hamster calls for special consideration as he may find it difficult to navigate and climb the mormal size tubular habitat. Happily a smaller size tubing made specifically for mice is now available and is just perfect for dwarf hamsters. A ten to twenty gallon tank or fine wire cage will serve just fine as a home for your pet. Bacause hamsters are such busy little creatures, you should plan to have a wheel in their cage for them to run on. A recent study revealed that the average hamster will run as far as 5 miles on this wheel. And as you would guess, there is a scaled down version for the dwarf hamster.
Because of their natural digging instincts, your hamster will need a layer of material on the bottom of the cage that will allow him to burrow. This is called a substrate. Just make sure that the chosen material is dust free such as wood shavings. However it's well to avoid pine or cedar type products as these can cause respiratory problems for your pet. Each week you'll need to completely replace the substrate material. While your hamster will rearrange some of the substrate to form nests, you may provide some other material such as tissues, paper towel, shredded paper or even cotton for him to use. Often times they like to construct their nests in a small space like a nesting box. As mentioned before, dwarf hamsters are very private or shy animals and so they enjoy the seclusion that these boxes afford them.
Now, why do these tiny dwarf hamsters consume as much food as the larger hamster? It is because of their very high metabolism. And what do they eat? A variety of pellets, vegetables, dry fruits and seeds. Despite their being hoarders of food, you will need to provide a continuing supply of fresh, clean water and food Because hamsters' teeth grow endlessly, they feel a constant need to chew or gnaw on something to regulate the length of their teeth. It is therefore necessary for their owners to provide chewing toys that are safe. Otherwise they are liable to chew on plastic accessories which could injure them if chewed to become rough and broken.
Each week when you replace the substrate, be sure to thoroughly wash the cage and its accessories. This can be done using a mild soap solution followed by rinsing. Make sure the cage is bone-dry prior to adding the new substrate.Since strong chemicals can cause irritation in hamsters, it is well to avoid their use in caring for your pet.
As you can see, dwarf hamster care requires modest effort on your part. But the joys of owning a cute and cuddly dwarf hamster far surpasses the effort you expend in caring for the little creatures!
Source by Gifford Nelson