How to Care For Dwarf Hamsters
There are various types of Dwarf hamsters but they can all become wonderful pets. And just because they are tiny-er than their Syrian cousins, they still need the same amount of attention.
Dwarf hamsters can often be more precise, skittish, and faster to make an escape.Their small size allows them to fit into small cracks and spaces so they need a secure enclosure. Hamsters build their homes in tunnels that they dig themselves in the sand and dirt of their native homelands. In a home environment, they can thrive in the plastic tubular habitats that are available to purchase at most pet stores, in fact you will find a wide array of other inexpensive items as well to make them feel at home. But, being of their small size, the hamster habitats may be too large for them to be able to climb and maneuver in properly.
Luckily, they now make tubular habitats that are built smaller and expressly for mice. These types of enclosures are better suited for dwarf hamsters. They will also do well in a 10-20 gallon tank or a wire pen Hamsters are actually active creatures. So, it would be beneficial for them that a wheel be placed inside the pen so they can get plenty of exercise. Out of the many studies that have been conducted, one study found that a typical hamster could run up to five miles on their wheel. There are smaller wheels specifically made for dwarf hamsters.
A small amount of substrate placed underneath their pen will satisfy their burrowing instincts. Owners need to use a dust free and absorbent material like wood shavings but not cedar or pine based products due to the respiratory problems these materials can cause. The substrate in the hamster's pen should be specifically emptied out and replaced every week. Hamsters like to make nests out of the substrates in their cages. There are also a number of other materials that one can find around the house that make ideal nesting materials eg shredded newspaper, cotton wool or even tissues could be used. Often times they like to construct their nests in a small space like a nesting box. Being they are naturally shy animals, they like the privacy that these boxes offer.
Considering their high metabolism, dwarf hamsters maintain as much as the larger Syrian hamster. These funny little creatures eat different types of vegetables, seeds, dried fruits and pellets. All the same hamsters have a tendency to hide their food in their nesting places rather then leaving it in their normal feeding containers, and of course they still need to be offered a constant supply of fresh foods and a fresh water supply.
Another important aspect that owners need to be concerned about is ensuring that they give their hamsters some sort of chewing toys. Another unusual feature about Hamsters is that their teeth always continue to grow, so they always feel the constant urge to gnaw on anything that is around them. Many owners get soft wooden toys for their pets so as to keep them busy, or they may possibly chew on plastic accessories which could injure them if chewed to become rough and broken.
In addition to replacing the substrate of the hamster's pen on a weekly basis, the pen and all of its accessories need to be washed weekly. Owners can mix up a soapy mixture to clean them but be sure to rinse everything thoroughly. The pen should also be completely dry before new substrate is added to the cage. One should never use harsh chemicals because this can irritate hamsters. The joys of owning a dwarf hamster far out weigh the small degree of effort that needs to be put into the care of these amazing creatures.
Source by Rob Hillman