Proper Care For a Happy Hamster

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Selecting a Hamster

Hamster care is not a difficult thing, and the little fellows do not take up much room. They are clean little animals and they do not cost much to maintain. Each hamster has its own personality, even though their personalities are not as strong or independent as dogs or cats. If you handle hamsters correctly, and often, they can be lovable and friendly.

Before you rush off to pick out a hamster, you need to get your home ready for him. Make sure you have a hamster cage or terrarium that is large enough for him. In that vein, a barred cage will make for a much happier hamster, since more air circulates and they can feel a part of the goings-on in your home. Make sure that if you plan to select a dwarf hamster, that the bars on your cage are close enough together than he can not sneak out.

Be careful what kind of bedding you buy for your hamster. Care must be taken not to purchase pine or cedar bedding. Newspaper is bad for them, too, since they may react to the inks used in them. Purchase a marked bag of hamster bedding, or visit a near mill and check what days they're cutting woods other than pine or cedar. You may be able to fill a trash bag for free, and it will last a long time. But if you're not sure what kind of wood it is, do not use it. Buy a bag at the pet store that's marked.

Place your hamster water bottle low enough on the cage that your hamster can reach it with no trouble. Make sure it does not leak, and check the ball on the spout to make sure it's working.

A small dish will be suitable for food, unless you are getting a pair of hamsters. If you get two, use a larger bowl or two small ones, to avoid fighting over food. Hamster food is available boxed at the pet store. Unless you are an advanced owner, it's better to use this balanced diet than to try to make your own. If you plan to supplement their food with fresh fruit or veggies, remember that too much sugar is bad for their health, so feed veggies more often than fruits.

The ever-present hamster wheel should be solid, rather than having rungs, if you can find one. It's less likely to injure a small animal if it's solid. And if you're buying a dwarf hamster, make sure the wheel is not too big for him.

When you choose your new hamster, care should be taken to select a healthy hammie. He should be alert, vivid and bright-eyed. He should be curious about you, and he should not show any signs of illness. Check for clear eyes and nose, and a dry bottom. Check the other hamsters in the pen, too. They should all be healthy, or your new pet might have been exposed to disease and is just not showing it yet. Are the other animals in the store healthy, too? Neglect is neglect. If you get a bad feeling or are worried that your potential new hammie might be ill, go to another pet store. Make sure your selected hamster is not a biter. You can break this habit with patience, but you do not want to start out with a problem pet.

When you and your new hamster arrive home, remember that hamsters are timid and shy by nature, and the world as they know it has just had an upheaval of change. Handle your pet gently, and talk softy to him. Do not drag him out of his cage every little while – let him adjust to his new surroundings for a day or two.

Hamsters make good pets – they are easy to care for, they can bond with you, and they're cute as a button. Learn as much as you can about hamster care before you take one home.

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Source by Jenny Styles

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