Winter White Hamster – Just One of 3 Dwarf Russian Hamsters
The Winter White is one of three species of dwarf Russian hamster and is known by many different nicknames. Some of the most common are the Djungarian, the Dwarf Russian, the Winter White dwarf hamster, or by their scientific name, Phodopus sungorus. These hamsters are part of the very popular dwarf hamster group that many enjoy keeping as pets.
If you are considering purchasing a Winter White hamster, there are many things to learn before you make your way to the pet shop. First, you need to consider the housing arrangement. You should have your hammie's cage already prepared for its arrival. One option is to order the equipment online while you wait for your hamster to be ready as sometimes they are still weaning from the mother. The best age to buy is between 4-7 weeks.
For the Winter White hamster, the cage can be a wire cage, a plastic cage with interchangeable parts, or a glass tank. Each cage type has its own benefits and cons. While the wire cage is inexpensive, they are often poorly made and easy to escape from. The Habitrail cages with the many tubes, balls and wheels are fun for your hamster, but can be difficult to clean. The glass tank allows for a 360-degree view, but you have to make sure there is enough airflow.
Whichever cage type you decide to purchase, the most critical thing is providing as much space as possible. Hamsters are used to running miles per day through grasses and sand. The more space you can provide to naturally run about, the happier they will be. Of course, every cage must have a running wheel so they can spin to their heart's content.
Another thing to consider with the housing is how many hamsters you will have. Winter White hamsters are quite social so it is possible to house more than one to a cage. You will need to ask the pet shop associate for a young pair in order to make this work.
Because hamsters are a bit more active during the evening, this is the ideal time to make your purchase. Look at the hamsters that are most active as this is a good indication that they are healthy. See if they are eating, drinking, and hoarding their food. These are all natural behaviors for a hamster so that is always a good sign.
When selecting your hamsters, you should also make sure that they are clean, have clear eyes, do not have "wet tails," have clean ears, and ensure they have no bare patches of skin. Do not select your hamster based on which one is the cutest. Sometimes illnesses can make hamsters have weepy looking eyes. These might look adorable but you do not want to chance having a sick hamster.
Ask the store associate what the hamsters are fed, how often they are fed, and if any trips have been provided on a regular basis. This will help you determine which foods to feed your hamster once he gets home. If you want to change to something different, that is fine. Just remember to take your time transitioning over to new foods. Just like human babies, they can be finicky and quick food switches can upset their tummies.
The pet store will give you your hamster in a cardboard box so you might want to bring along his carrier that you will use for vet visits. To be prepared, take the time before you visit the pet store to learn all you can about Winter White hamsters, their behaviors, and their needs.
Source by Liz Andrews