Quick pet hamster care tips
Four paws, two sparkling eyes, and a twitchy set of whiskers. Nothing is cuter than a pet hamster! If you’ve recently adopted a hamster, here are 9 basic pet hamster care tips to remember.
1. Choose a habitat
Your little dude (or dudette) requires a secure environment in which to explore and feel at ease. Colors, tubes, accessories, and add-ons can be combined to create a one-of-a-kind habitat with plenty of places to tunnel, hide, and burrow. Connect two or more habitats with different Crittertrail® tubes to create an infinite number of configurations. Choose bedding that they can burrow in and a water bottle that is the correct size for them, such as a 6-ounce chew proof water bottle.
2. Place their habitat in the right place
As with many small animals, positioning is critical to a happy pet. Place your hamster’s home near the sounds of your family, but not in the middle of it. They’ll be soothed by your everyday sounds, but stressed out by loud noises and a lot of activity immediately outside their door. Keep your pet’s habitat away from any vents or drafty windows to ensure they are in a temperature-controlled setting.
3. Cover their habitat with a light cloth for the first few days
Everything is new to your new hamster when you bring it home. Allow them to get to know their new environment for a few days without the distractions of your home by covering their space with a light cloth. Feel free to remove this cover for some bonding time!
4. Wait a few days before trying to pick them up
It takes time to get to know someone and feel comfortable with them, just like it does with any new acquaintance. That being stated, wait a few minutes before handling or picking up your hamster. After a few days of feeding and watering them, they’ll begin to trust you!
5. Once they’re acclimated, think outside the box for feeding time
Don’t you eat the same stuff every day? Your hammie will benefit from a diversified diet just as much as people do. Try giving them tiny portions of carrots, squash, broccoli, cucumbers, apples, pears, or berries in addition to their regular food. Inquire with your veterinarian about the finest foods to feed your new companion. Remember that goodies should be consumed in moderation.
6. Clean and wash your hamster’s space regularly
There is a happy balance between keeping your hamster’s home clean and comfortable and causing unnecessary stress by cleaning it excessively. In general:
- Clean the toilet area daily
- Spot change bedding as needed (when soiled/wet)
- Wipe out their food dish weekly
- Change water daily
- Empty their entire habitat weekly or twice a week
- Place all new bedding weekly
Take soap and water and wipe down the entire habitat once it’s been cleared of bedding, toys, and other items once a week or every other week. That extra step will keep your hamster’s environment smelling fresh.
7. Give them plenty of out-of-cage time
A excellent method to get your hamster some exercise and bonding time is to provide plenty of playtime outside their home each week. We recommend creating a small fenced area with lots of toys and snacks for them to explore and say hello to their human family! Always keep an eye on your hamster when he or she is outside of his or her habitat.
8. Spend time getting to know your hamster
Patience, consistent feeding, lots of out-of-habitat playtime, and soothing talk will all help you bond with your hamster. Always approach your pet cautiously and speak to them in a conversational tone. They’ll identify your scent and voice and see you as a source of comfort.
9. Be gentle with your pet
Hamsters and gerbils, unlike other small creatures, must be taken up with both hands and held in cupped hands. The same goes for putting them down, but take additional care so they don’t escape or slip through your hands. Because these animals are inherently nocturnal, be mindful of the time of day you try to handle your hamster. You don’t want anyone taking you from your pleasant dreams!
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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