Hamster Care

Although they are small, hamsters are living, breathing animals and not toys to be tossed aside when you become bored of them. Hamsters need daily handling and regular cage cleaning.

Hamster Requirements
-cage
can include traditional bar type cages, empty fish tanks, or commercial ‘add-on’ cages.’ If using barred cages for dwarves, make sure the gap between bars is less than 0.5cm, otherwise they will escape!

-water bottle
gravity water bottles are essential for a clean water supply. Bowls should not be used as the water will often become contaminated with bedding

-food bowl
can be plastic, metal, ceramic etc. Ceramic is however preferred as it cannot be tipped over or chewed

-wheel
this is essential. Hamsters love to run for hours on their wheels, and they are essential to provide exercise. Make sure the wheel is solid and that it is not constructed of wire (hamsters will get their feet caught in wire wheels)

-house
hamsters appreciate somewhere dark and quiet to go to sleep. Suitable ones can be bought from pet shops. Cardboard boxes also work well, as do flowerpots with a hole cut in the side for access.

-toys
all hamsters will appreciate toys, and they are essential to prevent boredom. They can be bought from pet shops, or cardboard toys such as egg boxes or empty toilet rolls can be provided.

-ball
a run around ball can also be used for exercise. A hamster should never be left in a ball for longer than 15 minutes and should be supervised at all times. Some people do not agree with the use of balls or ‘plastic prisions’, as they limit the hamsters vision and sense of smell.

-wood shavings and bedding
wood shavings, (not sawdust as it can irritate a hamsters eyes) should be used to cover the floor of the cage. Bedding can also be provided for the hamster to sleep in. Do not use ‘fluffy’ bedding as it can cause blockages in the hamsters stomach. Shredded toilet roll or kitchen roll works well instead.

-food and water
fresh food and water should be provided daily.

You should set up your hamster’s cage before bringing them home. This will allow you to put them straight into their cage when you bring them home. Allow your hamster(s) at least 3 days to settle in before you try to handle them.

-Feeding
Your hamster should have fresh hamster mix and water every day. It will eat approximately a tablespoon of food a day, but always allow more as daily intake fluctuates. Do not assume just because there is some food left in the bowl that there is enough food left for your hamster. Most likely they will have picked the ingredients they like from the mix- hamsters are very picky with which bits of their food they like. Your hamster’s diet should also be supplemented at least once a week with fruit and vegetable. These should be fed to your hamster by hand, as if you leave them in the cage the hamster will most likely store them, where they will go mouldy or rot. Be careful not to overfeed on greens and other vegetables as they cause stomach upsets.

The following is a list of some of the things hamsters can eat: cucumber, tomato, toast, carrot, cheese, boiled egg, grapes, pasta, bread, chicken and cabbage.

Never feed your hamster anything sticky or sweet. Do not give them sweets, chocolate or citrus fruits. Sweet things can become lodged in the hamsters cheek pouches, whilst citrus fruits are too acidic for the hamster’s delicate stomach

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