Today’s article is a guest blog by Amy from www.hamsterhappy.co.uk. She has owned Syrian and Russian hamsters.
Your first pet hamster is a delightful and rewarding experience. The Hamster provides much pleasure as it scurries about exploring its enclosure and interacting with you. They like to run in an exercise wheel, climb up tubes, burrow into nesting material and forage for food.
Hamsters are very sociable creatures; they love the company of other hamsters and can live in harmony together. This article will help you choose the best animal for your needs, know what to expect from it and how to look after it properly.
Why get a Hamster?
A hamster is an ideal first pet for children and adults alike, as they are easy to look after and clean. They also have the advantage of being a small animal so do not take up too much room in your home or garden and are usually quiet with few signs of activity or noise (some Hamsters are capable of making a clicking noise).
Being so easy to care for they make the ideal pets for someone who lives alone as well. However, there is more to it than just collecting your new pet; you must try and consider everything in advance so that you know what kind of pet it will make.
What breed do you want?
The most popular hamster breeds to own as pets are Syrian Hamsters, often referred to as golden hamsters. They are very friendly and sociable. Russian and Chinese dwarf hamsters are also popular. Other breeds you may consider are the Robovski and Winter White.
Do you have enough time for a Hamster?
Do you have enough time to devote to this new pet? A Hamster cannot be left alone for days let alone hours. Its needs must be constantly catered for as a happy, healthy animal is a good one that does not need veterinary attention and keeps itself out of danger. You may think 10 minutes per day in the garden is enough time to let your pet have the fresh air and freedom needed, but this may not be so. If you do want a little more free time for yourself then consider an alternative such as tarantulas or lizards that can look after themselves for long periods of your absence.
They are Nocturnal!
If you are the sort of person who values their sleep then a Hamster is not for you. They like activity before bedtime, in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning – it depends on their individual sleep patterns but be prepared to have disturbed sleep patterns as your pet will wake you up when they are ready!
If you have any other pets (particularly terriers) then a Hamster may not be a suitable pet. Many dogs and cats have a strong prey instinct and may kill your hamster.
Caring for your pet Hamster
Many people think a Hamster is easy to care for and will only need fresh food, water and lots of fun. However the reality is that there is much more needed in terms of space, exercise, hygiene and room to run. A small plastic Hamster cage just isn’t big enough!
First you will need a very large cage or a series of connected cages to allow the Hamster to move around. There should be enough room for your pet to make several nests and burrows, have lots of toys and tunnels, exercise wheels (they love running in these) as well as things like climbing posts and other things that can be attached to the bars.
Your pet needs exercise; not only will this be good for its health but it allows you to interact with your new friend. Hamsters are very curious and enjoy exploring their environment, so interacting with them on a regular basis makes them happy and means you get to spend time with your pet as well! This is one of the main reasons why a hamster is one of the best pets to get for children. Size is not a problem as they enjoy climbing; however younger children may find it easier if there are some low ledges or other things that do not require them to be so tall.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide to owning your first hamster. If you have any questions, please comment on this blog below!