Care Guide for Hamsters
CONGRATULATIONS on your new pet hamster! Hamsters are ideal small pets for young and old. Here is a simple guide with some facts and instructions on how to care properly for your hamster.
LIFE SPAN: Between 2 – 4 years.
NATURE: Mostly active at night, very agile and busy creatures. They are generally solitary animals and don’t need company. They breed very easily, if kept in pairs.
DIET: Mainly a mixture of sunflower seeds, corn and grains, there are many premixed varieties available. You can also give your hamster some fruit or vegetables as a snack. As well as fresh water to drink. They can also have various treats occasionally such as nuts, boiled eggs or mealworms.
HABITAT: Hamsters need a suitable size cage with clean wood shavings or paper bedding to keep the cage dry. They will need a hide and fluff to sleep under, as well as a bowl for food and water. Water bottles are preferable as hamsters tend to tip bowls over. A few chew toys as well as tunnels, play logs and a wheel keep hamsters entertained and busy as they are very energetic creatures.
CARE: Hamster cages should be cleaned weekly to avoid the smell and accumulation of decaying food. Fresh sawdust should be used and the cage should be rinsed with a weak bleach and water or F10 solution. Clean food and water should be available at all times.
Various toys and chews are available to entertain your hamster. There are also hamster balls that hamsters can run around in safely. When handling your hamster be gentle and try not to hold them too high above the ground as they are quite quick and could fall and injure themselves.
Bathing is not recommended as they don’t tolerate water too well, there is however bath sand that can be used safely. A bowl of bath sand can be placed in the cage for the hamster to roll around in. Karbadust is suitable to use on your hamster should it be itching from mites or fleas.
Always ensure your hamsters cage is properly closed as they are pretty good escape artists. Don’t stick fingers through the cage bars as that’s when they tend to nip or bite, mistaking it for food.
If at any time your hamster looks unwell or is not eating or drinking, a vet can assist you in diagnosing what could be the problem. They are in general quite easy to keep and take care of.
Enjoy your new pet and be kind!
~Author: Chene Bush
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