Hamsters make great pet companions and are perfect for children or those who don’t have a lot of spare time. These furry animals are small and low-maintenance and need just the right diet, bedding, and some comfy hamster cages, and can teach your child all about responsibilities and properly looking after others.
So, if you’ve decided to adopt a new baby dwarf hamster and make it feel at home as much as possible, here is everything you need to know about the process.
Making a home for your pet
The most important aspect you need to take into account when you’re bringing home your new pet for the first time is to have a suitable cage for it. Dwarf hamsters measure a few inches in length but, despite their small size, they require plenty of space to be happy.
Before adopting a new pet it’s always best to learn as much as possible about the animal, different breeds, food required, and all the necessary details to perfectly accommodate it. We suggest you start by picking the right cage.
It should be big enough to provide plenty of space for your hamster to run and exercise. There are various home options you should consider, from glass aquariums to metallic cages, and plastic cages.
Glass aquariums are perfect for your dwarf hamster because they provide shelter from cold temperatures and allow you to easily see what your pet is up to every moment of the day.
However, they are limited in space, more difficult to clean, and heavier, which means you won’t get to move them from one place to another too often. You should also avoid putting them in direct sunlight as the glass easily heats and may create an environment that is too hot for your sensitive pet.
Plastic cages are lightweight and easy to move. They come in countless shapes and sizes, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. They usually provide numerous entertainment alternatives such as tunnels, tubes, and stairs to climb and exercise.
Unfortunately, if you don’t pick a sturdy one, your rodent may chew its way out of it and you’ll end up replacing the cage often.
Metallic cages with detachable trays are the most suitable option because they provide a sturdy and safe environment. The bars cannot be chewed and there isn’t enough room between them for your pet to escape. They are also resistant to shocks and are specifically designed to transport your hamster safely.
Once you’ve picked the right house for your new pet, it’s high time you took a look at the accessories required for the wellbeing of your animal. Don’t forget to add a water bottle, an exercise wheel, an inside house or a hiding place, a food tray, the right mix of food for healthy growth, safe and comfortable bedding, and enough toys for entertainment.
When it comes to choosing the perfect bedding for your hamster’s cage, there are countless options worth considering. No matter your choice of brand or material, you should opt for an absorbent one to hold onto excess moisture and allow your pet to comfortably walk and run around the cage.
You could pick slightly scented bedding as long as the fragrance isn’t too powerful to have a negative effect on your hamster’s health. Opt for fresh and natural fragrances like forest or citrus that will not only eliminate pet odors but will also make your dwarf hamster feel more at home.
Wood dust is probably one of the most affordable and suitable options for small rodents like gerbils, hamsters, and chinchillas as it’s close to their natural wild habitat. However, make sure there aren’t any sharp parts or splinters that could cut or hurt your furry animal. Rodents have very sensitive paws so you’ll also want to reconsider paper bedding.
Wood dust that is too fine can also have a negative impact on your animal’s health. Your pet can easily inhale the dust particles and suffocate or develop breathing problems. We recommend talking to a vet or a pet shop specialist before ordering any type of bedding for your dwarf hamster.
As for how often you should change the bedding, it depends on how absorbent it is, how big the cage is, and how many inhabitants live in the same cage. Large cages don’t require changing the bedding more than once a week, while smaller ones must be attended twice a week.
Hamsters love having their cheek pouches full of food, so you have to be careful on the amount you’re feeding your animal daily. Keep in mind that they can easily suffer from overweight and obesity, especially if they don’t have enough exercising and entertainment options.
There are various foods you can safely feed your hamster, and that includes fresh fruits, veggies, and seeds.
A proper diet should also be determined based on the hamster’s origins. Although hamsters can be found in all environments, their dietary preferences may vary. For instance, dwarf hamsters originate from desert environments, thus foods rich in water may cause diarrhea and digestive problems.
Some of the fresh fruits and veggies that are safe for this breed include spinach, turnip, pumpkin seeds, chicory, asparagus, kale, oatmeal, sesame seeds, bananas, and berries. For a balanced and complete diet, don’t forget to also integrate a healthy source of proteins (grasshoppers or crickets).
Avoid feeding your dwarf hamster fruit seeds, watermelon, avocado, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, processed foods, sweets or fruits rich in sugar, onion, and garlic or salted food (including salted nuts).
Exercise wheels and running balls
Hamsters are social creatures. They are very curious and creative, so you’ll have to consider various ways of entertainment to avoid boredom. And, since they have the tendency of overeating and hoarding, you should consider installing a running wheel in their cage.
Exercise wheels, running balls, tunnels, and interactive toys should all be placed in your animal’s cage. They should be made of 100% safe materials and shouldn’t come with any sharp edges or materials that might cause allergic reactions.