Caring for a baby hamster.
Caring for a baby hamster can be very easy and is a good choice for a beginning pet owner. The most important thing to remember with hamsters is to handle them gently and never treat them roughly. Purchasing the appropriate cage is of utmost importance and remember to keep their environment sanitary and livable. The last thing you need to know is the proper diet, and what not to feed hamsters.
The personality of your hamster depends on the disposition that they are born with, but a rough childhood can lead to a mean and grumpy hamster as an adult. Rough treatment can cause the hamster to bite and scratch when being held. When holding a hamster one should always be gentle, holding it with one hand on the bottom and one on the top to help them feel secure. Always supervise children while they are holding their hamster. Pet owners should not a) throw the hamster around b) hold the hamster upside down or in an unstable position and c) scare the hamster with loud noises or further upset the hamster in any other way. If you fail to treat your hamster nicely it will bite and hurt you when it is older. It is a wise idea to hold your pet hamster daily to keep him socialized and at ease with people.
A proper cage for your hamster can be purchased at the pet shop. The hamster habitats that come in colorful plastic with lots of tubes and cubby holes to hide in are a lot of fun, but sometimes difficult to clean and get your pet out of. A cage that has metal bars covered with plastic and has a plastic bottom is probably your best bet. Make sure the slats are close enough together so that your hamster can not climb through. Choosing a cage where the entire top can lift off for easy cleaning and picking up a burrowing animal is a good choice. Another adequate choice for a cage is an aquarium with a lid that fits securely on top and has plenty of ventilation. You can provide toys such as a wheel or a clear ball to keep your pet active and in good physical shape.
In order for a hamster to stay healthy, clean, and friendly smelling, one must remove and clean/replace bedding about once a week depending on the condition of the bedding. Types of bedding include wood shavings bought in a large bag at the pet shop, or common newspaper placed in the bottom of the cage. Hamsters like to burrow and make their own homes with their bedding, so you have to provide enough for them to do this. Clean out the cage by dumping the bedding once a week. Rinse out the bottom of the cage with a mild detergent if it gets dirty, dry thoroughly and replace bedding. To keep the bedding as dry as possible you will want to purchase a water bottle that can be attached to the outside of the cage with a nozzle that leads into the cage for easy drinking. If you use a dish or bin for water a hamster can tip it over and the bedding will become dirty very easily. Water should never have excess minerals such as chlorine in it, so using bottled or de-chlorinated water would be a good way to keep your hamster healthy.
How long a hamster lives and a hamster’s behavior depends on a number of factors, but a large one is the hamster’s diet. An unhealthy or malnourished hamster can be grumpy, sickly, and live a short life. For prevention of these symptoms, you should always feed the hamster natural foods. Unnatural foods could be ice-cream, chocolate, peanut butter, or sugary treats. Also, a hamster’s diet should never include any meats at all. The hamster should eat an already mixed food from your local pet store or supermarket. A hamster’s food bowl should be checked once a day, and refilled when running low or empty. Aside from the pre-mixed pelleted food, you should feed your hamster carrots, celery, broccoli, and other vegetables and fruits about twice a week or so. Remember not to overfeed your hamster fruit or vegetables because they may become bloated and/or spoiled. This could lead to the hamster rejecting normal food and getting sick. A hamster’s diet is really important to its everyday life and health.
A hamster is a really good pet for a new or young pet owner. Remember treating them nicely and giving them a clean, healthy environment is key to a fun, happy life. Just keep in mind that you must give your hamster proper attention, and keep its living conditions clean.