Hamsters are fairly popular pets, especially for children, due to their easiness to tame. Hamsters can be quite skittish in nature, but over time and with regular handling, they start to calm down and enjoy being handled. There are two popular hamster breeds for pets in the UK, Syrian and Dwarf. Syrian hamsters are larger and tend to be slightly easier to tame.
Hamsters, unfortunately, have fairly short lifespans (2-3 years), but in this time it is important to give them the very best care so that they live happy and healthy lives. In this article, we have put together a list of top tips to help you give your hamster the very best care.
Top tips on how to care for your pet hamster:
- Housing – The ideal home for your pet hamster is a large wire cage with a plastic base. You can purchase these at most pet shops, or of course online. The base should be no smaller than 60cm x 30cm, with a height of around 30cm including the cage.
- Be Vigilant – Hamsters, especially the dwarf species, are very small and are capable of squeezing through the smallest of spaces. Check over your hamster’s cage for any potential escape routes. Some dwarf hamsters may be best being housed in a fish tank, with a securely fitted wire lid for good ventilation.
- Add levels – Hamsters love exploring their home, and having areas on different levels in their cage is a fantastic idea for them. You can buy different types of hammocks, toys, tunnels and much more from any good pet shops.
- Hamster wheels – These are an absolute must-have for your hamster. It provides them with a fantastic source of exercise! However, please make sure you buy a wheel that is big enough so that they don’t have to arch their spine to use it. The wheel should be at least 8.5 inches in diameter. Please avoid hamster balls at all times as they can cause your pet a great amount of stress.
- Regular cleaning – You should be spot-checking your hamster’s cage every day. Remove any wet bedding and faeces. Once a week, you should do a full clean of your hamster’s cage, disinfecting the cage and replacing all bedding.
- Prevent boredom – When hamsters become bored, they may start biting the bars of their cage, which can be harmful to their teeth. To prevent boredom, try to swap around the toys that they have available to them, give them new treats and try new enrichment activities.