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Getting your first Hamster: Everything you should know

Hamsters are fun animals to own as a family; and kids love the responsibility that comes with taking care of the little balls of cuteness. Getting a hamster, however, is no easy task and it is recommended that you do a lot of research and be sure of your final decision to get one. In this article, we will discuss all that you need to know before getting your first hamster and picking the right one for you and your family.

What Breed to Choose

There are a number of hamster breeds to choose from, each with slight differences in how to take care of them and the kind of living space they will require and what their individual needs are. 

The most common kind of pet hamster breed is the Syrian Hamster. Unlike other breeds, Syrian Hamsters are easier to keep as pets because they are more tamed, peaceful and quiet and are generally easier to take care of. Syrian hamsters live up to 4-5 years.

There are different kinds of Syrian Hamsters. Teddy Bear Hamsters, Fancy-Tailed Hamsters and Golden Hamsters are all Syrian Hamster types. Although there are other breeds that are ideal for domesticated living, such as Chinese Hamsters, Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters, Winter White Russian Midget Hamsters and Roborovski Hamsters; Syrian Hamsters are ideally the best choice if you are starting out on your hamster journey.

Getting the Right Equipment and Supplies

In preparation for housing your hamster, you need to ensure that you have all the right equipment and supplies to ensure a comfortable experience for you and your hamster alike. To get you started, Pet Hero offers a range of equipment and supplies for hamsters:

Cage

Deciding on a cage for your hamster can be an intimidating task, but it does not have to be if you research thoroughly and know what it is that you are looking for before going out to buy one. 

When going for a cage, make sure that you go for a cage that is both easy to clean but also comfortable for your furry friend. The Marltons Hamster Cage – Small and the Marltons Hamster Cage – Large are both ideal buys when it comes to hamster caging because they offer a wire exterior but also a plastic floor that provides your hamster with warm comfort and minimal noise.

Make sure that the cage you purchase is big enough for your hamster to comfortably move around in. The cage should be accommodating in width but be careful not to get one that is too tall, as your hamster may be inclined to climb up too high and injure themselves if they fall down in the process. 

Bedding and Comfort 

When it comes to choosing bedding for your pet hamster, you can choose from wood shavings, paper cutlets and pieces of wool. All these materials are extremely comfortable for hamsters and you will not have to worry about it harming them. 

As a matter of preference, your hamsters may prefer one bedding material over another, so it is ideal to try out as many varieties as you can until you find the ideal one. You can choose from Marltons Pet Bedding, made out of wooden cutlets, Pawise Sweet Dream Cotton, that will keep your hamster warmly cuddled between pure cotton and Safebed Paper Shavings, that will turn your hamster’s cage into a comfortable hamster home. 

Food and Nutrition 

Your hamster’s diet should consist out of the right amount of healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and nutrients. Without proper research, you may unknowingly start your hamster on a diet that may negatively affect their health. 

Although healthy, organic, homemade foods may sound tempting, it is better to start your hamster off on a regimen of pre-packaged foods, complete with all the nutrients they need. Pre-packaged hamster foods already contain all the nutrients your hamster needs and it comes ready-made with recommended feeding guides, to ensure that you do not under-feed or overfeed your hamster.

While it is recommended to give your pet hamster, soft, palatable kibble when they are still newborn, as they grow you have to start introducing them to harder kibble to make sure that they can clean and strengthen their teeth while enjoying a meal. Good choices to consider are the Marltons Hamster Menu, AnimalZone Balanced Hamster Food and Westerman’s Hamster Mix. These choices all contain the right nutrients and are worthy buys. 

Equipment and Accessories 

Now that you have most of what you will need for housing your pet hamster, you should consider the extra accessories that you will need to complete the process of turning your home into the ideal hamster habitat. The most important accessories to complete the process are:

  • Feeding Bowls 
  • Water Bottle
  • Spinning/ Exercise Wheel
  • Hamster Bed
  • Litter Box
  • Toys and other entertainment accessories (mirrors, ladders, etc)
  • Pet Bath

Most of these hamster essentials are easy to find on Pet Hero. It is, however, important to note that getting your hamster and buying all the necessary equipment is all but just a small aspect of what you have to consider before getting a hamster.

Hamsters are prone to getting hereditary diseases and some of these can lead to death. Unfortunately, it is also not too easy to find veterinarians that can treat your pet hamsters should they get sick so it is, therefore, better to consider the emotional consequence that comes with the possibility of your pet dying. 

It is also important to consider that hamsters are little four-legged Houdinis and they will embrace every little chance they may get to escape. For this reason, it is recommended that you ensure that your house is hamster-proof and spacious enough to be able to actively look for your hamster when they escape because they WILL.