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Getting your first Hamster

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. Properly caring for a hamster is no easy task, so make sure you do enough research and be sure of your final decision to bring one home.

What breed to choose

There are a number of hamster breeds to choose from, each with slight differences in terms of the care, housing and individual needs. 

The most common kind of pet hamster breed is the Syrian hamster. Unlike other breeds, Syrians are easier to keep as pets because they are more easily tamed, more peaceful and quiet, and are generally easier to take care of. Syrian hamsters live up to four or five years.

There are also different kinds of Syrian hamsters. Teddy bear hamsters, fancy-tailed hamsters and golden hamsters are all Syrians. 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; Syrians are the ideal 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 for 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

Choosing the right hamster cage need not be a tricky task – just do enough research into what your hamster needs and what’s available on the market. 

When choosing a cage, it’s important that your little furball’s needs are met. Small cages are easy to clean and they provide daytime shelter for your hamster, but they still need to be large enough for your hamster to move around in. 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. However, your hamster needs daily exercise, so make sure you spend enough time playing and engaging with him or her outside of the cage as well. 

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! 

Bedding and comfort 

Choose from wood shavings, paper cutlets and pieces of wool for your hamster’s bedding. All these materials are extremely comfortable for hamsters and you will not have to worry about them getting hurt. 

As a matter of preference, your hamster 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, which will keep your hamster warmly cuddled in pure cotton and Safebed Paper Shavings, which will turn your hamster’s cage into a comfortable hamster home. 

Food and nutrition 

Your hamster’s diet should consist 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 also come 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 young; as they grow you’ll 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 some accessories to turn your hamster home into the ideal habitat. The most important accessories include:

  • 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’s important to note, though, that getting your hamster and buying all the necessary equipment is just a small aspect of what you have to consider before bringing a hamster home.

Hamsters are prone to contracting 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 hamster should they get sick. Make sure you find a hamster-friendly vet before you need one! 

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

Most of all, we hope you and your little Hammy will be the perfect match and you both bring each other much joy and mutual reward!

 

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