Hamster on hand

How to Care for a Hamster

Looking for a cute and fuzzy furbaby, but you don’t have enough room? Well, look no further because hamsters might be the perfect match for you. Hamsters are small enough to fit your one bedroom apartment and you don’t even have to worry about the noise or your budget because they are relatively cheaper to maintain compared to cats or dogs. If you’re thinking of buying one or if you already got one then here are some pointers on how to take care of a pet hamster.

Research

                Before buying a hamster you need to research on the breed you plan to buy. Hamsters come in different shapes and sizes and each kind requires a different type of care. For example Syrian hamsters, these are the most popular breed sold and if you didn’t research before buying a hamster the breed is most probably Syrian. Research says these hamsters cannot be placed in pairs within the same cage because they are quite territorial and will definitely fight over shared space. So research before getting one and find the perfect breed that fits your parenting style.   

Home Sweet Home

                To set up a hamster’s home you will need a cage large enough for them to run around. Estimate the area required based on the number of hamsters you plan to take in. Cages can be wide or tall or both depending on how much room you can spare for them. If you don’t have much floor area to place your hamsters in you can have tall cages where the levels are connected through colorful tubes they can climb through.

                After buying a cage you need to purchase bedding. Unlike popular belief, wood shavings are unhealthy for hamsters, aspen wood shavings are recommended but cedar wood shavings can cause respiratory problems for them however considering that most wood shavings sold are not very specific as to what type of wood they come from then it’s best to stay away from wood shavings all together. What’s best for hamsters are plant-based paper fibers, these are best for your budget too because wood shavings are much more expensive.

                Hay is also recommended as well as shredded paper but these have to be those that are without fragrances. Papers from newspapers have too much chemicals and might be bad for your furbabies.

Feeding

Hamsters eat a mix of plant and meat, they are omnivores. The usual sunflower seeds offered by pet stores tend to be treats rather than daily food. Sunflower seeds are just not healthy nor does it sustain their nutrition needed.

                Feed your hamsters commercial pellets not the mix kind and those that are specifically for hamsters, these are sold in pet shops. These pellets contain the necessary vitamins needed to supplement your hamster’s daily needs. Do not feed them rabbit pellets because they do not have the same nutrient requirements and it could be dangerous to your hamster’s health. It is also advisable to leave bits and chops of vegetables into their food bowl from time to time and keep a steady supply of water.

                Hamsters consume one to two tablespoons of food every 24 hours however, larger hamsters consume more it generally depends on the breed and the size. It is important to just make sure that food and water are available throughout the day.

Hygiene

                There usually is no problem keeping a hamster clean because hamsters are very hygienic as they often groom themselves. Focus the hygiene care towards their cages instead, cages require daily, weekly and even monthly maintenance.

                For the daily maintenance it is highly recommended to spot clean your hamster’s cage. Spot cleaning is done by removing small areas of the bedding where they have urinated or defecated. You will also need to clean their water bottles as well as food bowls daily, these things tend to accumulate molds and could cause problems when eaten.

                It is recommended to replace beddings on a weekly basis. Hamsters are well known hoarders and they often keep food stashes beneath their beddings by keeping the bedding fresh weekly this allows you to inspect whether there are food stashes hidden, these food stashes attract bacteria and molds as they start to spoil so it is important to change the beddings weekly.

                Washing the entire habitat can be done monthly. This includes deep cleaning and sanitizing every nook and cranny including their toys.       

Taking care of a hamster can be done easier through the YepiPet app. YepiPet is a pet care assistant which now supports multi-species care including hamsters! Schedule appointments and pet care routines for you furball at the palm of your hand and make your life easier! Check out YepiPet app and download it here for iOS and Android

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