Some quick facts about these lovely creatures
- In USA, hamsters rank next to dogs and cats, in terms of popularity.
- The fact that hamsters prefer to keep themselves clean and eat almost anything that is offered to them is what makes them so popular.
- Domesticating a hamster is almost hassle-free and not much of an issue as the rodent can make with limited territorial space.
- Expenses for maintaining a hamster are also within the means of most people who decide to bring home one for domestication. However, there are certain aspects you’d need to bear in mind before you can make a hamster your pet.
Aspects to keep in mind before domesticating a hamster
Hamsters are nocturnal by nature, crepuscular to be precise which means that they’re most active in the hours between sunset and sunrise. So, you or your children will be able to play with your pet late in the evenings. Trying to bond with a hamster during daytime is not recommended as that may require you to awaken her which might irritate or annoy her.
Then again, hamsters are solitary rodents preferring to stay all by themselves. So, if you plan to buy a whole bunch of them in the hope that you’ll raise a colony, perish the thought. Once the pups grow up, they’ll start fighting amongst themselves ultimately resulting in the death of the majority of the juveniles.
If you’re going for a hamster for your child, then it’s best to opt for the Syrian breed that grows up to 6-7 inches and has a placid temperament enabling the species to form a steady relationship with children. And if you’re thinking of domesticating the rodent to provide you company, then you should settle for any of the several breeds of dwarf hamsters or the Chinese species.
A home for your hamster
Before you can bring home a hamster, you should make arrangements for sheltering the rodent at home. After all, the hamster will be an addition to your family and you’ll want to look upon the pet as one of your own. Make a list of all the items you’d need for her home and go to a pet store for procuring these. First of all, opt for a stainless steel cage with bars that are set closely to each other making it difficult for the pet to slip out through them. Don’t opt for a cage made of plastic or wood which your pet might chew or nibble on persistently ultimately harming her health as both the materials are toxic.
As far as its bedding is concerned, go for one that has been manufactured from recycled newsprint, softwoods like aspen, spruce, and fir or plant fibers. Never buy bedding produced out of pine or cedar wood as these types of wooden material is extremely harmful from the viewpoint of her health.
Caring for your hamster
Different brands of packaged food mixes are readily available at pet stores. Buy packets that are free from added sugars or sweeteners and supplement her diet with fresh fruits and veggies. Offer food in a clean plate and see to it that the bottle in which you store water is kept sufficiently low so that the hamster has access to it. Change the water almost every day and cleanse the water-bottle once weekly. So that your hamster is able to make the most out of her leisure time, place a wheel inside her cage. A wheel that is solid without rungs or steps would be perfect for your pet hamster.
Selecting and bonding with your pet
You must abide by some basic principles before you decide to bring a hamster home for domestication. Make sure that the one you’ve taken a fancy for appears bright and gregarious. Inspect the rodent’s belly and genitals and see if these areas are clean. Also, ensure that the nose or eyes are not runny and don’t forget to carry out a spot check of other hamsters in the cage. Check out whether other animals kept in that shop are healthy. After carrying out the necessary inspection checks, it’s time to take your hamster to her new home.