Many people are choosing hamsters over dogs and cats in their homes as pets. As they get exercise by running on wheels, hamsters tend not to require a lot of attention, nor do you have to take them for a walk. Their cute and cuddly appearance makes them a wonderful choice for kids to start with their first pet.
However, hamsters are quite sensitive and you must have the proper knowledge about how to take care of them before getting one as a pet. As there is a list of things to follow while caring for your pet hamster, many people make some common mistakes. So, here are some dos and don’ts you must follow regarding your hamsters-
Things To Do
The first thing to do after getting a pet hamster is to arrange its cage as a home. You can keep your hamster in a medium cage with a lot of hay in it. The hay should be divided into parts, which can be used for bedding and the toilet. You must also place a wheel for them in their cage to exercise and play.
The Second thing to keep in mind is to place their cage in the right spot. It is important to keep your little pets near bright light and fresh air. Also, make sure that your little pets can hear the family members from there. In this way, they can get used to the sound of the family and won’t mind when any of the family members are trying to handle them.
Then, you need to cover their cage with a light piece of cloth for the first few days. This will help them to focus on their habitat and get used to it properly. You can take off the cloth after a few days and can only cover the cage when it is time for their sleep.
Hamster owners often make the error of not cleaning their pets’ habitat, which leads to their poor health. But hamsters are clean animals and they want their home to be clean. So, you must clean their house once a week.
Once your pet hamster gets friendly with you, you can pick them up, but you have to be careful because they can suddenly jump out of your grasp and fall. If the hamsters fall from a high place, they can easily get hurt and are likely to run and hide in the house. So, you must be very cautious while holding them. And make sure to give them places to hide like tunnels or tubes inside their cage, so it makes them feel free and safe. And of course, the exercise wheel is a must-get item for hamsters.
The next thing to do is to rotate the food you’re feeding them; just like humans, hamsters like variety in their food. You can give them fresh vegetables and fruits like- carrots, squash, broccoli, cucumbers, apples, pears, and berries along with their regular hay. This will make them more comfortable in their new home.
Do keep enough fresh water present in the habitat or cage of hamsters always. Hamsters are not like cats. They need a lot of water and might get dehydrated if there isn’t enough water available.
If your hamster has babies, make sure you keep them in a silent place and provide more food for the mother because too much sound can cause stress to the mother hamster and it can eat its own babies out of stress. Sometimes it also eats its babies if there is a lack of food, so make sure to provide enough food.
Things Not To Do
Do not immediately try to handle your pet hamster after bringing it to your home. Give them a day to settle down. Instead of just directly trying to grab your hamster when holding it, you can keep your hand inside the cage and offer treats that will make it trust you and get used to your scent. After some time it will be encouraged to come to your hand by itself. It will make the bond between you and your pet stronger.
There are a couple of common mistakes that hamster owners can make. They might melt over the adorable faces of hamsters and end up overfeeding their little pets. This is actually harmful to your hamsters. Make sure not to overfeed them with treats more than two times a week.
Besides giving them regular food, you could give them yogurt drops available at pet stores, or small pieces of fresh vegetables like broccoli and apple. However, you should avoid excessive amounts of these treats as they contain a high water content, which can cause your pet to become diarrhoeic, which is dangerous for them.
Many of the hamster owners don’t know that hamsters go to hibernation and they either try to wake them or assume them dead! Which is the worst thing that can happen. Make sure not to make this mistake. If the temperature is between 5°C and 40°C, hamsters will go into hibernation. Do not try to wake them suddenly while they are sleeping. They will automatically wake up when the temperature is fine for them again.
If your hamster has babies, avoid touching or holding them until 3 weeks, because the scent of the babies can change if you touch them and that will confuse the mother and it can result in the mother eating up the babies.
So, that’s all about the do’s and don’ts to maintain while caring for your little pet. Try to incorporate it with your pet on a daily basis. This way you’ll start to take it as a regular responsibility like doing your own stuff. Gradually, you’ll become familiar with hamster behavior. Overall, if you notice anything unnatural, call the vet.