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Caring for a Hamster

September 15, 2016
Have you been thinking about getting a pet hamster? These little guys are super cute, and can make wonderful pets. Hammie isn’t hard to care for, but he does have some specific needs. In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, a Cy-Fair vet discusses basic hamster care.


Making sure your pint-sized buddy has a big, comfy home is very important. A wire cage is a good option. Just be sure to pick one with a solid bottom: wire floors are dangerous for pets. You can also use a large storage tote or a glass tank. Just be sure to get a mesh cover, to ensure proper ventilation. Minimum size recommendations will vary, depending on what kind of hamster you have. Ask your vet for specific advice. Once you have Hammie’s home, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar substrates: they are dangerous for small animals. Your hamster will also need a water bottle, a food dish, and a hidey-hole.


Hammie can have commercial food for his main meals. You can use either a pellet or a seed mix. Pellets are nutritionally complete, but can get a bit boring. Seed mixes, however, offer your pet the perfect chance to stash goodies for later and then beg for more food. You’ll want to supplement these things with fresh produce and grass hay. Ask your vet for nutritional advice.


Living in a cage can be rather dull, so make sure Hammie has lots of toys. If you get an exercise wheel, choose a solid one: the wire ones can be dangerous. Your little furball will need plenty of chew toys. Many wood, wicker, paper, and cardboard items can make great playthings. Just be sure to avoid anything with sharp edges and/or small parts, as well as items coated in varnish, paint, or dye. Hammie may also enjoy a runabout. If you get one, be sure to choose the right size, supervise your pet when he’s in it, and limit his playtime to about 10 minutes.


You’ll need to handle Hammie gently and regularly to keep him tame and friendly. Don’t scoop the little guy up from behind or while he’s sleeping: you may only frighten him! Do you have any questions about hamster care? We can help! Contact Fairfield Animal Hospital your Cy-Fair veterinary hospital, today!

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