Caring for Hamsters

Are you looking for a pet that is easy to care for? Hamsters are very popular choices, and often become a child’s first pet. These cute little creatures are fairly low maintenance and inexpensive, and can be quite adorable. They do have specific needs, however, and may not be right for everyone. If you are thinking about bringing a hamster into your Saint Lucie County home, you’ll want to do a bit of research first to ensure a hamster is the right pet for you. Here are some of the basics of hamster care.

Diet

Hamsters are quite enthusiastic about eating, and may empty their bowls several times a day. Don’t fall for those begging eyes every time, however, or you could find that your furry little pet has become quite a butterball. Hamsters like to hoard their food, so Hammie could be taking food from his dish and hiding it somewhere in his cage, or even in those cute little cheek pouches.

Hamsters are best fed a seed mix or pellet food. You can supplement this with green veggies, raisins, apple slices, cauliflower florets, or dog biscuits. It’s best to feed Hammie either in the morning or at night, as this coincides with their natural habits.

Habitat

There are several options for hamster cages. Wire cages, aquariums, cage/aquarium hybrids, and modular units are all acceptable choices. In the wild, hamsters use separate areas for their dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, and you may find your hamster using different corners of his cage for specific purposes. These little furballs are fond of digging, so make sure your hamster has thick bedding. Hamsters are quite active, and do need a good amount of exercise, so be sure to get exercise wheels, and possibly tunnels for Hammie to use. You’ll also want to think about where you will put your hamster’s home before you get the cage. You won’t want to keep Hammie in your bedroom if you are a light sleeper, for instance, as hamsters are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. If you have a cat, you’ll want to make sure that Kitty can’t reach the cage.

Expense

Hamsters are fairly budget-friendly pets. You can estimate spending about $70 annually on food, treats and toys, and around $200 on bedding and litter. Cage pricing varies, but you should be able to get an acceptable cage for around $35 to $40 dollars.

Please contact your Saint Lucie County vet with any questions on caring for your pet hamster.

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