How To Take Care of Your Hamster
What’s your first pet? Most of us had hamsters as our first pet. This small rodent makes a great pet for kids, teenagers, and even adults. Hamsters take longer to socialize than other pets, but once you get to know them, they can become a friendly pet. Socializing and taking care of them with the right way is the key.
Understanding the right hamster diet is important to keep them healthy. Hamster’s welfare is also important for us to know. In this article, we will tell you which food is safe or unsafe for hamsters. What should you feed your hamster daily? What is the best hamster food? What cages are best for hamsters? Do hamsters need a bath? Do hamsters get lonely? Do hamsters like to be held?
Find out below!
What Can Hamster Eat?
To pick the best food for your little one, first, you must understand that hamsters are an omnivorous animal. What does this mean? This means hamsters can eat both meat and vegetables.
Nature Feast explains that hamsters need a minimum of 16% of protein and 4-5% fats from their diet. They can get them both from other animal sources of protein (such as insects and worms) and fats or plant-based protein and fats.
To become friends with them, try to hand feed your hamster. You can try feeding them small amounts of fresh greens or fruits, as a snack.
Here are some example of fruits and vegetables you can give to your hamster:
Apples, Asparagus, Basil, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cantaloupe Melon, Carrots and Carrot Tops, Cauliflower Leaves and Stalks, Celery, Chicory, Chinese Parsley, Coriander, Cucumber, Dill, Garden Cress, Grapefruit, Gooseberries, Honeydew Melon, Kale, Kiwi Fruit, Mangoes, Oranges, Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Red Cabbage, Red Chard, Romaine Lettuce, Savoy Cabbage, Spinach, Strawberries, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Turnips and Water Cress.
According to the hamsterhouse.com, you can also feed them bread and cheese as a treat.
However, don’t give it too often because both of these foods are high in calorie, thus leads to obesity. If you still want to give bread or cheese as a treat, give it rarely, like once a week. Pick brown bread over a white bread because it contains lower calories. Give them only a small amount. As for cheese, pick the mild and low-fat one.
Also keep in mind if you want to feed them grapes, make sure that you feed them the seedless one because you definitely don’t want them choking on grapes seeds!
Last but not least, your hamster also needs to drink! Even though they can get some water intake from the fruits you give, you also need to provide clean fresh water every day.
What Can’t Hamster Eat?
Some foods are bad for Hamsters because they are either poisonous for hamsters, cause upset stomach and diarrhea, or leads to diabetes and obesity.
From chewy.com, here is some example of foods you may want to avoid for your hamster:
Potato and Potato Tops, Rhubarb and Rhubarb Leaves and Tomato Leaves, Almonds, a whole stalk of Celery, Dark Chocolate, Garlic, uncooked Kidney Beans, Iceberg Lettuce, Onion, Peanuts, spicy or seasoned products, sugary products, unwashed fruits or vegetables because they might contain pesticide.
What Should I Feed My Hamster Daily?
Maxi Zoo explains that hamsters need a variety on their diet. They need grain for their carbs intake, fiber, protein, fats fluid, and vitamin. You can get complete hamster mix food, it’s a good basis on your hamster diet because it has complete nutrition. So you can give hamster mix food as their daily food.
However, for treats, there are many things you can give them from the list before. Keep in mind that hamsters like to stuff their food in their bed, so you might don’t want to give them too many green vegetables as they will rot and become spoiled. Remove all uneaten food every day to keep them healthy and the cage clean.
To avoid leftovers, give them only a small amount of treats. This also will help you to prevent your hamster to become obese and to avoid diabetes.
Hamster’s teeth grow continuously, so you need to give them additional branches of wood, native fruit trees or wooden gnawing blocks to help hem wear down their teeth. Dog biscuits are also good for teeth trimmer and make a great treat.
What Is The Best Hamster Food?
Picking the right food for your hamster might be tricky. A little advice, look for their nutritional value, salt and sugar level, also the texture of the food for the sake of hamsters dental health.
According to mypetneedsthat.com, these are 5 top picks of hamster food based on their sales and reviews:
• Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food.
• Oxbow Animal Health Hamster and Gerbil Fortified Food.
• Sunseed Company Vitakraft Vita Prima Sunscription Dwarf Hamster Formula.
• Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food
• Supreme Pet Foods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix
What Cages Are Best For Hamsters?
To make a home sweet home for your hamster, there are somethings you should consider. The size should be enough for you to fit a nest box, food box for hamsters to store supplies, and give them roots and branches because hamsters love to climb!
For their nest box or house, pick a house made of plastic. Why plastic? Because if you pick wood houses, your hamsters will chew the wood and the sharp wood can cause injuries. Wood houses also absorb urine, making them smelly and unhygienic. Metal houses are not recommended because it can be too cold for your hamsters.
Be careful because hamster tends to escape from their cage, check the distance between the bars and make sure it is narrow enough to prevent them from escaping. It’s better for you to pick two level cages and provide horizontal and vertical bars for your hamster to climb.
Hamsters are active and full of energy, for this, you should provide them access to exercise on a daily basis. Hamster wheels are good to go!
Be careful not to place the cage far away from the floor to prevent your hamsters from falling from a dangerous height.Also, keep in mind to place them away from direct sunlight and out of others animal reach.
Clean your hamster cage every once or two weeks. To cover the hamster floor, use softwood granules, shredded paper or wood, commercial hamster bedding or hay. Hamsters have one specific area to urinate in, clean this area regularly but not too often, because they are very territorial. Change it every week because not only it smells unpleasant, it also can damage hamster’s lungs and make them ill.
Do Hamsters Need Bath?
Yes, but it is a sand bath. A water bath is not recommended as hamsters can easily catch a cold. If you smell an unpleasant odor from your hamster, the chance is, it’s their cage that needs to be cleaned.
Hamsters can groom themselves, but if you want to make sure they are clean, you can add a sand bath to their cage. There are many sand baths you can purchase, and there are many available fragrances, such as lavender, rose, strawberry, apple, and so on. Buy a sand bath box and place it inside the cage, pour a small amount of the sand into the box and you can see your hamster bathing themselves by rolling their back into the sand.
Do Hamsters Get Lonely?
Yes and no, it depends on several factors. There are many breeds of hamsters, resulting in different shape, size, color, and also different traits. Some hamsters like to be alone, some are not. Male hamsters are more likely to fight than the female one.
If you only want to have one hamster, pick Golden hamsters because they are loners and like to be on their own. Syrian hamsters are friendly with human, this makes them a good pet for kids, but also keep in mind they don’t get along with other Syrian hamsters, so you should only keep them alone.
If you want to have more than one, pick Dwarf hamsters, Roborovski or Russian varieties. They are very sociable and like to live in pairs. If you don’t want to end up with more hamsters than you started with, pick the same sex!
Chinese hamsters can be kept in pairs but prone to fighting, if this happens, separate them.
Do Hamsters Like To Be Held?
If you and your hamster just met, leave them alone for the first few days to give them time to adapt to their new environment.
Don’t pick up hamsters right from their nest because they might be sleeping and like every other animal, they don’t like it when they are disturbed. A startled animal might get defensive and bites you if they are irritated or feels threatened.
If you keep handling them when they are asleep, this might upset them and make them very stressed, thus leading to illness.
Take your time to know your hamsters and get them friendly to you. This might not happen in an instant, so you have to be patient. Talk to them and put your hand into the cage, this will help them to get more familiar to your voice and your smell.
Pick your hamsters correctly by putting one hand under its body and the other hand over its body. Teach your kid to do handle hamsters correctly and make sure they won’t drop it.
There are many ways to take care of your hamster. To make your hamster healthy, you can mix their diet with complete hamster food and some fresh treats.You can also purchase complete food. The right diet will prevent your hamster from getting sick or obese. Hamster housing and companion are also important because this might affect their health.To keep them clean, you can give your hamster a sand bath provided at their cage. There are several ways to get friendly to your hamster and to hold them. However, if you are worried about your hamster’s health and wellbeing, do consult a vet.