How Do I care For A Dwarf Hamster?
All species of Dwarf Hamster make lovable pets, and despite the fact that they are much smaller than their Syrian relatives, they need the same amount of quality care. Caring for Dwarf Hamsters may se...
Usually, Dwarf Hamsters can be fragile, playful and can escape quickly. Because of their size, they can easily fit through small gaps and openings so you need to secure them in an enclosed housing area. In their origins, hamsters live in tunnels that they dig in sand and dirt, however, in a home setting they can reside in plastic tubular housing which can be bought in pet supply stores. In choosing their habitat, you need to consider the size and number of the hamsters against the housing's dimensions. Obviously the common habitats for the hamster are too huge for them so they will have difficulty in climbing and moving around.
Fortunately, you can buy smaller tubular habitats that are particularly designed for mice and small hamsters. Dwarf Hamsters can also thrive in a 10-20 gallon tank or even in a wire cage. Since hamsters are physically active in nature, you can place a small wheel inside the cage for their running activity. Studies have shown that hamsters can run up to five miles a night on their wheel, so make sure it is a good quality quiet one if you want to sleep!
To deal with the hamstersí burrowing instincts, you should place a substrate at the bottom of their cage. Dust-free and absorbent materials such as wood shavings can be used, except for cedar or pine based products because they can cause respiratory problems. The substrates are used by the hamsters to build their own private nests. You can also offer other nesting materials like paper towels, cotton, shredded paper or tissue. Always remember that you need to totally remove the substrate and replace it with a new one on a weekly basis.
In terms of food consumption, Dwarf Hamsters eat just as much as the larger Syrian hamster, because they have an ultra high metabolism. They enjoy eating various kinds of pellets, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables. Dwarf Hamsters have a tendency to store food in their nests, therefore you should supply them with fresh food and water at all times. Owners must also give their pets some chewing toys. Since hamstersí teeth continually grow, they possess the constant urge to nibble everything in their surroundings. If they do not have toys, ideally made from wood, they will chew on parts of their plastic tubular housing and could well end up with an injury.
Aside from changing the hamsterís cage substrate regularly, you must also wash the cage and all of its accessories on a weekly basis with a light solution of water and soap. After rinsing the cage thoroughly, see to it that it is completely dry before you put in a new substrate. Lastly, avoid using harsh chemicals that may irritate your hamster.
Although they are small, Dwarf Hamsters do need as much care as any cat, but they are a wonderful pet and you and your family will have many hours of enjoyment watching and playing with them, so what are you waiting for?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francis Harris is an author from Southern California who specializes in pet care books.
Francis helps people make an informed decision before they buy their pet, and makes sure they know how to look after it once they get it.
Her 10-part e-course for anyone who wants to buy or learn about Dwarf Hamsters can be downloaded here: Head over to http://www.dwarfhamsterbook.com to get your FREE copy now!
There are also many other free resources for anyone who owns or wants to own a Dwarf Hamster, including videos, Podcasts and a blog which you can check out by going to: http://www.dwarfhamsterbook.com/blog/