Caring for Hamsters

If you have been wondering what it would be like to take care of a hamster, then you have come to the right place. Keeping hamsters as pets is not difficult, but it is a commitment of your time and resources.

For starters, hamsters do take up very little space. They require no more room than the amount of space required by a large fish tank. Because of their tiny footprint, you can successfully keep hamsters as pets in a tiny apartment or small house just as easily as you can in a large spacious home.

Although hamsters are small, in order for you to own hamsters, you will need to make a commitment of time and other resources. Keeping hamsters as pets can require as much time and dedication as owning a dog. Daily, you need to feed your pet, and make sure that it has clean water. Several times a week, you need to clean out their toilets. Each day, you must provide about an hour of playtime and interaction for you and your hamster. You also must plan on thoroughly cleaning out their cages about once a week.

Financially, you may spend as much money to care for a hamster as you would spend on any other pet. While the initial expense of the hamster is minimal, there is a not an insignificant investment on its home and for supplies. Your hamster will eat only about a teaspoon or so of food a day. You will need to keep a fresh supply of bedding material on hand. The largest potential expense, however, may come from the veterinarian. Your hamster can get sick like any other pet, and you must be prepared to take him to the vet and pay for the subsequent bills.

If you want a small pet that you can cuddle, then you must choose your hamster species carefully. The dwarf hamster species are not necessarily tame, are exceptionally fast, and can fit through and into incredibly small spaces. The Roborovski hamster, especially, is a pet that is better to watch than to handle. On the other hand, the Syrian hamster has been bred as a pet for a long time, and has become quite tame and amenable to human handling.

Although hamsters hoard food, you cannot expect to leave your pets alone in your home for more than one or two days. These animals are social creatures, and will become distressed if they do not hear your voice on a regular basis.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hamsters are unable to cool themselves once the temperature gets about 85°F (30°C). For this reason you must keep them and their home below this temperature at all times.

One final note about keeping hamsters as pets is that these animals are nocturnal or crespuscular. You must plan your interactions with them either very early in the morning or very late in the evening. You must also keep them in the house in a location where they will not disturb your sleep during the night.

Lastly, hamsters do make wonderful pets, as long as you are willing to make a commitment to them.

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