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Hamster Care 101

Are you considering adopting a hamster? These little guys make very fun and adorable pets! In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Savannah, GA vet offers some great hamster care tips.

Cage

Making sure that Hammie is comfortable in his cage is very important! We recommend getting a cage that is at least 3 square feet, but bigger is better. To ensure proper ventilation, get a cage with a screen or mesh top. Choose something with a solid bottom, as wire or mesh floors are very dangerous to small animals.

Accessories

Hammie will need some accessories and furniture. You’ll need to add a good substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, which are toxic to hamsters. Your pint-sized pal will also require a hidey-hole, a water bottle, dishes, and some playthings. If you want to give the little guy an exercise wheel, pick a solid one, as wire wheels can be dangerous. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Food

Your hamster can have a commercial hamster food, such as muesli or pellets, for his main meals. For treats, you can offer your pet boiled eggs; small bits of fresh produce, such as a few raisins, or a bite of apple or carrot; mealworms; dog biscuits; or tiny bits of cheese. Hammie may be small, but he’s got a pretty big appetite. Obesity is actually not uncommon in hamsters, in part because they love to stash food for later, and then pretend they’re starving and beg for more. Don’t let your theatrical little pet manipulate you into overfeeding him! Follow your vet’s recommendations.

Choosing Hammie’s Spot

Hamsters must be kept within a specific temperature range to stay healthy. Keep Hammie in a room that is always between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t put the cage in direct sunlight, or close to an air duct, fireplace, heater, or heating vent. A corner of a living room or family room is ideal. That way he can see and hear you, but isn’t surrounded by commotion.

Toys

Hammie will need lots of toys, including suitable chew toys. Many items made of wood, wicker, cardboard, or even paper are fine. Just avoid anything covered in varnish, paint, or glitter, as well as items with small parts, sharp edges, or dangling threads.

Do you have questions about hamster care? Contact Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA pet clinic, anytime!

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