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Hamster Care 101

March 15, 2023

Hamsters have always been popular pocket pets, particularly for kids. As it turns out, Hammie may be more beloved than most people realize. In fact, one 2012 study showed that out of 1000 homes, 887 had hamsters! Who knew? Read on for some hamster care tips from a New Albany, IN veterinarian. 

Basics

First things first: Hammie will need a clean, comfy cage with a safe substrate; a suitable hide; a proper diet, and plenty of chew toys. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Don’t Rush It 

Going to a new environment is a big change, and can be quite stressful and scary for pets. Give Hammie a few days to settle in before you try to touch him. 

Handle Gently

One pet peeve many smaller animals have? Being picked up unexpectedly. Don’t scoop your little friend up from behind or when he’s sleeping. 

Keep The Cage Clean

Hamsters are pretty neat, but you’ll need to be diligent about keeping the little furball’s cage clean. We recommend removing waste and uneaten food daily, and doing more thorough cleanings regularly. Don’t use harsh chemicals! Also, be sure to properly clean, rinse, and disinfect your tiny buddy’s things. 

Don’t Overfeed Him

Obesity is actually a pretty big problem for these tiny furballs. Part of this has to do with Hammie’s considerable begging skills. Hamsters are notorious for stashing treats away and then acting as though they’re really, really hungry.

Don’t Double Up 

Although many pets are happier with buddies, hamsters are the exception to that rule. The most popular type of hamster, the Syrian, should always live alone. You may be able to keep dwarf hamsters together, but there are some caveats. Ask your vet for more information.

Watch For Illness

Just like any other pet, hamsters are susceptible to illness and injury. Watch for signs of illness, such as weight loss, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, and dirty fur. Hammie may also seem itchy, and he may sit in a stiff or hunched-over position. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything off.

Love

Hammie may get depressed if he is left by himself too often. Spend time with your pint-sized buddy. Pet him, play with him, and let him hang out on you if he likes. Little pets need love, too!

Do you have questions about hamster care? Contact us, your New Albany, IN animal clinic, today! 

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