SMALLPET / health & care
Caring for Your Hamster
Tips from home to health to food and fun.
Your hamster’s home
The first day you bring home your new hamster, make sure it’s a pleasant, calm homecoming. You’ll also want to have a water bottle and a food bowl (heavy enough not to be tipped over) waiting for the new arrival. Fill the habitat with treats, and toys (a wheel or tunnels for exercise and chew toys) to make it a happy hamster home. You’ll also want to have plenty of hay on hand. There’s a great range available, from Timothy hay, to orchard grass, brome, botanical and oat hay.
Hamsters like to chew, gnaw and gnash— so a plastic enclosure won’t hold them for long. Instead, choose a habitat with a solid bottom or go for a glass aquarium tank with a well-ventilated wire mesh top. Line the habitat with 1 to 2 inches of aspen, pine or recycled-paper. Sprinkle in a few shavings from your hamster’s old habitat and your new friend will feel at home right away. Make sure your hamster’s food isn’t in the same place as the bed— or the mattress could wind up as a meal!
Feeding your hamster
Pellet food is a good bet for feeding your hamster. It stops them from picking out the most delicious morsels. Feed your hamster everyday, keeping the bowl about three-quarters full. Their diet can include also vegetables, which you can serve to your hamster every other day. Kale, collard greens, zucchini and shredded carrot are all on the menu. Don’t overfeed— hamsters like to hoard! Only give them what they consume in about four hours’ time. As for water, offer it all the time. A hydrated hamster is a happy hamster.
Playing & grooming
Hamsters love their cardio; be sure to provide an exercise wheel or ball for your hamster to perform athletic feats. Always supervise your furry friend when he’s exercising in a hamster ball.
Hamsters engage in an elaborate, and often adorable, cleaning ritual, washing their faces and cleaning out their ears with their feet. No need to help them— they’ve got it covered.
Keeping your hamster healthy
Take your hamster to a vet experienced with small pets a few days after you bring her home, then annually.
Take your hamster for a check-up if it displays any of these symptoms,
- Runny nose
- Irregular eating or drinking
- Overgrown front teeth
- Bald patches
- Sores on the feet
- Loose stools
- Blood in the urine
All Living Things® Daily Diet Hamster & Gerbil Food$5.99
All Living Things® Quick Fill Small Animal Water Bottle$15.49
Super Pet® Rainbow Run-About Hamster Ball$4.99
All Living Things® Natural Timothy Small Animal Hay$17.99
All Living Things® Hamster Starter Kit$32.19 $45.99
Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster & Gerbil Food$7.99
KAYTEE® Silent Spinner Wheel$11.99
Super Pet® Run-About Small Animal Ball$7.99
Oxbow Timothy Club Small Animal Timothy Tunnel$14.99
All Living Things® Small Pet Cage Cleaner & Deodorizer$8.99
All Living Things® Small Animal Exercise Pen$19.99
carefresh® Complete Natural™ Small Pet Bedding$8.99