So, I saw these dwarf hamsters at the petstore and I would like to know how to care for them and later on get some. I understand this might not be cheap which is why I'm not buying on impulse and doing I'm doing my research first. (*sigh* I learned that the hard way) So, I would just like to know how to generally care for them. Do they need to go to the vet? What are some common diseases that they get and how do I treat it? I heard that they require a special kind of bedding that cannot be made of pine. What kind of bedding would this be? What is the best food I can get for he/she? Do they like to live together or would they rather live alone? Will they mate easily if I get a boy and girl? You get the idea, right? So just post anything you think I would need to know.
P.S. I would've posted this on a hamster forum but I couldn't find one. If you guys know of one, could you tell me? Thanks!!
Well, I owned about four of the dwarf hamsters, and a couple of the regular hamsters. Dwarf hamsters live with other hamsters, while the regular hamsters won't, kind of like bettas. My dwarf hamsters lived in pairs and where fine. They are very small animals and don't need to go to the vet. I don't know about diseases, because in all of my 6 hamsters or so, none of them ever got a disease. They all just died of old age. Which is about 2-3 years. They will eat a prepared food mix of nuts, seeds, and such that you can from your LPS. For a treat you could also buy them yogurt drops to feed the little guys. The bedding they need is easily found at petstores, no need to worry about that. Just set up a hamster cage with wood chips, a few toys, a house like structure you can put the bedding in. Hamsters are mainly nocturnal, although you can take them out to play with them, during the day. I honestly have no clue about breeding sorry. Although I do not think they would breed that simply. http://www.wikihow.com/Breed-Hamsters Here is a linnk on how to breed dwarf hamsters.
The best hamster forum there is, and also relatively easy to find.
There are TONS of care sheets, and usually around 100 users online at any given time, so if you ask a question you'll get a good answer very quickly.
The people there know what they're talking about.
I wouldn't go to Hamster Hideout. While the info is good there, the mods and admins are a tad, shall we say, biased sometimes. It got so bad there that I was kicked out for no apparent reason other than defending another member, a friend of mine, from another overly aggressive know it all member who was bashing everyone, especially my friend. They never did anything to get rid of the bashing member but banned both me and my friend.
Go to www.HamsterCentral.com instead. Its way more friendly and the mods and admins there are not nearly as bad.
All in all hamsters are a pretty low maintenance and rewarding pet to own.
That statement is so very wrong. Hamsters are very misunderstood and often mistreated due to severe misconception. It is very rewarding to own a hamster, but they require a lot more care than the pet store would leave you to believe.
Hamsters are a lot of work. lol
Cage - Try and get a cage from a good quality brand, such as Habitrail, Imac or Critter Universe. :) Keep in mind with habitrail cages that the tubes are tricky for dwarves to get up as they have no ridged on their feet. If you have a tubey cage make sure the tubes are flat. A tank is a good idea for a cage too.
Food - Once again get a good quality, well known seed mix like Hazel (or Harry in the UK) Hamster, or Ecotrition. Another option is lab blocks, they are healthier, but most hamster don't take to them. Good lab block brands are All Living Things, Mazuri, and Oxbow. Avoid food that have lots of corn, sunflower seeds and fruit as they are just fillers. They always need water. Make sure it is bottled.
Treats - Completely optional.
Fruits + Veg - Feed 2x a week for dwarves. Carrots are great. :)
Bedding - Avoid pine and cedar. Use aspen or paper based beddings. Paper based bedding are softer and look nicer but don't mask the smeel of urine and feces as well as aspen.
Toys - You NEED a wheel. You also need somwhere for them to hide and feel safe. Everything else is optional.
Chews - Make sure your hamster has lots of things to chew on like loofa and wood. :)
Clean Cages 1x a week.
Keeping 2 dwarves together - Dwarves can be kept together, but make sure they are in same-sex groups to avoid babies. Keeping hamsters together is always running the risk of fights, so make sure you have a spare cage incase you need to seperate them. If you are keeping 2 together make sure you have 2 of everything, 2 wheels, 2 hides, 2 food bowls, 2 chews.
Ok, I am planning on getting all of this for my future dwarfs but if I've missed something (which I feel as if I have but don't know what) just tell me. Also, if you suggest a better brand/item for anything, just tell me because I want the best things for my hammies. These items are all from the petsmart website. So:
Housing: Top fin 10 gallon glass aquarium(what lid do you suggest I get and where?)
Bedding:Premeir pet scent-free aspen bedding(can someone tell me how much bedding this will be? will it be enough to cover ten gallons and have some left over? I am asking this because the bedding is around 13 dollars while the other one I saw were only 5 or 6 dollars.)
Food:Purina garden recipe hamster and gerbil diet and for a treat: Kaytee Timothy biscuits crunchy small animal treats
Accessories:Super pet funnels value pack, Oasis 4oz. bell bottle value pack (should I get a bigger/smaller size?),Stoneware feeding dish, super pet comfort wheels(what side is best?), super pet natural tree trunk hideout toy for small animals and finally the super pet mini igloo. Do you think I should get two balls for them to run around in?
I just thought up of 2 other questions: how much should I feed them? and I heard that you can give them branches from an apple or cherry tree to chew on. Just freeze it for 72 hours. is this true? I have both trees in my yard so I figured I could literally have a life-time supply of chew sticks right at my house:).