Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by ellen
Wondering what you need to have to bring home your first hamster? This list will ensure that your new pet has everything he needs to have a healthy, happy home with you. There are a variety of different names for pet hamsters. Yours may be called a dwarf hamster, Teddy bear hamster or golden hamster.
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Table of Contents
Everything You Need to Bring Home Your First Hamster
The hamster family contains about 25 different subspecies. Either way, all hamsters have very similar needs. A hamster is a small rodent that is typically kept as a pet.
They are different from other rodents (like mice and gerbils) because they have a short, stubby tail rather than a long thin tail like you’d see on a mouse. The hamster is one of the most popular small rodents to be kept as a pet here in the United States.
Before you leave the pet store, be certain that you have these supplies on hand at home. Your hamster will need to have a safe secure home to move into when they arrive.
Many pet stores often have a beginner’s guide to hamsters available for new hamster owners. Check with them and see if they have any sort of resources they can share with you. They should have all of the supplies that you need.
You will need to have a hamster cage for your hamster to live in. There are cages that are made specifically for hamsters. A traditional hamster cage has a plastic base and wire top.
The wire top can be removed from the plastic base which makes it easy to clean.
They aren’t draft proof so be certain your hamster won’t be placed in a drafty area like near a door, window or air conditioner. An alternative cage can be made from an aquarium.
The sides are solid which will help keep out drafts but they are not as easy to clean as a plastic hamster cage.
Check out these fun toys for hamsters.
Your hamster will need bedding to be comfortable in his new home. Hamsters like to burrow and nest in their bedding. You will want to avoid anything with colors or scents since hamsters gnaw on their bedding to make it soft.
It is best to choose something that is close to their natural environment. Aspen shavings are affordable and safe for your hamster. You need to change it regularly to keep odors away.
Your hamster will need to have access to water at all times. It is easiest for your hamster (and neatest for you) to offer them water in a hamster bottle. This bottle will attach to the side of the cage. Offering water in a dish brings the risk of spills.
It is easiest to feed your hamster by placing his food in a bowl. Avoid plastic because hamsters love to chew and a plastic dish will not last or be safe for your hamster to chew on. Look for metal or ceramic.
Things to Chew On
There are hamster blocks made of hamster safe wood that you can buy or simply add a toilet paper tube to your hamster’s cage. Hamsters need to gnaw to keep their teeth healthy.
You need to feed your hamster mostly hamster food which has all of the nutrients they need. Hamsters also enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, broccoli, and banana. You should choose more vegetables than fruits to avoid too much sugar.
While not necessary, you may want to get your hamster a wheel to run on or a ball to exercise in. You can also find a variety of hamster toys that can be climbed on or through.
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Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.