How to look after a Hamster

Written by Corrine Bray

Owner & Founder of Corks Critter Care

December 17, 2022

Preamble

Having a pet can be a fulfilling experience in many ways, with hamsters being a popular choice for many people. A hamster can offer companionship, as well as being easy to look after and relatively inexpensive to purchase. However, looking after a hamster is not as simple as just buying one and leaving it to its own devices; there are certain things that must be done to ensure that your hamster stays healthy and happy. In this blog post, we will explore how to look after a hamster and the essential things that you need to do in order to ensure your pet is well cared for. From setting up the right environment, to providing the necessary nutrition and exercise, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to ensure your hamster is healthy and content.

1. Provide a clean and comfortable home

One of the most important ways to look after your hamster is to provide a clean and comfortable home. Make sure the cage is large enough for the hamster to move around, with plenty of space for toys and accessories. The cage should be kept clean and odour-free, so clean it regularly and replace the bedding and litter often. Ensure the cage is kept in a quiet area, away from loud noises and direct sunlight, as this can cause stress for your hamster.

2. Give plenty of food and fresh water

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to looking after your hamster is to make sure they have plenty of food and fresh water available. A hamster’s diet should consist of a mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as specially formulated hamster food. You should also make sure to provide your hamster with a fresh, clean source of water at all times. If you are using a bottle, make sure to check it regularly to ensure it is not blocked and that it is providing your hamster with enough water.

3. Ensure the cage has enough ventilation

It is important to ensure that the cage your hamster lives in has enough ventilation. This is especially important as hamsters are very prone to overheating. Make sure to check the ventilation of the cage regularly, as poor ventilation can quickly lead to the hamster being too hot and uncomfortable. If possible, try to keep the cage away from direct sunlight and away from sources of heat, such as heaters or air conditioners. If possible, try to invest in a cage that has a built-in ventilation system.

4. Clean the cage regularly

Cleaning the cage is an important part of hamster care. To keep your hamster healthy and happy, you should clean the cage regularly. Start by taking out all the bedding and throwing it away. Then, use mild soap and water to clean the cage, paying special attention to any corners where food and waste may have collected. Rinse the cage with fresh water and let it dry before putting in new bedding. Be sure to clean the water bottle and food dish every couple of days to keep your hamster’s environment as hygienic as possible.

5. Provide toys and accessories

Hamsters, like all animals, need to be kept entertained and stimulated. Providing toys and accessories for your hamster is an important part of their care and will help to keep them active and engaged. An exercise wheel, tunnels, and a variety of small chewable toys are all great options for your hamster. Make sure that the toys are small enough so that your hamster won’t get trapped and hurt themselves. You can also provide a variety of treats, such as dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Keep things interesting by rotating the toys and treats!

6. Spend quality time with your hamster

One of the most important things you can do for your hamster is to spend quality time with them. They may not be able to speak, but they can understand you and enjoy your presence. Take some time each day to sit with your hamster, talk to them, and offer them treats. They may even come to you for pets and cuddles. Not only will this make your hamster feel loved, but it will also help you build a strong bond with your furry friend.

7. Take your hamster to the vet for regular checkups

Taking your hamster to the vet for regular checkups is an important part of hamster care. It is important to ensure that your hamster is healthy and free from any illnesses or parasites. Taking your hamster to the vet should be done every 6–12 months. During your visit, the vet will check your hamster over and may give them a full health check, which may include a physical examination, a blood test, and a urine test. Your vet can also give you advice on diet, exercise, and other care topics.

8. Provide plenty of space for exercise and exploration.

Hamsters are energetic animals, so it’s important to provide plenty of space for them to exercise and explore. It’s best to keep them in as large of a habitat as possible – at least 10-gallons worth of space – and add a few pieces of furniture, like tubes, shelves, and hideaways. Make sure to also include an exercise wheel, as it’s essential for your hamster’s health and wellbeing. You can also provide a separate play area with toys and a variety of substrates for digging, like sand, dirt or shredded paper. You’ll be rewarded with a very happy and active hamster!

In conclusion, hamsters can make wonderful and fun pets. They are relatively low maintenance and easy to look after. They need a good diet, plenty of exercise, a suitable habitat and a lot of love and attention. With the right care and environment, your hamster can live a long and healthy life and be a great companion.

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