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Basic Hamster Care

August 1 2016
Are you considering adopting a hamster? These adorable little furballs make great pets! Although hamsters aren’t difficult to care for, Hammie does have some specific care needs. Below, an Oshawa, ON vet discusses hamster care basics.


Since Hammie will spend most of his time in his cage, it’s important to make sure it’s both safe and comfortable for him. Your hamster’s cage should offer him plenty of room to run and play. Cage size recommendations vary a bit, depending on what kind of hamster you get: ask your vet for recommendations. Good ventilation is also very important: if you get a tank, choose one with a mesh cover. You can also get a wire cage with a solid floor.


Keep your hamster in a room that always stays between 20 to 22 degrees °C, and is free of drafts, toxic fumes, and loud noises. Ideally, Hammie should be in a quiet spot where he can see and hear you, but isn’t in the center of your home’s activity.


Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add a good substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine or cedar substrates: they are dangerous for small animals. Hammie will also need a hidey-hole, a water bottle, and a food dish.


These little furballs absolutely love to eat! You can feed your furry buddy commercial food, such as a pellet formula or seed mix, for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with grass hay and small amounts of fresh produce. Cucumber, romaine lettuce, and spinach are all suitable, as are grapes, pears, and bananas, though you’ll want to avoid citrus fruit. For treats, you can give Hammie dog biscuits, cooked eggs, dry cat food, or mealworms. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.


Keep things fun and exciting for Hammie by giving him lots of fun toys. Tunnels and mazes are very popular with these little guys. For chew toys, wood, cardboard, wicker, and paper items are all suitable. Just be sure to put your tiny furball’s safety first: avoid anything with dangling strings, small parts, or sharp edges, as well as items coated in varnish, stain, or dye. Many hamsters also enjoy exercise wheels. Avoid wire wheels, as they can be dangerous. Please contact us, your Oshawa, ON veterinary hospital, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health. We’re here to help!
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