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Caring for a Hamster

Are you looking for a cute pet that is small and gentle but completely adorable? A hamster may be a great choice. These tiny little furballs are quite charming, and can make great pets! A Niwot, CO vet discusses hamster care in this article.

Cage

Hammie will spend a lot of time in his cage, so it’s very important to make sure it’s clean and comfy for him. If you get a wire cage, choose one with a solid floor, as wire flooring can cause paw and tail injuries for these little guys. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar, which are toxic to small pets. Your pint-sized pal will also need a water bottle and a hidey-hole. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Location

Choosing the right spot for your hamster’s cage is very important. Hammie is a bit of a night owl, so you may not want to put him in a bedroom. Ideally, the little guy should be somewhere he feels safe and secure, but can still see and hear you, such as a family room or den. Temperature is another thing to consider: hamsters can get very sick if they get too cold. Keep your pet in a place that never goes below 65 °F.

Diet

Just like any other pet, Hammie needs proper nutrition in order to thrive. Your tiny furball can have commercial food for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay, and suitable fruits and veggies. Hamsters are notorious beggars, but don’t overindulge your pet: you could end up with an obese hamster! Ask your vet for more information, including portion sizes, feeding schedules, safe and unsafe foods, and, of course, suitable snacks.

Toys

Make sure your pet has plenty of fun toys to play with. Hamsters need to chew, so offer the little guy lots of wood, paper, and cardboard items. Just be sure to avoid giving your furry pal anything with sharp edges, dangling threads, or small parts that he could choke on. You’ll also want to stay away from things coated in varnish, paint, dye, or glitter. Hammie may also enjoy an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one: wire wheels can be dangerous.

Do you have questions or concerns about hamster care? Call us, your Niwot, CO animal clinic, anytime!

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