Petcare: Hamsters

Hamster facts:

  • Hamsters belong to the Rodentia family and are omnivorous - omnivores mainly eat seeds, grains, grasses and insects.
  • Hamsters are nocturnal spending most of the day asleep and are active at night.
  • Hamsters hoard their food hiding it around their home for eating later.
  • Hamsters are sensitive to bright sunlight.
  • Hamsters are very sensitive to high frequency sounds, which we cannot hear.
  • Hamsters learn to recognise you by scent, as their eyesights not very good.
  • Hamsters naturally build nests and like to burrow.
  • Hamsters  have 1 pair of upper & lower front teeth called ‘incisors’ that continue to grow.
  • Hamster babies are called pups.
     

Feeding your hamster:

Feeding the correct food to your hamster is essential for maintaining good health. Fibrous feed is important for essential dental wear.
In the wild hamsters forage for their food and eat a mixture of seeds, cereals & insects supplying them with a diet that's made up of animal & vegetable protein. If you over feed your hamster they will become overweight.  Remember your hamster will hoard their food so ensure all food has been eaten before you refill their bowl.
Remember to check the areas where your hamster stores their food because their bowl could be empty but their hiding places packed full of food.
Fresh water should always be available and dispensed from a suitable drip free bottle to ensure freshness and avoid soiling their cage.

Introducing your hamster to new foods.

Your hamster's diet should never be changed suddenly. Abrupt changes in your hamster's diet could trigger digestive upsets, especially in baby hamster's or hamsters that are stressed (for example if they have moved to a new home). If you want to change your hamster's diet, it is recommended that this change takes place gradually over a 10 day period. This can be done by mixing small quantities of the new food in with their existing food, while reducing their existing food proportionally until the food is fully changed over.

Fresh fruit, greens & water:

Hamster's diets should be  made up of a small quantity of fresh greens and vegetables daily. Hamsters like carrot, cabbage, broccoli, peas, runner beans, apple, sweet corn & cucumber can be fed in small quantities.

Remember your hamster is very small so only a very small quantity otherwise they may get an upset stomach.
All greens and fruit should be washed before feeding.

You should always ensure any uneaten fresh food is removed daily. If there's any left replace with fresh food the next day ensuring you check the areas in their cage where they may have hidden their food.

Housing, bedding & exercise:

Different breeds of hamsters have different housing requirements.  Hamsters may be small but they are very active, especially at night, and need to explore and exercise. Your hamster’s house needs to be secure, have plenty of room, an area to climb & investigate and a sleeping area and toys to play with.
Hamsters need to live indoors in a constant temperature and should not be taken outdoors.

The base of their house should be solid; plastic is idea as it’s easy to clean. The sides and roof of their house can be wire or ventilated plastic. Your pet shop will sell a variety of different types of hamster homes so ask them for their advice. Remember the bigger the better. Cages like this one have a play wheel (hamsters love to go round on the wheel), tubes to climb through and platforms to climb onto at different heights.
Ensure their house is kept in a dry, cool, draught free location and well ventilated. You should not keep their house next to a radiator or fire as they may overheat. Remember your hamster will be most active at night so think careful about the best place for them to live, as keeping them in a bedroom may not be ideal as they can be noisy while they play and exercise.
Bedding for hamsters should be clean, dry and absorbent and dust free.  Hamsters like shredded paper, hamster bedding and wood shavings for bedding. All pet bedding needs changing regularly to ensure your pet has a dry, clean environment to live and sleep in.
There are a wide range of toys available at pet shops for your hamster to interact with as hamster need toys to play & hide in to keep them occupied.

 

Handling:

Your hamster or gerbil will need time to settle into its new home so try to resist the temptation to pick them up for a few days, just talk to them and gently stroke them so they can get used to you and their environment. Once they are settled in regular, gentle handling and contact can prevent timid or aggressive behaviour.

Do not pick them up while they are asleep this may startle them and they might bite.

Products:

  • Supreme Hamster & Gerbil mix