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Hamster: Adopting and Properly Raising, Our Advice

Hamster Adopting and Properly Raising Our Advice 1

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The hamster is a small and friendly animal that captivates the hearts of many adults and children. It is therefore natural that many households desire to adopt one. However, this is a responsible act that should not be decided in a few minutes. It is also important to know where to obtain a hamster, which is not always easy for everyone. Let’s see where to turn to and how to properly raise a hamster to ensure its happiness.

Where to turn to for adopting a hamster?

There are different options to explore when you have made the decision to welcome a hamster into your home, after careful consideration, of course. You can, for example, turn to:

  1. Breeder: This can be a professional or an amateur breeder. Regardless of the type, it is important to request a visit to their facilities to assess the breeding conditions. The animals should evolve in a clean environment, have enough space, and be well-treated. You can approach a breeder if you desire a particular hamster species that is not easily found elsewhere.
  2. Private individual: Many individuals advertise online because they find themselves with numerous hamsters that they wish to get rid of. It is necessary to visit their place to check the living conditions of the animals, ensure they are well-tamed, well-cared for, well-fed, and that the males are separated from the females.
  3. Pet store: It is often mentioned that pet stores are not the best places to find the hamster you want to adopt. They are mostly criticized for not providing specialized personnel who can offer valuable advice to buyers. It is also regrettable that in many cases, males and females live together, which can quickly result in an unwanted litter.
  4. Animal shelter: This is the chosen solution for doing a good deed, namely, adopting a hamster in distress that has been saved, just like all the other animals you can find in shelters.

In any case, it is important to inquire about the lineage of the little rodent you have set your sights on. Let’s not forget that many hamsters come from inbred crosses, with males and females living together from generation to generation.

Hamster Adopting and Properly Raising, Our Advice

How to choose a hamster?

Regardless of the species, it is important that the hamster is in good health. When choosing a hamster, certain signs indicate if the hamster has a problem, such as:

  • Presence of crusts on the body
  • Dull coat
  • Rough fur to the touch
  • Hair loss, leaving “bald spots” in the fur
  • Soiled or wet hindquarters, indicating a digestive problem, especially diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Withdrawn behavior or obvious lack of vitality

It is also important to be very cautious about adopting a hamster that has been raised in the same cage as other sick rodents, even if it appears to be in good health. It might become sick a few days later.

Finally, if you are undecided between a male and a female, it is worth knowing that a male is more suitable for a family because it is very accommodating and readily accepts multiple owners. This is far from the case with females, as they only accept one owner after a relatively long period since they are tamed more difficultly than males.

Raising a hamster: What you absolutely need to know

Once the hamster is home, it needs to be taken care of. This includes:

  • Offering a fully dismountable cage that can be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. Note that iron is preferable to plastic, and horizontal bars will please the small rodent who loves to climb. It also allows the cage to be better ventilated compared to solid walls.
  • Placing the cage away from drafts and in a location that is not exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Providing one cage per individual, as hamsters are solitary animals.
  • Using suitable bedding in the cage. Therefore, wood shavings, which are harmful to hamsters’ respiratory system, should be avoided.
  • Supplying the hamster with forage to build its nest, which also promotes intestinal transit as hamsters enjoy nibbling on hay.
  • Providing water bowls or water bottles and changing the water daily to ensure it is always clean and fresh.
  • Furnishing the cage with toys, as this rodent needs to exercise a lot throughout its lifespan of approximately 3 years.
  • Offering a small house for the hamster to hide in.
  • Accustoming the hamster to regular handling, which promotes taming.

In addition, it is important to provide the hamster with daily hamster-specific food. It should be of high quality, a specialized mix for rodents, as it provides the essential nutrients, proteins, and essential lipids to the organism. However, be careful not to overfeed it, as it could become obese and suffer from health problems. Depending on its species, a hamster only needs a daily portion between 6 and 15 grams, consisting of fruits, vegetables, sprouted seeds, nuts, and only a very small amount of animal proteins once a week.

Raising a hamster requires all family members, young and old, to respect the well-being of the animal. Therefore, the hamster should never be disturbed when it is in its nest. This means that it should not be picked up or petted when it does not express the need for it.

Hamster Adopting and Properly Raising, Our Advice

It is important for parents to teach their younger children how to safely handle a hamster. Even a small fall can be fatal to this little animal. Ideally, the child should be comfortably seated on the couch or in a chair so that the hamster can be entrusted to them for a cuddle session. Another automatic gesture that should be adopted is to thoroughly wash hands before touching a hamster and after handling it. This reduces the risk of contamination, in both directions.

We strongly recommend that adopters insure their hamster with a pet health insurance policy. This will partially reimburse veterinary expenses and help ensure the health of their little companion at a lower cost. By opting for a comprehensive plan, which may be slightly more expensive than a basic contract, they can even benefit from greater coverage for their expenses. A quick visit to the NAC pet insurance comparison website allows you to receive numerous offers in just a few clicks and easily subscribe to a policy. This tool is free and without obligation.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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