Hamster facts are literally everywhere on the internet.
You may also get it from the vets near your house, or simply from fellow owners.
But then, there goes the dilemma:
You’ve heard various different answers from different sources and trust me, that much amount of overloaded information will get you nowhere but confusion.
Have you ever been in that position?
Because I’ve did. And I can say I was pretty much lost.
After going against storms of tips and tricks I could not process at all, I stumbled upon this one veterinarian whose house is just a couple of blocks away from my parents’.
Meeting her opened up my mind about all the tangled questions running through my head.
And just as important as a dog or cat, hamster could be something you’re worrying the most right now.
So when all those listicles about hamster care get you more puzzled, I’d like to save you from that hazard, with my hamster edition of Ask the Expert.
Nah, the best part is yet to come.
Our family secret hamster expert(s) a.k.a veteran hamster owners and some vets me and my friends frequently visit shared what they had to say about these most commonly asked questions of Dwarf Hamster.
If you've got a question you can't find the answer to, or if everyone's saying different things, worry not!
Our hamster expert gives advice based on experience of what has really worked for people, so you know you are getting the right information.
Here we go, peeps!
- Q1. How much fresh fruit and veg can my hamster have? Can I give him one piece a day?
- Q2. I see lots of hamster vitamin drops in the pet shops. Are they beneficial for my hamster?
- Q3. I got my daughter a hamster a few days ago. Now her sister wants one, is it okay to keep two together?
- Q4. I want to breed my hamsters, are there certain types to avoid?
- Q5. My hamster has long nails! How do I clip them?
- Q6. Why do Russian Dwarf squeak or bite?
- Q7. Why do Djungarians go white?
- Q8. Does Dwarf Hamster hibernate too?
- Q9. I recently adopted a Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster named Sammy. Do I have to buy him toys? What kind of toys he’d like?
- Q10. Why does a hamster need to chew on toys?
Q1. How much fresh fruit and veg can my hamster have? Can I give him one piece a day?
A. One piece a day. Even though it is just a tiny amount, it’s still too much for a hamster.
Therefore, hamsters are allowed to have a maximum of three pieces per week be it veggies or fruits, under one condition:
These pieces should be about thumb-sized and have some variety
Giving more than this can cause wet tail and upset tummy. Be careful not to give them soggy fruits or vegetables too!
Q2. I see lots of hamster vitamin drops in the pet shops. Are they beneficial for my hamster?
A. A hamster that already has a nice, balanced diet and a few bits of fresh fruit along with fresh water will not need vitamins or supplements.
They won't need any additional store food. So you should focus on providing a good hamster diet instead.
Supplements are basically there to help hamster who is struggling with their unbalanced diet. If your hamsters live a good life already and got no problem with their food supply, it is better to stay away from supplements as overloaded with nutrition can lead to certain sickness.
Though hamsters still need access to something hard to gnaw on, and sick or recovering hamsters may benefit from vitamins - just don't mix them with other medicines.
Q3. I got my daughter a hamster a few days ago. Now her sister wants one, is it okay to keep two together?
A. It depends on what type of hamster your hamster is. Larger hamsters, called Syrian hamsters, also known has Teddy Bear hamsters, Panda hamsters, Golden hamsters, must be kept alone.
If put with another, they will fight - most likely to the death. That’s why recognizing which hamsters species you raise is essential.
If your hamster is a dwarf hamster, they can be kept in pairs, but some still prefer to live alone.
Generally speaking, however, it's not advised to keep two hamsters together unless they're from the same litter, and even then, keeping a spare cage is important – in case you need to separate a fighting pair of hams!
The best thing to do is get another with its own cage. This eliminates the risk when you don't know what kind of hamster you kept as pets.
Q4. I want to breed my hamsters, are there certain types to avoid?
A. Two Satin hamsters must not be bred, nor must two hamsters with the 'White Bellied Gene'. It applies to hamsters with neurological disorders or kinked tails as well.
Seriously, we suggest you to do a lot of research before you even consider it.
In case if you don’t know, hamsters might be one of a few animals with iffy parenting skills.
You might’ve never heard of it, but this hamsters eat their young babies sometimes.
Yup, you read that right.
Your eyes are clear.
That sentence wasn’t mistyped. It’s just the truth that hurts sometimes.
Many of us believe that female hamsters do it only when their litter become too big. In other words, they’re just making sure the babies have enough needed nutritions to live on.
However, if you still insist on breeding them, it’s better to get yourself a decent informations about their reproduction process.
Get yourself some up-to-date books, talk to hamster breeders near you and make sure you get reliable information.
You need to double check if your hamsters do not suffer from any of these things. Then, you should know their backgrounds and that they come from a responsible breeder to rule out disorders.
Q5. My hamster has long nails! How do I clip them?
A. To clip a hamsters nails, make sure you do not cut the 'quick' which is in blood vessel in their nail. Hamsters aren't often fond of sitting still. So if you can manage to distract them – with a helping of food, for instance – you may be able to try cutting their nails with a small pair of nail clippers or scissors.
But it's much easier to put an untreated brick or some stones in their cage that they can climb on. It will wear their nails down, free of charge, and it is a new climbing toy!
Q6. Why do Russian Dwarf squeak or bite?
A. This breed are more likely to squeak or bite when they are scared, shocked, and frightened. They felt threatened and will bite instinctively. Of course, this won’t happen to tamed-hamsters generally.
Nonetheless, anything excessive is never good. A continuous, non-stop squeaking from your hamster should not be ignored.
For example, if you have two hamsters caged together and one of them squeaks non-stop, it might be a sign that one is not comfortable living together with the other.
On the other hand, continuous cage biting might be a sign that they want to go out of the cage.
Non-stop squeaking doesn’t always mean bad though. It could be a sign that they are happy and excited, wanting to communicate with its surroundings.
Q7. Why do Djungarians go white?
A. Dwarf Hamsters, especially the winter whites go white during winter as a form of protection for themselves. When winter approaches and the day go shorter and shorter, they grow white fur.
The explanation behind this is to disguise in the winter snow and to avoid overhead predators like hawks and owls in nature.
Q8. Does Dwarf Hamster hibernate too?
A. The answer is—yep, they do hibernate. They usually hibernate when put in a cold place, but you really don’t want your hamster to go into hibernation.
They might die due to exposure to the cold and dehydration.
Since Winter Whites originated from a cold area, they normally do not go into a hibernation.
The moment you see your hamster sleeping too long, it is advised for you to try and wake them up. Better if you could bring them to the vet as it could be sign of health issues.
Q9. I recently adopted a Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster named Sammy. Do I have to buy him toys? What kind of toys he’d like?
A. Yes, you have to. While buying toys for othe pets are sometimes optional, hamster needs toys to exercise. If I could suggest you some, it would be a hamster wheel and hamster ball. The first one will likely be your utmost concern.
Dwarf hamster starts to wake up at dawn. Upon waking up, they will start their ‘day’ by eating. Once done, they’d need something to burn their calories; which is by running on the wheel.
When choosing one, avoid the toy that has wire wheels as it could cause leg injures if your hamster’s legs ever get caught on it.
Our runner-up toy on the list would be the popular hamster balls. Using this, your lovely hamster can roam the house in safety without getting lost in dark, hidden spaces around the house.
However, make sure to block off any potential dangers before letting that tiny pet outside its cage.
Oh, don’t forget the stairs too!
Q10. Why does a hamster need to chew on toys?
A. Have you ever heard of overgrown teeth on hamsters? As a rodent, hamster experiences the same situation. Their fronth teeth keep on growing. If it is left uncared for, their teeth would get too long and becomes a disease – overgrown teeth.
Therefore, hamster needs something to gnaw on to keep their teeth flwaless and trim. The ideal toy to support this condition would be a chew toy – preferably made from wood.