7 Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster Secrets Your Vet Doesn’t Tell You

Russian dwarf hamsters are of two types – Winter White and Campbell dwarf hamsters.

This breed is the best pick for people who don’t want much fuss and are into easy going pets.

Both the Russian hamsters are similar in appearance and people often get confused between the two.

Campbell hamsters are more commonly found as pets and are sometimes called the fancy hamsters. They live for around 3 years and are known for their fun-loving nature and furred feet

Campbell’s Origin

Origin of Campbell hamsters can be traced back to Eastern and Central Asia.

They were first discovered by W.C. Campbell in Mongolia in the year 1905 and that’s how they got their name. Campbell hamsters were later imported in 1963-1964 to United Kingdom by the London Zoological Society and Holloway College, London.

By the year 1968, their breeding in captivity had successfully started. But it was not until 1980 that hamsters as pets gained popularity.

Campbell hamsters grow to a height of between 4 to 5 inches and can weigh around 27 grams. They can have two types of coats – Rex or satin. The Rex coat got a smooth, shiny and sleek appearance whereas Satin has a greasy or wet look due to a gene present to enhance the color of the fur.

There are two distinctive patterns generally seen in these hamsters; platinum and mottled.

Platinum coat got white hair combined evenly with the hamster’s colored hair thus providing it a lighter appearance. Mottled coat got random patches or white combined with colored portion of the coat.

It is advised not to breed hamsters with mottled coat as they happen to carry a gene that can cause their baby to be born without eyes. When bred, about 25% of the litter will have shorter life spans.

These dwarf hamsters have poor eyesight, but this is compensated by their strong scent glands. These glands are present on their belly, behind the ears, on the face and inside the cheek pouches.

Like other breeds, Campbell hamster’s teeth continue to grow during the course of their lifetime so it is important to provide them with toys or objects they can gnaw on. 

1. They only take a bit of socializing

Yes, you might’ve heard of how nice Dwarf hamsters are compared to other breeds.

But Campbell’s would never be as nice as Winter White.

Though, they aren’t too selfish.

Unlike Syrian Hamsters, Campbell hamsters are quite social in their own species and same sex pairs or groups can be kept together.

They tend to bond with others closely and generally for life. However, it is important to introduce them to each other when they’re still young. It is not advised to introduce adult hamsters to the group.

These hamsters are a popular choice for pet, but they are seen to exhibit a less friendly behavior when compared to other hamster breeds.

They are likely to be territorial towards their cage and have a habit of gripping or giving hamsters bite when angered. Since Campbell’s are small and fast, they can be difficult to handle, particularly for young kids.

Still, these hamsters can be tamed through time, but it requires much patience and love.

2. This dwarf hamster enjoys living a solitary life

Hamsters in general are solitary animals.

Thus, pet owners need to be careful while putting them in a group.

Before living together in one cage, hamsters need to be properly introduced to one another.

And if you fail to do so, it can lead to grave injuries due to them being violent to each other.

As already mentioned above, you can put them in pairs if they’ve been introduced at a young age.

If you own a hamster pair and one of them dies, don’t bring a new member to that cage as it’s almost impossible that they will get along.

Also, hamsters bond well if they don’t have to share foods.

To help your hamster deal with the death of another, you should play with that furry ball more and offer them new toys.

It is a bad idea to pair male hamsters with female. This could lead to unwanted pregnancy issues. Even though neutering and spaying of hamsters is an available option, it is only suggested in case of any health problem that is putting your hamster’s life at risk.

3. Adorable Campbell’s babies are Mongol’s autumn born

Campbell hamsters reach their age of sexual maturity when they are around 4 to 5 weeks old.

However, it is advised for hamster breeding to be done when they are at least 3 months old. It’s because when females give birth early, some of her litters may be unhealthy or they might abandon and even destroy their litter due to stress.

When your female hamster is pregnant, make sure to do pet care by cleaning the cage and removing any wheel or toy from it.  Don’t touch the cage for two weeks after the birth of the babies.

Also after the birth of the babies, don’t lay a hand on them or try to move ‘em. Getting your scent on babies can be dangerous as that could lead to mother hamster abandoning them.

Like other breeds, Campbell hamsters babies are born naked, blind, and deaf.

By day 5, you will start witnessing light coat of fur over them. When they are one week old, their color become visible and hamster teeth appear from the gums.

Their eyes will start to open around the 14th day. Baby hamsters should be separated from their mother only when they are at least 4 weeks old.

4. They have better parenting skill than other hamsters

Ever heard of mama hamster eating her own litter?

I’ve talked about that previously, and though it is solely because she needs more room for her other litters, sometimes you just found it ironic.

Female hamsters come in heat or estrus every four days. This is the time they are receptive to male and are fertile.

Within 24 hours of giving birth, they are able to get pregnant again.

There are various signs that might suggest your female hamster is pregnant such as she starts hoarding food and gets more aggressive.

The gestation period of female hamsters is around 18 to 21 days and if you have observed the mating, expected date of birth could be guessed.

Females give birth usually during night, evening or early morning time. Male hamsters are often banished by female from the dwarf hamster cages couple of days before/after birth.

The birthing process takes several hours and is exhausting for the mother hamster. Yet she remains protective of her litter. She gathers them under her body while she’s nursing them. Provide food mixes to mama hamster that is rich in protein and fat.

5. Campbell’s Dwarf isn’t entirely vegetarian

People often believe that dwarf hamsters are vegetarian but hey, that’s not true.

They are actually omnivores.

If you check out the ingredients of hamster meal available in pet shop, it would be comprised of fish, chicken or even beef.

Meat is an amazing source of protein and you should feed it to your hamsters.

The perfect diet for your hamster would be one that is close to what they’d eat in the wild which includes fresh veggies and mealworms.

6. These hamsters might as well reborn as athletes

Unlike lazy-ass humans, hamster loves to run. Like, so much.

They basically need to exercise since they love to eat. If your hamster overeats and doesn’t exercise, they can gain unnecessary weight that potentially triggers certain sickness, such as diabetes and heart attack.

To protect them against those illnesses, it is vital for them to exercise on a wheel or a hamster ball.

In fact, they can actually run up to 6 miles at night on their exercise wheel.

Nah, do you see how important is a hamster wheel for them now?

In case if a hamster doesn’t get enough exercise or is kept in a too small hamster home, it might even get paralyzed.

A paralyzed hamster can be identified as it sits in a hunched way and faces problems in moving its hind legs. Lack of exercise and movement can also cause your hamster to get stressed and this can lead to serious health problems like wet tail and shorter lifespan.

7. Campbell’s vs Djungarian Dwarf hamster

Even though dwarf Campbells and Djungarian hamsters – or you may know it as Winter White – look alike, it possible to tell them apart.

Djungarian hamster got a circular, wide face with large eyes that are wide-set. Ears are rounded out.

Campbell hamsters have a sharper face with small eyes that are close-set. Ears are in an upright position.

Another difference is the color of their coat which separates their belly from their top body. If Campbell hamsters has beige fur, Djungarian hamsters, in the other hand, has darker coat. It’s usually gray or brown.