Dwarf hamsters make the cutest pets – but if you wish to own one, you need to be well versed with dwarf hamster care.
They are basically not difficult in maintenance. In fact, it’s relatively easy to look after them.
The tiny pets are sociable, super adorable, and have never been a pain in the ass.
However, their life span are usually up to 3 years only. So if you are one of those people who has difficulty coping up with separation, you might want to think carefully before adopting them.
Though, in Dwarf hamster’s normal days, all they need is proper shelter, food and water, plus an additional outlet where they can exercise.
Dwarf hamsters are basically of three types – the Roborovski hamsters and Russian hamsters, with the latter can be further categorized into Campbell’s hamsters and Winter White dwarf hamsters.
Apart from them, Chinese dwarf hamsters was usually mistaken as a dwarf when in fact they technically can’t be characterized as one. Chinese hamsters are smaller in size and have similar appearance.
Are Dwarf hamsters easy to raise?
Caring for dwarf hamsters is quite easy. When compared to other popular pets like dogs or cats, they take up little space and are less noisy. These rodents are also inexpensive and will cost you $15- $20 only.
There are several other benefits of owning this tiny pet over other conventional animals.
If you got a small space where you can’t keep bigger animals but still wish to be a pet owner, these hamsters are the perfect pick for you.
But don’t get fooled by their size, dwarf hamsters are extremely energetic and fun loving. You will love playing with ‘em!
Also, you don’t have to worry about their cleanliness as hamsters naturally are clean animals. You can find them grooming and sprucing themselves a lot.
This grooming is usually adequate enough to keep your hamsters feeling, looking and smelling clean.
However, make sure not to give your hamster bath frequently.
Water can take away critical defensive oils from their coat. This can lead to them catching cold which can prove to be dangerous.
Dwarf hamsters are cute and adorable, but are they right pets for your kids?
Before buying a hamster, you must understand that they are not toys.
They depend upon us for their survival and need steady commitment from our side.
Most people treat hamsters as starter pets – something that doesn’t need much attention or commitment. But, that’s completely untrue.
They are important and need the same level of love and attention as we give to other pets like dogs and cats.
Because of their small size, dwarf hamsters are a popular choice as pets for children.
However, there are some things that you need to contemplate.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals; which means they wake up when it’s time for your kids to go to bed. Children especially those who are younger than 8 years old would naturally want to play with them during day time.
But if you abruptly wake a hamster up from their nap, they can actually bite.
To avoid hamster bites , Dwarf hamsters need to be gently stroked and should not be roughly handled – which is something kids usually don’t do.
That’s why, we do not advise dwarf hamsters as a good choice of pets for small children.
Also, young kids might not wash their hands after touching hamsters and can get exposed to salmonella virus as hamsters have been known to carry salmonella bacteria.
It is quite easy to raise and keep your hamster safe. They are independent and can take care of themselves.
You need to provide them with a clean cage with ample space to roam about. All the doors need to be secured properly so that they don’t escape.
Clean their cage weekly and you are all set. Make sure that your dwarf hamster cage has enough cage toys as hamsters are active. These toys don’t have to be fancy or expensive. You should get a running wheel that is proper for your hamster’s size. Arrange for fresh food and water.
Hamsters eat a variety of food, but you should go for hamster specific meals that you find at pet stores. Other than that, you can feed them kale, broccoli, celery, apples, strawberries, cherries, mangoes.
Pet-savvy tips for the new owners
If you are a new dwarf hamster owner and are skeptical about how to care for these little munchkins, we’ve got some useful tips for keeping hamsters you definitely don’t want to miss out!
- Provide your hamster with a large cage.
The cage should be at least 24 inches by 12 inches with a height of at least 12 inches. When it comes to hamsters, the bigger cage you choose, the better it is.
- Select the right hamster
There are different types of dwarf hamster cage available in the market. The most popular ones are the plastic cages, wooden cages, the wire cages and hamster tanks made of glass.
Due to dwarf hamsters being smaller in size than Syrian hamsters, wire cages are not a good option as they can escape easily.
Still, if you buy a wire cage for your hamster, make sure it got narrow bars.
Plastic cages are a popular choice as they are expandable in nature and generally come fitted with accessories. However, they tend to not provide much ventilation as compared to other cages.
Glass tanks come in different sizes and with ventilation holes. They are beautiful in appearance but might be too heavy to move around. Make sure that the hamster cage has a litter box .
- If you are purchasing hamsters in pair, they have to be the same sex.
If not, you should keep them in separate cages. The last thing you want is to deal with a litter of baby hamsters.
- Provide your dwarf hamsters with food that are rich in nutritious value.
Hamsters burn lot of calories as they are really active and hence, should be provided with good quality food. Hamster Treats should only be used while training them. Hamster water should be changed frequently.
- If you notice your hamster continuously has wet tail, you need to get them checked by a vet.
The main cause of wet tail is stress and can cause diarrhea. If not treated, it can turn fatal for your hamster.
How to trim your hamster nails with caution
If you notice that your hamster nails have started to twist below his paws, it is time for their nails to be trimmed.
Overgrown nails can cause problem for your hamster.
It can lead to infection or bleeding while your hamster scratch itself. Long nails also tend to split apart causing bleeding and pain.
You can take your hamster to the vet for its nail trimming session or trim on your own using a nail clipper. You have to be really careful as hamsters don’t sit still and there is fear of over cutting and hurting them.
Use a small clipper and ask someone to hold your hamster while you cut its nails.
Also make sure to not cut too near to the paws as you can end up hurting you hamster.
Always err on the side of caution and try to clip less particularly if you don’t have much experience and just getting started.
If you cut too much, you might leave that area prone to infection.
However, if you accidentally clip its nails too short and it starts to bleed, just apply some styptic powder on that area. You can easily get styptic powder from any pet shop.
Keeping baby hamsters at home
Hamsters are extremely vulnerable when they’re just born.
Hence, those pups need proper care to survive.
If your pet hamster has gotten pregnant, there are a few important things you should pay attention to.
First, you should ensure that your female pet dwarf hamster is indeed pregnant.
Weight gain alone is not a definite indicator of pregnancy. There might be other signs such as hoarding of food, aggressive behavior and nest building. You should take your hamster to the vet for ensuring the same.
Offer mama hamster with nutritious food and proper care.
Remove the male hamster from the same cage as females tend to behave aggressively during their pregnancy period and might harm the male hamster.
If you aren’t planning on keeping the baby hamsters, arrange future homes for them.
You can find friends who want to keep them or post ads on Craigslist. Never keep the hamsters unless you are ready for the additional responsibility that comes with them.
For about two to four days after the birth, do not disturb the mother hamster.
She might be stressed and behave violently. You might also not touch baby hamsters for minimum two weeks.
There is chance of you leaving your scent on them which may cause the mother hamster to abandon them or even kill them. If you have to move the baby hamster for some reason, use a spoon.
Do not interfere with the nesting cage for at least two weeks – this includes cleaning it as well. Check the cage frequently to ensure that there is proper food and fresh water for the baby hamsters.
After the two weeks period, you can start handling them and cleaning the cage. After around 40 days of birth, the hamsters are capable of breeding.
Thus, ensure to check their genders and separate the male hamsters from female after this period.
Once the baby hamsters are 5 weeks old, you can start caring for baby hamsters and playing with them as adult hamsters.