The following tips can help ensure that your hamster remains safe and healthy.
Safety tips for hamster housing
- House the hamster in a quiet part of the house that is not too bright. This will ensure the hamster is not disturbed during the day.
- Don’t expose the hamster to any drastic changes in temperature. If a hamster is too cold it may go into semi-hibernation. They can also develop heatstroke if they get too warm too quickly
- Make sure your hamster is out of reach of other larger animals. Cats and dogs have been known to injure or even kill hamsters
- Don’t put your cage in a high place. If the hamster escapes from its cage, you don’t want it to fall from a height
- Don’t keep hamsters in pairs of the opposite sex. Not only is there a risk of pregnancy, the hamsters may attack each other
- Don’t put two unrelated hamsters in the same cage. They are likely to fight and sustain serious injuries.
- If your hamsters live in the same cage, separate them immediately if they fight. You don’t want to wait until one of them is dead
- Syrian hamsters are solitary and should NEVER be housed with another hamster
When buying new cage and accessories
- When you buy a bar cage, make sure the gaps between the bars are small enough that the hamster cannot squeeze through them
- Do not get a runged wheel. Your hamster may injure itself if it’s feet get caught between the rungs
- If you are using a cage with an open top, make sure your hamster can’t escape by climbing any new accessories you add to the cage
When feeding and caring for your hamster
- Try to get food with no added sugar and has at least 15% protein. This will ensure that the hamster is getting a balanced diet and everything they need for a healthy digestive system
- Give hammy something to gnaw on. Hamster teeth are continually growing and if they get too long this can cause problems.
- Ensure the hamster gets enough exercise. Hamsters are very active creatures and a hamster wheel in the cage will provide the hamster with all the exercise it need
- Don’t bathe your hamster in water
- Do not use pine or cedar bedding. There are lots of great bedding available that aren’t harmful to your pet.
- Check the water bottle daily to make sure that it’s still working and has fresh water in it
- Don’t feed your hamster human junk food like chocolate, candy, or chips; most of it is unsafe for hamsters
When playing with your hamster
- Wash hands before and after handling a hamster. This will help reduce the risk of infection and can remove any smells of food from the hands that may lead to getting bitten
- After the cage has been open make sure all doors and clasps are secure. If the hamster were to escape it may be very difficult to find it again
- Check any plastic toys regularly. If these become broken and develop sharp edges the hamster could become injured
- Do not hold a new hamster or a nervous one from a height. It may jump off your hand
- Don’t grab a hamster suddenly; it might get scared and bite
- Don’t let your hamster out unsupervised
- If you let your hamster free-range (with supervision), make sure the room is hamster-proof
- Don’t let your hamster in a hamster ball for long periods (more than 10 – 15 minutes)
- If you have larger pets, make sure they can’t get to your hamster while you’re playing with or free-ranging it
Have we missed anything out? Let us know in the comments below 🙂