Care and feeding of the hamster
Rodents are great friends and one of the best options if you want to have a pet because of its small size and the care you need not to be excessive. They are small rodents in general friendly and curious, with whom you will enjoy watching them eat, investigate and run.
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However, as with any other living being, it must have some notions that allow it to provide the animal with the care it needs to enjoy a good state of health. Then on the ExpertAnimal we will explain everything you need to know about the care and feeding of the hamster .
How to Care for a Hamster
The hamster cage
In order for the hamster to feel comfortable with the arrival at his house, it will be crucial to have already prepared the cage in which he will live. You may find many options for sale but most of them are too small which can cause stress and discomfort to the animal.
The minimum space of a cage for a hamster should be about 60 cm long x 50 cm wide x 50 cm deep . The ideal would be to acquire a two-storey building where you can put tunnels and various structures. The cage should always be wide and comfortable for our little hamster.
However, if you are considering adopting a roborovski hamster (which is really small), you can choose to buy an aquarium or terrarium and pack it properly, which will allow to avoid leakage by the hamster. The roborovski hamsters are so small and have the facility of passing through narrow places that you are most likely to be able to escape from any cage.
Cleaning the cage should be done weekly to avoid accumulation of feces and foster a hygienic environment to the animal.
The location of the cage
This detail is truly important, since the hamster’s quality of life will depend on where the house is located. It is important to choose a ventilated place that does not have drafts. The temperature should be constant and oscillate between 18 and 26ºC .
We also emphasize the importance of placing the cage in a semi-shade place , since the direct sun can cause a heat stroke in the hamster.
This is a very important factor to take into account. You should choose an absorbent substrate that will not produce dust in any way. For this, the most recommended are natural wood pellets or cellulose.
The toys and the nest
In addition to the elements like the water fountain and the feeder, the hamster needs to have a place to take refuge . You can use a nest, a small box or any other element that allows you to rest and isolate yourself from the sunlight.
You will also need distractions to better spend time when you do not play or interact with it. The tunnels, stairs, toys and other elements will help enrich your everyday life.
Feeding the hamster
The feeding of a hamster should be balanced and varied in order to cover all your nutritional needs. For this, it should include seeds, vegetables, fruit, cereals and nuts. Next we will explain to you what are the bases of your diet and what foods may or may not offer you:
There are for sale different foods already prepared that you can offer your hamster daily. They are usually composed of cereals and seeds and dehydrated fruits. This type of diet is aneffective basis for your fiber and protein intake, however you should also include in your diet various fruits and vegetables .
Cereals and vegetables
The hamster’s diet should be high in fiber and low in fats, so we should choose those foods rich in carbohydrates and fiber. Cereals and seeds should be the basis of hamster feeding .
If you decide not to buy commercial feed and do your hamster feeding yourself, take note of the following ingredients. You should buy them and mix them raw.
The intake of hamster proteins can be supplemented through the nuts, although these should not be offered very regularly. Some examples are hazelnuts, walnuts, nuts, almonds or seeds. All of them should be given without salt or any kind of elaboration.
You can also offer meat, fish and insects to supplement your protein intake, but we should not abuse them. Once a week will be more than enough. Some of the most usual are:
- Turkey meat or steamed chicken
- Steam cod
- Worm meal
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are very important foods for the hamster. You should make sure to offer these foods to your hamster every day:
Discover all the fruits and vegetables that the hamster can eat in this article.
The water should be renewed daily and bottle-type containers are usually used because they are more hygienic and easy to use. However, if you just adopted your hamster, it is advisable to offer a small container on the ground to drink directly from it, since some are not aware of its operation.
Do not forget that there are also forbidden foods for the hamster that should never give you. Among them we find leftovers from our own food, foods with spices, salt and various condiments or those that are not digestible.
É importante dedicar tempo ao cuidado dos dentes do hamster para evitar anomalias como o crescimento excessivo ou dentes quebrados. Encontrará à venda elementos específicos para isso como ramos de árvores frutais que permitem um desgaste normal dos dentes. Informe-se numa loja de animais perto de si.
Generally a well-kept hamster has no complications in his health, but the following signs may indicate disease :
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss or poor condition
- Nasal or lacrimal discharge
If you notice any of these symptoms in your adult hamster, it is essential to take him or her to the veterinarian immediately to rule out any problem or start a specific treatment or care as soon as possible.
If you have recently adopted or are planning to adopt a hamster, check out our list of cool names !
If you want to see more information, like this one, please visit our Basic Care section .