Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tips on Selecting a Pet Hamster for a Child

This basic tip guide is titled in regards to selecting a pet hamster for a child, but could also be used for any first time pet owner who is not experienced with hamsters. You will note that although hamsters are fairly common small pets, they are still considered to be exotic pets in most areas.

Before you rush out and get a hamster for your child, or yourself, there are a few facts to keep in mind.

Hamsters are nocturnal, they will be awake in the evening and night. They will want exercise during this time and that might mean running all night on a squeaky wheel, if this does not work for you, then a hamster is probably not a good pet to get.

photo source
The wheel is safe since the hamster cannot get his toes stuck, but it is a bit small.

Hamsters need a lot of exercise, as we mentioned above. They should have a large cage with extensive tunnel systems, or be taken out for a couple hours every evening to get their exercise.

Hamsters should be kept alone. Although some stores will tell you they can be kept in pairs, unless they are in a very large cage there is no guarantee they will not kill each other. Hamsters are typically solitary animals, best kept individually.

Hamsters do bite. If you are afraid of getting bitten, this is not a good pet to get, because at some point the hamster probably will bite. Bites are more likely to occur if the hamster is woken suddenly, but also if it is handled incorrectly, or not handled enough.

Hamsters from the pet store are more likely to bite than one from a breeder, shelter, or home. Pet stores typically get their pets from mass breeders so they are not use to being handled prior to arriving at the store, as such they are not tame.

Males tend to be slightly more docile and friendly than females.

For children it is important to note that the pets must be handled properly or can be hurt. Kids should be shown how to use both hands to hold their pet and never be allowed to pick it up by the scruff of its neck.

Hamsters tend to be fairly healthy when properly cared for, one of the biggest risks is “Wet tail”, which is fatal.

Hamster owners must check to be sure their pet has food, and water daily. The cage should be thoroughly cleaned every week (or less often if its a big cage), however dirty corner areas should be cleaned out more regularly.

The lifespan of a hamster is usually 2 – 4 years depending on the type of hamster, with the larger teddy bear ones tending to live the longest.

Further Reading

Which is a Better Pet, Hamster or Guinea Pig?


  1. It is really nice to hear your discussion on specific topic here. I too agree with your points here. keep posting good blogs. Thanks.Register Domain

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  3. I love your post here, I had hamsters as a child and they taught me pet responsibility. I had a little ball made for hamsters and I would put mine in and he would run around the house in his little ball all safe.

  4. Interesting post! I agree with your all points here, may be its tough to handle hamster.

  5. thanks for the sharing , i think with those techniques it's time to get one

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  7. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.Keep posting such great info for us thanks.

  8. I really love this animal. I love watching it running full of excited on the wheel. My cousin has three or four hamsters. But I don't think this is the perfect pet for me since I really scared to get biten. I still love this animal though. Will pass this great information to my cousin. Thanks.

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  10. Good info. I'd like to clarify something though. Teddy bear hamsters only bite out of fear. Children need to be taught not to wake them suddenly or try to grab them fast, as the hamster will feel threatened. Learning how to tame a hamster isn't hard if people have the right info.

  11. Hello! I would like to say that you have writen a great post about hamsters, but I would like to say taht dwarf hamsters may be kept in pairs. Also many people think they don't need large cage because of their size but this is wrong. They need large cage as they are active. To get more information about dwarf hamsters you can visit my site:

  12. I love the hamster there are so cute! thank you for this post.

  13. nice post, hamsters are very inteligent animals.

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  16. Great care guide. If you don't mind, I'd like to add a care sheet as well.

  17. I had hamsters as a child and they taught me pet responsibility. I had a little ball made for hamsters and I would put mine in and he would run around the house in his little ball all safe.Thanks for sharing.
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