They might be cute and small, but just like any other animal, hamsters should not be adopted as an impulse decision. Do your homework before deciding whether one or more of these critters would be a good addition to your family.
Hamsters require daily care for optimal health and happiness, which includes keeping their enclosure clean. And when it comes to living spaces, the bigger the better. “Purchase a living area as large as you can accommodate,” says Fenella Speece of Wee Companions, a small-animal adoption center in University City.
A large clear plastic tub will give the hamster lots of space for roaming and toys, and give you easy access to the hamster. Hamsters are nocturnal, so house them somewhere they won’t keep you up at night and make sure they have quiet toys.
When it comes to living arrangements, the human’s home is just as important as the hamster’s.
“Adult homes or homes where younger children are supervised are ideal,” Speece says, stressing that adults should always supervise children during animal interactions to ensure proper handling and care.
If you’re considering multiple hamsters, make sure they can live together. Syrian-breed hamsters are solitary and need to live apart. Smaller dwarf breeds can live together in large spaces if they’re the same sex and get along.
Hamsters love daily human interaction and react best when they’re fully awake and not startled, so make sure you let them know you’re there before picking them up to avoid nipping and make your “hamster hello” a happy one.
Go to sdhumane.org for more on available pets