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Keeping Hamsters as Pets: What You Should Know

Are you considering getting a hamster as a pet? If so, there are some things you should know before making your decision. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything from the basics of hamster care to what type of hamster is best for you. So whether you are a first-time pet parent or just looking to learn more about these furry creatures, read on for all the information you need to make the best decision for your family.

There Isn’t Just One Type of Hamster

When most people think of hamsters, they picture the small, brown, and white Syrian hamster. However, there are several different types of hamsters that you can choose from about which you can learn more at The most common include:

  • Syrian Hamster: Also known as the gold hamster or teddy bear hamster, this is the type of hamster most people think of when they imagine a pet hamster. They are typically between 6 and 8 inches long and have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.
  • Dwarf Hamster: As the name suggests, these hamsters are smaller than their Syrian counterparts, measuring just 4 to 5 inches long. There are several different breeds of dwarf hamsters, including the Russian dwarf hamster, Chinese dwarf hamster, and Roborovski dwarf hamster. Dwarf hamsters typically live for about 2 to 3 years.
  • Roborovski Hamster: This type of hamster is the smallest of the bunch, measuring just 2 to 3 inches long. They are also the longest-living species of hamster, with a lifespan of 3 to 4 years.

How and When to Feed Them

One of the most important aspects of hamster care is feeding them properly. Hamsters are omnivores, which means they need a diet that includes both vegetables and proteins. A good rule of thumb is to offer them a variety of both fresh and dry foods. For fresh foods, some great options include dark leafy greens, carrots, apples, and berries. As for proteins, you can give them cooked chicken or hard-boiled eggs. When it comes to dry food, you can buy special hamster food at your local pet store or make your mix with pellets, seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. Just be sure to avoid giving them any high-sugar foods like candy or cake as these can lead to health problems.

  • How Often: As for how often to feed them, a good rule of thumb is to offer them food once per day. You can leave it in their cage for them to snack on as they please or put it in a bowl for them to eat at mealtimes. Just be sure to remove any uneaten food before the next feeding so it doesn’t go bad.
  • Water: Water is also an important part of a hamster’s diet. Be sure to provide them with a clean water bottle that is filled with fresh water daily. You should also clean out the water bottle and replace the water every few days to prevent bacteria from building up.

Providing Them with a Safe and Comfortable Home

Now that you know what type of hamster is best for you and how to properly feed them, it’s time to start thinking about where they will live. Hamsters are relatively low-maintenance pets, but they do need a few things in their cage to stay happy and healthy. First and foremost, you need to make sure the cage is big enough for your hamster to comfortably move around in. A good rule of thumb is to get a cage that is at least 24 inches long and 12 inches wide. Wire cages are a popular option as they provide good ventilation. You also need to think about where you will put the cage. It should be in a quiet area away from any drafts or direct sunlight.

Providing Them with the Proper Care

Now that you know how to set up their home and what to feed them, it’s time to start thinking about their daily care. Hamsters are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things you need to do to keep them healthy and happy. You should brush your hamster’s fur at least once a week to remove any dirt and debris. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush designed specifically for hamsters so you don’t harm their delicate skin. You will also need to trim their nails every few weeks. You can either do this yourself or take them to a professional groomer. And, unlike most other animals, hamsters don’t need to be bathed very often.


Hamsters make great pets for people of all ages. They are relatively low-maintenance and can be easily cared for with just a few minutes of daily attention. So, if you’re looking for a furry friend to add to your family, a hamster may be the perfect option for you!

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