Hamsters - The Animal
There are two types of hamsters that are usually kept as pets, the golden hamster and the Siberian or dwarf hamster. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, which mean that it will be most active at night. Hamsters are best kept as solitary pets. Hamsters can live up to five years with good, proper care.
How to Take Care of a Hamster
Cage and Bedding: Hamsters are normally kept in cages. Make sure that the cage is big enough and that there is enough room for the hamster to move around. There should be a nice, thick layer of bedding. Bedding is usually made of wood shavings or sawdust because this is not toxic and will absorb the urine. You will need to change the bedding once or twice a week.
Water: Make sure that your hamster always has plenty of fresh, clean water in a water bottle. Make sure that the bottle doesn't touch the bedding and that your hamster can reach it easily. You don't want the bottle touching the bedding so that there are no leaks which can cause the bedding to rot and get your hamster sick.
Food: Feed your furry friend with hamster food once or twice a day. You can also give it treats with a little bit of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Toys: Provide your hamster with things to do, to chew and to play with to keep it in top physical condition with plenty of exercise. A hamster wheel is one good example for exercise and ou can also give the cardboard toilet paper rolls
Some Common Illnesses, Ailments and Health Problems
Extra care must be taken with heat. Hamsters can take the cold better than the heat. Never leave a hamster in a car or in the sun near a window on hot days. If hamsters suffer a sudden drop in temperature or lack of water, it could enter into hibernation. They will become cold and stiff and may even look like they died. Watch for whisker twitches. Hamsters can also be prone to problems with their teeth.
If you suspect that your pet hamster is not healthy and happy, talk to your vet. It may mean the difference between curing your pet and death. Following the advice under the 'How to Take Care of a Hamster' can help keep your furry friend free of hamster illnesses.