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Dwarf Hamsters as Pets

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

This is written for anyone who is intending to get a dwarf hamster. Before getting a pet hamster, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions to see if a dwarf hamster is really a suitable pet for you and your family.

Can you afford dwarf hamsters as pets?

You could get the little furball for under ten bucks but a good-sized cage would cost $20 and up, accessories another $10 to $15, and food and other supplies another 10 to 15 bucks. Supplies run out too so you'll have to replenish them. And if your pet hammy gets sick, you'll have to pay the veterinarian bill.

A cage for your pet dwarf hamster

Super Pet CritterTrail One Level Habitat Pink Edition
Amazon Price: $40.95 $19.59 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 3, 2013)
Hamster cages like the Super Pet CritterTrail One Level Habitat are actually considered very small to many dwarf hamster owners. Cages that are larger than this would cost even more. Even though dwarf hamsters are quite tiny, they need a lot of space to run around and explore.

The good thing about this cage is that is it's extendable so you could attach tubes and connect it to other CritterTrail parts to make it much larger if you don't mind spending even more on the cage.

Dwarf Hamsters as Pets

Can you handle a dwarf hamster?

They may be cute but they're not very cuddly especially at first. You'll have to spend time playing with them and taming them until they get used to you and don't run away from you. You can't play with your dwarf hamster for a day and ignore them for the rest of the week and expect them to remember you when you want to play with them again next week. Dwarf hamsters don't have very good memories.

Are you afraid of hamster bites?

Even though it's not common for a dwarf hamster to bite for no reason, bites do happen and they're not pleasant. It will feel like a really hard pinch and then worse if they are really going for it. You might even bleed. It might be accidental because you smell like food, or it could be because you've done something to make them scared or angry.

Do you have time to keep them clean?

Hamsters groom themselves but they do not come potty trained. They'll urinate all over the cage and wheel and you'll have to clean out their cage and accessories a few times a day. The wheel is especially gross because your cute little furballs will pee on it, eat their food on it and sleep it in. It won't be just stinky. It will look grimy, yellow and disgusting if you don't clean it every few days.

Super Pet CritterTrail Outhouse
Amazon Price: $12.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 3, 2013)
One way to help keep your cage clean is to get a hamster potty and fill it with sand. Hamsters usually go potty in one area of the cage and experienced owners recommend putting the potty in that area to encourage them to use it. Placing poop and soiled bedding from other parts of the cage in the potty will also increase the likelihood of your hammy using this, but it is not guaranteed. If you can manage to potty-train your hamster, it will make the cage smell less bad and require less frequent cleaning.

Do you have very young kids?

Toddlers and hamsters don't go well together. Kids have been known to toss hamsters around and set them free. I've even seen a Yahoo Answers post that talked about their kid stomping on the pet rodent. Needless to say, the poor rodent did not live happily ever after. If your kid decides to go Godzilla on Hamtaro, that's going to be the end of it. Will you keep your hamster safe from your kid?

Will you have time to play with your hamster?

Hamsters are not decorative pieces and need to be played with frequently. If you get only one, you will be its only companion. If you get two, you'll need to monitor them so they don't fight and hurt each other. Dwarf hamsters have been known to live with each other peacefully for a year and then all of a sudden start fighting.

Can you bear them dying after one to three years?

As much as we would like our pets to live forever, they don't and these rodents' lives are particularly short. Can you bear forming an attachment to your lovable furball and then watching it die in such a short time?

Still want dwarf hamsters as pets?

Learn how to take care of them first with these books

Hamsterlopaedia: A Complete Guide to Hamster Care
Amazon Price: $116.28 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 3, 2013)
The Hamsterlopaedia, while not a book specifically about dwarf hamsters, is a comprehensive resource that any hammy owner should have. It includes basic information on all types of hamsters that are available as pets as well as in-depth information on the care and feeding of these adorable rodents.

What I love most about this book is the huge section on hamster illness and diseases. No other hamster book I've read has such a detailed section to help figure out what your hamster has in case it gets sick. The book also has sections on breeding and showing your hamsters if that is something that you are into.

The contents page of this book is available for browsing on Amazon so you can have a look for yourself to see how much useful information it contains. The prices may be ridiculous depending on the availability of the book but a second-hand copy should come much cheaper.
Dwarf Hamsters (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
Amazon Price: $8.99 $4.87 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 3, 2013)
This is another great book for any potential dwarf hamster owner. If you prefer having more photographs than text, this book might be a better read for you than the Hamsterlopaedia. I would say that this is a book that you'll enjoy reading while the Hamsterlopaedia is something that's better as a reference when you get into trouble with your pet.

This book covers all the basics of dwarf hamster care as well as breeding and genetics.


May 5, 2013 10:15am
Hi--Nice article and my wife and I have always been suckers for all kinds fo animals big and small. And, as a kid I OF COURSE had to have a hampster but also rabbits, a skunk and even a monkey. I think what is important about pets is that they remind us to love. 2 big thumbs from me and....a rating.
May 6, 2013 5:52pm
Thank you :)
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