Hamsters are adorable, fuzzy pets. Because they are so small, most owners assume they are easy to care for. That is true for the most part, but there are some intricacies to their care that may take some getting used to when you're a new hamster owner. Follow these hamster care tips to keep your tiny pet happy and healthy.
1. Keep the cage tightly closed.
Hamsters are escape artists. They can squeeze their bodies through really tiny openings, and they can pry cage bars open rather easily. Make sure the cage you buy for your hamster closes very securely. If it has a hatch-style opening on the top, you may want to set a book or other heavy item on top of the cage for some extra security. Hamsters who escape are at risk of injury and illness—if you even find them again.
2. Let them out for some exercise.
Even if your hamster has a rather large cage, he or she will need some out-of-cage time for more exercise and entertainment. The best way to do this is by placing your hamster in a hamster ball. He or she can then explore without you worrying that you'll lose your pet. Exercise will keep your hamster's heart healthy and will keep it from becoming so bored.
3. Feed some fresh foods.
Your hamster can mostly get by on hamster pellets, but it's best to give them a little fresh produce every now and then. A slice of carrot, tiny stick of celery, or little chunk of apple is enough. The fresh food is higher in vitamins and minerals to keep your hamster's immune system healthy.
4. Keep the cage dry.
Make sure you change the cage bedding often. When it is wet, it can get your hamster's coat wet, which puts your little pet at risk for a cold. Wet bedding may also attract flies, and they may bite or lay eggs on your hamster.
5. Keep the temperature moderate.
Hamsters do not fare well when it's really hot or cold out. Make sure their cage is not close to a window or a door, so they don't experience drafts. Don't place the cage in front of a heating vent, either. Aim to keep the cage in a room that's between 65 and 80 degrees.
If you need any more help caring for your hamster, reach out to a pet care professional in your area.