Parents know how it is when their little ones start asking for a pet. Having one is a lot of responsibility, more than these kids realize. This is why papas and mamas try to avoid getting one and end up having yet another living creature to take care of. For example, dogs will need to be taken for daily walks, not to mention for toilet breaks. Cats need a lot of attention, which parents cannot always give.
However, not all pets will require a lot of care, specifically smaller animals that live in their own cage like the hamster. These small fluffy creatures are one of these “pocket pets” that are friendly and cuddly. They are one of the most popular choices for those who are looking for small pets.
For those who want to learn a bit more about these cuddly little animals, here are some interesting facts.
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How They Were “Discovered”
Syrian hamsters are the most popular types of hamsters that have been adopted as pets, although there are different types that exist all over the world. They are named so because they were discovered in the Syrian Desert about 100 years ago. They are also known as golden hamsters or teddy bear hamsters. This type normally lives about 2 to 3 years and grow to 6 inches long.
They are Night Creatures
Hamsters are nocturnal creatures and you can expect them to be quite noisy in the night. This means, you would not want them in the bedroom and keep you up at night. When they are awake and active, they love running on the wheels in the cage so they are anything but quiet. During the day when they are sleeping, they should be in a dark and peaceful area. It is not a good idea to disturb them and instead, they should be left alone to sleep.
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They are Hoarders
They love to hoard their food on their cheeks. Here they have small pockets or cheek pouches and they store their food there to be eaten much later. These pouches are big, as they may extend all the way to their shoulders. Their name, hamster, comes from the German word hamstern, meaning “to hoard.”
Hamster food is a combination of pellets, some nuts and seeds, and fresh vegetables like spinach, carrots, and apples.
They Like to be Alone
Syrian hamsters do not like to have company and will fight with any cage mates. At about 6 to 10 weeks of age, they start to become territorial, so it is a good idea to separate them from this moment on.
They Sleep in Enclosed Spaces
They like to burrow and sleep, so you should include things like small flowerpots or even paper towel tubes for them to sleep in. To make it soft, use shredded paper or Timothy hay. Pine and cedar shavings are not a good idea because they may lead to respiratory issues. At the same time, any type of wood shavings, corn cob or walnut shells are also not appropriate because they produce dust and cannot be digested if the hamster eats them. Lastly, they need materials for nesting like white paper towels or shredded paper.
They are Teething All the Time
Hamster teeth are growing continuously, which is why they always need something to chew on. Their teeth will then remain healthy and worn down. For this purpose, you can purchase wooden blocks and toys that are made of hay. However, stay clear of things made of cedar, pine, and soft plastic, as they are harmful to your hamster if it ends up eating it.
They Should Visit the Vet Often
In order to keep your pet healthy and give it a long life, you should bring it to the vet’s office regularly. Teeth trimming can also be done routinely. If your pet seems to be sick, like suffering from a runny nose, diarrhea, or is shaking and has skin lesions, consult a vet immediately.
They Love to Work Out
Hamsters have a high metabolism, which is why they need a lot of exercise. To keep them happy and entertained, make sure they have a hamster wheel. There are also clear plastic hamster balls that they can use to roll around on the floor. However, make sure to keep an eye on the hamster ball to avoid injuries if it falls off a table or down the stairs.
In conclusion, these facts prove how easy hamsters are to have as house pets. More than that, kids will love seeing them running on their wheel or ball, as these cuddly and furry little animals are wonderful to have around.