So, you've just brought home a new hamster. Congratulations! Let's talk about what to expect from your new pet, and what you can do to make your home as welcoming as possible.
Your hamster doesn’t need a housewarming party! Leave your new friend alone to finish moving in at least 24 hours. IF you are adopting from a breeder, ask about your hamster's comfort with handling and go from there. In the meantime, keep in mind:
Your hamster has been through a lot of change just now, and needs to get to know you. Go slowly and have patience.
Welcome to the exciting world of hamster racing! Did you know hamsters can run up to 8 miles per night? But they can only enjoy this if you give them a wheel! If their back arches as they run, the wheel is too small. Aim for at least 8” for dwarf hamsters and 12" for Syrian hamsters, with a solid running surface. See our wheel list for more info!
Congratulations, you now have your own interior decorator! Provide him/her with both homemade toys made from non-toxic materials and store-bought toys. Be creative! Stick to paper-based beddings (we suggest Kaytee Klean and Kozy) or shredded Aspen. Cedar, pine, and products labeled "soft wood" can irritate your hamster’s sensitive respiratory systems and sadly lead to death.
Feeding and Nutrition
You’ve just adopted a tiny food critic! Seed mixes provide great variety, but hamsters tend to pick out their favourite bits and leave the rest—if you could eat cupcakes and french fries all the time, wouldn’t you? So, we suggest that you offer a high quality block diet, with a seed mix to supplement.
Unlike most kids, this one has no problem eating their fruits and veggies. They will enjoy a small amount of fresh food as often as possible. Visit our treats page for a list of options! We suggest that you feed fresh foods or healthy treats instead of pet store goodies. It’s hard to resist the call of the yogurt drop or edible log, but your friend will thank you!
Visit our Feeding and Nutrition Page for more information.
What about bath time? Don’t fill up that tub! Your hamster should never get wet! Instead, your hamster will keep themselves clean if you provide them with a dish of sand. You can find hamster safe sand in your pet shop branded as chinchilla sand (NOT dust!). Otherwise, look no further than the hardware store for a bag of children’s play sand. Before giving it to your hamster, spread it on a baking sheet and toss it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes to sterilize it—this is important! Let it cool, and you’re good to go. See our sand page for more specific information!
If you notice your hamster is looking unwell, make sure to take it to the vet. We will try to help you find one if you shoot us a message!