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Are Hamsters Good Pets for First-Time Owners?

Are Hamsters Good Pets for First-Time Owners?

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you considering getting a pet, but unsure which one is right for you? If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for pet, a hamster is for you.

This brings us to the question: Are hamsters good pets for first-time owners? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why hamsters are good pets for beginners, kids, and adults, as well as other related topics.

If you are considering getting a hamster, read on to learn more.

Why Are Hamsters Good Pets for Beginners?

Pet hamsters are one of the best choices for first-time pet owners. They’re easy to care for, inexpensive, and live long lives. They’re also small enough that their cages fit on a shelf or table, making them ideal for apartments or smaller homes.

There are many similarities between pet hamsters and other small pets. They’re social creatures who enjoy interacting with humans and other pets. They also are more active than larger animals, like rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets.

Besides being friendly, these little critters make great housemates. You can teach pet hamsters basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and go potty outside their cage when they’re ready.

What Should You Know Before Getting a Hamster?

Hamsters are easy to take care of, but there are things you need to know before getting one.

1 – Type of Hamster

Four types of hamsters are popular with first-time owners. These are the Syrian, Dwarf, Robovski, and Chinese hamsters.

The Syrian hamster or golden hamster is the most ideal for beginners since it’s easy to tame, fun to watch, and needs low maintenance.

2 – Choosing a Hamster

It’s important to select a hamster that appears healthy. It needs to have neat, clean fur, and not display any sign of diarrhea on its backside. Check also for any discharge from its eyes, nose, or mouth.

3 – What Hamsters Eat

In the wild, hamsters are omnivores; they eat nuts, vegetables, and tiny insects. If kept as pets, a hamster’s diet is made up of prepared pellets, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

4 – Hamsters Are Nocturnal Creatures

Your hamster is most active at night. You might hear them scuttle, eat, and run about when you’re trying to sleep.

5 – Hamster Life Span

Hamsters, on average, live for 2-3 years. The Syrian, and Roborovski Dwarf hamsters, may reach up to four years.

How to Care For Your New Hamster

When you start keeping your new hamster, knowing how to care for your pet can be confusing. To help you out, we’ll explore the basics of hamster care.

Here are some basic ideas to get you started.

Choosing a Home for Your Hamster

Your hamster’s home should be a secure and comfortable environment. Make sure that it’s an adequate place to eat, sleep, and that there’s plenty of room for exercise.

You should keep your hamster in an enclosure that’ll keep it from escaping. It should help mice and other rodents from getting in.

What to Feed Your Hamster

As mentioned earlier, hamsters are omnivores, meaning, they eat plants and insects. Additionally, you can also feed them commercial hamster pellets for nutritional balance.

Here are some common foods that hamsters can eat:

  • Fruits: Apples, pears, bananas, and oranges are good choices for your hamster.
  • Vegetables: Carrots, peppers, and corn are all great additions to your hamster’s diet.
  • Grains: Brown rice, oats, and quinoa are all safe for your hamster to eat.

You should avoid mixing grains with seeds or nuts because this can cause an upset stomach in your hamster.

How to Handle Your Hamster

Hamsters don’t like to be handled by strangers. If you correctly hold your hamster, you’ll be able to let it know you better and it’ll accept being handled more easily.

Before touching or picking up your pet, make your presence known. This ensures that it sees you, so you don’t startle it. Safely pick up your hamster by cupping it in your hands. You can also pick it up by its loose skin at the back of its neck.

You should only handle your hamster for short periods because it can become stressed, which may lead to an increased tendency to bite.

Why Hamsters Bite

Hamsters are pretty curious pets, and they have poor eyesight. Because of this, they use their paws, nose, and teeth to probe things around them. Often they don’t intend to bite; they’re only using their teeth to feel out something that fancies their curiosity.

Hamsters are not aggressive animals, but they can bite when startled. If, in case, your hamster bites, clean the bite wound with soap and water. If an infection occurs, notify your doctor.

Some Common Illnesses and Health Problems in Hamsters

Hamsters are one of the most popular pets. They’re wonderful companions, but they do come with some health risks.

Hamsters may have a variety of illnesses and disorders, including

  • Parasites: Hamsters are susceptible to many parasites, including mites, ticks, and fleas. Providing treatment early on against these parasites will prevent disease and illness in your pet hamster.
  • Lung problems: Lung diseases are common in hamsters because they can breathe through their skin. This leads to infections from bacteria or viruses that enter through their noses or mouths.
  • Skin problems: Hamsters exposed to chemicals in their environment often develop skin rashes and infections on their nose and paws. This results from contact with the chemicals’ residue.

Are Hamsters Good Pets for Kids?

Taking care of a hamster pet may be easy and is an ideal starter pet for adults, but they aren’t good pets for kids. Here are several reasons:

  1. Hamsters sleep most of the day. Kids won’t appreciate or understand why their pets won’t play with them. If startled or disturbed, a sleeping hamster might resort to biting. A kid’s soft skin or small fingers don’t have a chance against those razor-sharp hamster teeth.
  2. Kids still have developing immune systems. Hamsters can carry a host of parasites, bacteria, and viruses that a child’s immune system might not handle. After all, kids don’t mind not washing their hands after touching their pets.
  3. It’s seldom expected for kids to be feeding, cleaning, and doing a host of other things in taking care of their pet hamster. With their brief span of interest, kids would soon get bored, and leave their pets, ending up neglected.

Are Hamsters Good Pets for Adults?

Yes, hamsters are good pets for adults. Since a hamster is a nocturnal animal, it’s an ideal companion for night owls working alone on late night shifts. Considered Emotional Support Animals (ESA), hamsters also make good pets for adults that are coping with emotional stress.

Adults can well provide for the low-maintenance needs of a hamster, as long as they have the proper knowledge of taking care of hamsters.

Final Thoughts

Are hamsters good pets for first owners? Yes, they are. Hamsters are affectionate to humans and their small size makes their upkeep quite easy for beginner pet owners.

These small pets also require little for their food and habitat. Taking care of them requires almost no cost.

Having hamsters as pets for kids isn’t a good idea. That’s because kids still lack the responsibility skills that are required in taking care of fragile and sensitive animals like a hamster.

Given good care, pet hamsters provide their owners with emotional satisfaction and stress relief.

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