Having multiple pets in a single household is a dream come true for animal-loving parents. But you need to understand that creating a safe home for all your furry babies might not be the most straightforward task.
So, do hamsters and dogs get along?
In this article, we’ll answer this question and offer valuable tips to create a safe haven for all your beloved pets. So, keep reading.
Dogs have a natural hunting instinct, and hamsters are prey animals. This means that according to their nature, they won’t get along.
However, you can still have a dog and a hamster in your house by following certain safety tips, guaranteeing that both animals can coexist peacefully.
Before you introduce a dog to a hamster you’re keeping as a pet, there are a few things to consider.
- The nature of the dog itself. Some dog breeds are hunters and are more aggressive than others.
- The age and size of the dog. A bigger and older dog won’t necessarily get along with your hamster.
- The setup and how frequently you introduce them to one another.
In most cases, when you introduce a hamster to a dog, the dog will chase the hamster, trying to eat it.
This will scare the hamster too much, and it will run, trying to hide. As a matter of fact, hamsters are too fragile that they sometimes fake their own deaths to escape a stressful situation.
However, if the dog is too aggressive and your hamster is too scared, it might actually die of fear.
If you have a docile and friendly puppy, you might try to introduce it to your hamster. Yet, it’s important to introduce them only for a short period every day.
In all cases, you should never leave your hamster alone with the dog without any supervision or protection.
In the wild, dogs eat many prey animals, including rodents like hamsters.
So, if your hamster escapes the enclosure or your dog opens it by force, it might chase it, hunt it, and eventually eat it.
When your domesticated pet dog eats a hamster, it won’t feel OK.
Your dog might experience an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. If possible, you might want to have it checked by the vet.
Of course, this is an unfortunate situation that should be avoided.
Having a dog and a hamster in the same house is possible as long you follow the right tips and steps to provide both animals with a safe and appropriate home. In most cases, your dog will learn to accept the presence of the hamster without trying to chase it, and your hamster won’t be threatened.
Yet, there are some basic rules to follow to guarantee the safety of both animals.
A glass cage is the safest option for your hamster because there are no openings.
A wire cage has spaces that allow the dog to extend his paws and grab your little hamster. Even if it doesn’t succeed, it might harm your hamster or at least scare it.
Moreover, a glass cage is sturdier, so your hamster is less likely to escape and jeopardize its safety.
Yet, you should be careful about picking the right glass enclosure for your hamster.
The glass cage should be kept away from direct sunlight and heating vents because it heats up quickly. You should also remove the wet bedding regularly and clean it weekly to keep it safe and ammonia-free.
Moreover, an adequate-sized enclosure will be more comfortable for your hamster. An enclosure that feels too small might push your hamster to escape, where it can be in danger.
A 10-gallon tank is probably the minimum size for a glass enclosure if you want to keep your hamster comfortable.
However, if you live in a hot climate, a wire cage might be a better option for your hamster as it provides better ventilation. In this case, the spacing between the wires shouldn’t be bigger than 0.5 inches to prevent the dog from grabbing your cuddly hamster.
In this case, you should invest in a 12 X 12-inch wire cage.
Lack of entertainment can push your pets to subject themselves to danger.
A hamster that doesn’t have enough toys and accessories inside the enclosure will try to escape to explore the outside world.
This is why you need to make sure that there are enough chew toys, some ramps, and a nesting box where your furry hamster can take a nap.
At the same time, the dog should have enough exercise to keep it mentally stimulated. Having the right chew toys will also discourage your canine from dealing with your pet hamster like one.
Your hamster won’t try to escape if you’ve picked and customized the right enclosure to keep it happy.
Yet, it can still be in danger if you don’t secure the cage.
This is why you need to ensure that all doors are locked and that your dog can’t open them. Remember that dogs are smart, and they can easily figure out a way to open the cage if you don’t keep it secured.
Moreover, you might want to avoid tunnel attachments. These are more likely to break easily, and your dog might be able to access the enclosure by opening them.
If you have an older dog with a strong hunting instinct, you might want to separate both animals. This means that your dog shouldn’t be aware of the hamster’s existence or place.
At the same time, your hamster won’t be threatened by the dog’s presence, and both animals can coexist peacefully in the same household.
Since both animals live in different environments, this shouldn’t be a problem.
You might want to devote some quality time to your pet hamster while your dog is taking a walk with another family member, for example.
Hamsters have a good sense of hearing, and hearing a dog bark can scare them.
Train your dog not to bark inside the house because the continuous barking can stress your hamster, even if it can’t see the dog.
Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog not to bark inside the house. This will also help solve the problem if your neighbors are complaining.
With kids in the house, having multiple pets can be a little more challenging.
Your little ones might not be aware of the potential dangers of introducing the dog to the hamster. It’s important to teach your children that both animals should be kept separate.
This can also be a great way to teach your kids responsibility.
They should understand that the dog isn’t allowed to play with the hamster, and they should keep both animals separated at all times. Moreover, they should never open the hamster’s cage to play with it unless the dog is kept in a separate room.
It’s important to understand the nature of both animals.
It’s highly unlikely and almost impossible for a cute friendship to grow between your hamster and your dog.
Yet, if you follow the previous precautions, they can both live safely in the same house.
Dogs and hamsters aren’t meant to get along. Dogs are hunters, and hamsters are prey animals, so they won’t become friends.
Things can be a little easier if you have a puppy, but this situation is still too dangerous for your pet hamster.
In order to have both pets in the same house, you need to keep the hamster in a safe enclosure and keep both animals separated at all times.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.