how do you take care of a hamster?

i just bought one and i have all the stuff for it but i dont know what i need to do

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Where did you get this little one from? If you got him from a petstore I am extremely displeased. They should have gone over everything with you. They aren't doing their job and the most important part of their job is the well being of the animal. I would call the store and just mention that they did not go over the proper care with you. This way they can fix things for the future. See if there is a name on the receipt so they can talk to that individual. Pet stores get a bad rep for reasons just like this.

    That being said, let me get you started. Every animal has 4 basic needs: behavioral, environmental, nutritional, and maintenance. I am going to give you the brief overview but email me and I will be happy to go into further detail about everything.

    Most importantly, with the supplies you purchased, did you get something called Dry Tail? Wet Tail is a very common illness in hamsters and if untreated it can be fatal; it is pretty much diarreah which is toxic to them. Dry Tail is a preventative that you put in the water. It costs about $8. Our store gives you a 7 day warranty with this purchase. Check to see if your store has any warranty. Go buy this stuff if you haven't already.

    Environmental- this is basically the cage, water bottle and food dish. Pretty self explanatory.

    Maintenance- this starts with the bedding for the cage. You want to stay away from cedar shavings as they can be toxic to some animals. Go for the super absorbent brand. Look into some type of cage disinfectant and possibly a litter pan. Hamsters will find their place to do their business and will always go there. Let them pick it out. If you choose to use a little pan, place it where they chose. Either way, you want to spot clean once every 1-2 days. Scoop up the bedding from that area. Once a week change all the litter and clean the bottom with the disinfectant. This is important because urine soaked bedding can cause the growth of fungal spores which are extremely dangerous to the pet. Regular cleaning like I mentioned and you will be just fine.

    Nutritional- the hamster food you feed him should be a mixture of pellets, seeds and corn, providing the basic nutrition. You can add vitamins if you choose and go have fun picking out treats but use them sparingly, they are not a part of their regular diet. Salt/mineral blocks are great because they provide them with minerals and helps keep them hydrated.

    Behavioral- your hamster is a rodent and nocturnal. I don't know how much you've been told so I'm going over the basics. Being a rodent, they have continuously growing insicors. Its important that they grind them down because if their teeth grown too long they can break or keep them from opening their mouth. For this you use the wood blocks. They are safe for them in that they don't splinter. They even sell some in different flavors. Other alternatives is where you can have fun. I bought my hamster a fully edible, all natural tree trunk. He can sit in it while chomping away. This works just as well for the teeth.

    Being nocturnal your hamster will sleep during the day and want to play at night. Since this usually conflicts with our schedules you need to provide him with things to keep him busy. Use a wheel inside the cage to let him run. They sell silent ones which are wonderful because they are a stronger plastic and I can keep them in my room at night. As far as during the day, if you wake him up properly he won't mind. Wake him up with a little treat to his nose and pet him from behind. No one wants a big finger coming at them. Let him wake up a little bit and put him in a ball to run around.

    Hamsters need 'niches'. They need to cozy dark place to sleep in to provide comfort and security. They sell so many different options to go with. I use a plastic igloo but have fun with that as well.

    There is so much information out there, internet and the library. I would suggest borrowing a book from the library or buying a book on hamsters to learn the normal, healthy characterists and what symptoms to watch for. Also, you can find a list of fruits and vegetables that are safe for your little one.

    Any questions just email me and I'd be more than happy to help!

    Enjoy your new pet!


    Source(s): Petland pet counselor; happy hamster owner of many many years
  • Pamela
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    I have a dwarf hamster too. Here is how I do it. I clean his cage out every sunday. It has to be done once a week. I empty his cage, wash everything that is washable, replace wood shavings (never sawdust), refill his food bowl. Empty out his food bowl and fill it up again on wednesday night. They need their water bottles emptied and refilled every night. Never use a bowl, they get all full of bedding and the hamster can drown in them. A good run round in a hamster ball a few times a week for about 20 mins, half an hour plus a wheel in the cage that is big enough is plenty of exercise. The hamster should be able to run in the wheel wiithout arching its back. If it cant then you have to get a bigger wheel. You can generally tell how much space is enough. You should be able to fit the wheel, food bowl, bed and some toys in there and still have enough floor space for the hamster to move around easily. Wire cages with a plastic base are best because they have good air circulation, dwarfs are prone to breathing problems so much better for them than a tank. They are also easier to clean and those stupid things with all the tubes and compartments are rubbish and too small so you shouldnt get one unless you want your hamster to never be tame and you are happy to spend over an hour cleaning it which should be a 20 minute job. Dwarves are great little hamsters but damn are they fast. Have fun with him or her.

  • 1 decade ago

    Next thing you need to do is get a book on hamsters. You should use aspen litter not pine litter. Pine can cause respiratory problems in them. I take it you have a cage, food dish and water bottle already. Good start. You need a wheel if you don't already have one. We mix our own food using Guinea pig and parrot foods. Since we have many hamsters we buy the each of these foods in 4 & 8 pound amounts and mix them in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Our hamster never like the hamster food that stores sell. We have 21 syrian and dwarf hamters. Treats are necessary, there's several kinds out there, try different ones. Also we use the hanging treats sold for cockatiels, ours just love them. We keep vitamins on hand for ours for when they get sick. If yours is a long haired type, you need a comb for cats or small dogs to keep the hair untangled and groom daily. Play with them several times throughout the day and evening. Handling them is great for keeping them tamed. Hamsters will sleep a lot. Best way to wake one up is gently move the litter next to them, allow them to wake up first, them you ok to pick them up. Some may bite if you just stick your hand in there and grab them while sleeping. Good luck with your hamster. I'd like to know what kind you have. Email below:

    Source(s): subject: hamsters if you need help.
  • 1 decade ago

    Be careful, if she gets scared, she may bite. Take extra care when awakening her.Handle your hamster gently -- scoop her up in both hands and hold her with cupped hands so she'll feel safe and secure.Your hamster's front teeth never stop growing -- so she needs lots of healthy things to chew on like treats and chew sticks. Hamsters have tons of energy and need to run on a wheel in their habitat, or in an exercise ball every day.Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.Choose a fortified diet appropriate for hamsters. Fill the bowl approximately 3/4 full.They should always have fruits or vegetables at least once a day

    One teaspoon of chopped carrots and dark green veggies like mustard greens, collard greens or kale may be given daily. Take care not to overfeed these fresh foods. They have a high moisture content and too much can cause an upset stomach.

    Treat your hamster to one teaspoon of finely chopped apple or banana twice a week.A pinch of plain, uncooked oatmeal added to your pet's food dish every day helps provide the fiber needed in her diet. Also give them chew sticks these hard and crunchy treats are yummy and keep your pet's teeth trimmed. Always keep one in the habitat. Change and fill your hamster's water bottle with clean water every day.

    I hope i could help


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  • 1 decade ago

    Feeding it is simple fill its dish or hand feed it if you want to get close to you. You may handle it but not too much because it may bite. Feed it oats, fruits, or veggies sometimes. If you would like ur hamster to get some excercise get a run-a-round ball. Good luck playing with ur hamster!

  • 1 decade ago

    always play with it bcos it can get very lonely. at 1st it might get a bit scared of you but if u always touch it and feed it with your hand , it'll get close to you. feeding it with vegetables such as carrot, etc is good as it wont get dehydrated easily. dont put it under the sun for too long and always make sure there's enough water. If it's eyes are red, it's not healthy.

  • 1 decade ago

    make sure the food dish is always full...and change the water every other day. play with it, and let it smell u before picking it up. NEVER wake it up while sleeping, they usually get a bit angry...don't make sudden movements while trying to pick it up...if it bites(not too likely) keep holding it...don't put it back.

    hope i helped

  • 1 decade ago


    it needs to get to know you,

    so feed him seed or like a peanut by hand so he can associate food with you and he will like you for that,

    also they love to chew on thinks and the best thing is to give them the rolls off of the toilet paper they love to hide in it and chew on it, and you already have them in your house.

  • 1 decade ago

    Keep it away from Richard Gere.

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