If you want a small pet in your home, but one that doesn't require as much work as a dog, you might consider getting a hamster. These are often contained in cages, so they can be easy to take care of and they can be social if handled correctly. However, it is important that you keep the following things in mind.
They Need a Cage With Access to Toys and Other Accessories
It is a good idea to get the hamster cage set up before you bring your hamster home. That way, you can introduce it to its new home right away. Start by making sure you have chosen a cage that is large enough for the amount of hamsters you are getting. It should have enough ventilation, but not too many tubes or tunnels, as these are difficult to manage. Put bedding on the bottom of the cage, then add a wheel and other toys to keep the hamster entertained. Hang a water bottle on the cage as it should have constant access to its water. Keeping the cage cleaned regularly is important to avoid infection and other illnesses.
Hamsters Need Careful Handling
Another thing to know about hamsters is that due to their size, they are very fragile. Handle them gently, never lifting them by their arms or legs. You should scoop up a hamster by lifting it around the midsection and placing it immediately in your hand or against your chest. Supervise your children when they are handling the hamster to ensure they are gentle enough. While they might not harm the hamster on purpose, children sometimes don't know their own strength. When setting down the hamster, set it down on the floor so it doesn't drop at all, as this could harm the animal.
You Need a Vet That Takes Care of Exotic Pets
Hamsters are often included in the exotic pet category, which is where pets aside from the standard dogs and cats are. Not all veterinarians will take care of these types of pets, so your current vet might not fit the bill. If you have other pets, start by asking your current vet if they take on hamsters. If not, look for a nearby vet that is labeled as an exotic pet vet or lists hamsters specifically as one of the animals they will accept in their clinic. It is important to have a vet on hand, like Babylon Animal Hospital, in case your hamster becomes ill and needs a check-up.