10 Tips for keeping healthy, happy dwarf hamsters

10 Tips for keeping healthy, happy dwarf hamsters

Breed Facts

Dwarf hamsters are fun, cute, and interesting little animals that make great pets. They are easy to look after and inexpensive, making them a popular choice within the small animal owner’s community. Keeping your dwarf hamsters healthy and happy should be your top priority, so here are 10 of the best tips to help you on your way:

1. You have a choice between four different types of dwarf hamster

There are four different types of dwarf hamster, each with some slightly different characteristics and requirements;

Robo Dwarf Hamsters – They have a placid temperament and rarely fight with other hamsters. They do not like a lot of human interaction and prefer to be left alone.

Russian Dwarf Hamsters - Possibly the most active out of the four dwarf hamster types, plenty of action and activity from them.

Siberian Dwarf Hamsters – Similar in nature to the Russian Dwarf Hamster, very active and curious.

Chinese Dwarf Hamster – They have longer tails than other hamsters and are often referred to as the ‘’mouse-like hamster’’.

So you have a choice of dwarf hamster to suit your own personality and preference. You will enjoy them all just as much I’m sure, but the more active types like the Russian and the Siberian can be a bit noisy for some owners at night.

2. Understanding they are a lot smaller than regular hamsters

I know it should be fairly obvious with the word ‘Dwarf’ being in the title, but it still comes as a surprise to many just how small these hamsters are. They are around half the size of a regular Golden or Syrian hamster, the good point to this is that they make less mess and require less space.

This doesn’t mean you should cram them into a small cage, quite the opposite in fact, this is a good opportunity to afford dwarf hamsters more space to enjoy.

3. Adopting and introducing your new dwarf hamster into the home

You can find dwarf hamsters up for adoption in most pet stores, or alternatively in the ads here at pets4homes. When you find a hamster you are interested in be sure to ask a few questions of the previous owners. Like what type of personality the hamster has...whether or not it bites...and what food they have been feeding it.

Take the time to find a dwarf hamster form a place you feel comfortable with. If there is anything you do not feel completely happy with, do not commit to adopting the hamster. There are no shortages of dwarf hamsters in need of a good home, so choose carefully.

4. Create the ideal home

Before you pick up and hamsters you need to have a home ready for them to come back to. Glass tanks are a good option for dwarf hamsters to live in. Not just because they offer good visibility, also because dwarf hamsters are so small they can fit through the bars of most normal hamster cages.

Plastic cages also make perfect homes, they are lighter than glass tanks, a little easier to clean and you can attach accessories easier. Make sure you have at least an exercise wheel as dwarf hamsters require a lot of daily exercise.

5. Train your dwarf hamster to use a litter box

One of the fascinating things about dwarf hamsters is their ability to use a litter box. The good news is that it doesn’t take any real training, they will naturally dedicate a corner to use as a toilet area. You can buy hamster litter boxes from pet suppliers, just simply place it in the corner that is being used as a toilet area. This makes your job of cleaning out their cage that bit easier.

6. Keep males and females separate

We all know what happens when you allow males and females to share the same cage. The problem here is that it is not always easy to tell the sex of a dwarf hamster. If you are keeping more than one in a cage I suggest you drop by your local vet and get a professional opinion. It is not something that is worth leaving to chance, having a litter of baby hamsters is quite a handful.

7. Feeding your dwarf hamster

Dwarf hamsters are tiny animals, and as such they do not require much food. They eat around an ounce of food per day on average. It is important that you provide good quality food, rich in nutrition. Dwarf hamsters are very active animals and will burn a lot of calories a day running on the wheel, or burrowing around their cage.

Keep treats to a minimum, no matter how tempting it is. You can use treats mostly when trying to train your hamster to respond to what you are doing, or as a reward for doing something you approve of.

8. Be aware of ‘’Wet Tail’’

Wet Tail is a common, but serious health condition that affects hamsters. It is bought on by less than clean conditions or stressful situations. As well as being contracted via coming in to contact with other hamsters that have the condition.

It is called Wet Tail because you will notice the base of their tail is continuously wet. You will also notice your hamster is lethargic, lacks energy and starting to look unkempt.

If you notice your hamster has diarrhoea then it might be Wet Tail. You will need to take your hamster to the vet for a professional assessment, this condition can be fatal if left untreated.

9. Playing with your hamster

Most dwarf hamsters love to play! You will have a very happy dwarf hamster if you take some time to handle and play with it. The only exception being the Robo dwarf hamster, they prefer to be left alone to make their own amusement.

10. Caring for baby dwarf hamsters

As discussed earlier it’s not always easy to tell the sex of dwarf hamsters. So, should you suddenly end up with some baby hamsters – you better be prepared to help care for them. It all happens very quickly, a dwarf hamster only carries babies for around 16 days.

You don’t need to do much for the first two weeks, certainly do not interfere and touch the newborns. It is important they retain the scent of their mother and form a bond. After two weeks you can handle the newborns and start the process of finding homes or accommodating yourself if you have the space.



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