When children tearfully ask for a pet, the solution may be to acquire a rodent, of which the sweetest are hamsters. It is only necessary to decide in advance which hamster is best to have, and also to find out where and how to choose a hamster for the child so that the pet brings joy and not problems.
From 7-8 years of age, a child can take care of a furry friend on his own, which develops a sense of care and responsibility. Although the choice of a hamster is best done by parents, it is worth asking the opinion of a small owner or mistress - what color a hamster wants, who is better - a boy or a girl. So the child will feel a connection with the pet, and easier to make friends with him.
Adults are interested in more mundane questions - whether there will be a smell from a hamster in an apartment, how unpretentious it will be to care for, whether a hamster will bite a child.
Male or female
Since small rodents, unlike other domestic animals, cannot be sterilized, males and females will differ slightly in behavior, being dominated by sex hormones. However, with solitary confinement, there is no fundamental difference between them.
Males are somewhat larger and calmer, but they smell more: they specifically mark their territory with urine, which smells stronger than that of females. Boys' fur is also “more aromatic”. Consequently, the cell of the hamster-boy will need to be cleaned more often. Males are more affectionate and patient.
Females are more playful when they do not sleep - they are mobile, active. But when buying a girl kept in a common cage, there is always a risk of unplanned offspring. Females can also have health problems associated with the reproductive organs (endometritis).
Which hamsters are best kept at home? Different types of hamsters differ not only in size, color and length of hair. Focus not only on attractive appearance, but also on the features of temperament. The most popular breeds of hamsters are the Dzungarian and Syrian (on our website there is a detailed comparison of the Dzungarian and Syrian hamsters).
The largest of the decorative hamsters (body length 12-18 cm, weight 100-200 g). Better not to find for the child. Syrian advantages:
- clean, thoroughly wash their hair, the smell is weak,
- live longer than "dwarfs", 2-3 years, sometimes up to 4 years,
- diverse exterior: there are long-haired (Angora) and short-haired, the most various colors - from golden to black,
- It’s easier for a large animal to pick up a child’s hands without fear of dropping it or injuring it,
- the most tame and kind hamster of all.
The Syrian hamster is the only species that can be trained to respond to a name. These rodents are not prone to aggression, easily tamed, recognize the owner.
Difficulty: a large hamster needs a large cage, a running wheel of a solid diameter. If the living space does not allow you to keep a Syrian in appropriate conditions, you can look at dwarf hamsters.
Dzungarian hamster, Campbell and Roborovsky hamsters
Small animals weighing up to 50 g, 5-10 cm in length. They have common drawbacks if the hamster is intended for the child:
• small and nimble, they easily slip out of hands, which is fraught with injuries,
• if the pet is able to escape, finding a tiny rodent will not be easy,
• can be aggressive, difficult to tame, shy.
Dzungariki are considered the most “domesticated” of all dwarf hamsters, they are calmer than Campbell's hamsters. The problem is that these breeds are not easy to distinguish in appearance. You should know in advance how to choose a Dzungarian hamster, so as not to buy the wild Campbell instead.
Roborovsky hamsters are the only ones that can carry a society of relatives, provided that all the animals are of the same sex. Watching a whole flock of active tiny rodents is very curious, but it is almost impossible to pick up such a baby. A frightened animal will bite and break out, Roborovskys almost do not tame.
After the Syrian hamsters, dzhungariki - a good choice of pet for the child. Many of their owners claim that the tamed animal is friendly and sociable.
Sick animals are often sold.
Market hamsters are stressed and kept in terrible conditions. Crowding leads to the spread of infectious and parasitic diseases. If the cage is in a draft, rodents can catch a cold. Because of economy or due to oversight, animals sometimes suffer from poor-quality feed.
If such a hamster dies, being brought home, it is not possible to complain or return money for the animal.
The seller can be deceiving about the date of birth of the hamsters, and the purity of their blood will remain a mystery. Not to mention embarrassment, when “this fat boy” turns out to be a pregnant girl!
The only argument in favor of the market is a wide selection. You can find a hamster of any breed and color, buy a cage and food.
In the pet store, animals are more likely to be healthy. Minuses:
- limited choice
- adult rodents that have “stayed up” can be sold, and the age of hamsters is already short-lived,
- sellers rarely provide competent care advice. They claim that the hamster “eats everything”, “unpretentious” to sell the animal.
The price in the pet store is higher than the market, but the conditions in which the hamsters are located are more favorable.
Ideal to get a future pet in the kennel. The choice of the breeder is limited, but you can visit several nurseries. Photos of hamsters, parents and litter can be studied in advance on the site.
Hamster breeders are versed in caring for these animals like no other. They don’t have secrets from buyers, many leave their phone to contact in case of any questions. From the breeder you can take the contacts of the doctor-ratologist, consult about feeding.
The date of birth of the babies is exactly known, hamsters are sold at the optimum age. Thoroughbred animals are suitable for exhibitions and breeding, although if you buy a hamster for a child, it is not so important. The cost of "elite" hamsters is high, but the price is justified by the costs of maintaining the nursery.
A very important point - it is the "home" hamsters that are the most affectionate and tame. There are objective reasons for this. Since childhood, they get used to human hands, in contrast to the store. Do not experience stress from improper maintenance, transportation. An aggressive or nervous hamster does not receive high marks at the show and is not allowed for breeding.
Therefore, professional breeders get whole lines of genetically calm and friendly animals.
The hamster has many competitors in the fight for the role of a pet. If you have not yet made your choice, our comparison of the hamster with other popular pets will probably help you.
How to choose a healthy one?
Choosing a hamster is a responsible event. The buyer should be able to independently distinguish a sick animal from a healthy one, not relying on the advice of the seller. When deciding which hamster to choose in a pet store or a breeder from a large litter, you need to focus on the following points:
Conditions of detention
Even before examining the hamsters, they evaluate the room in which they are located. There should be no unpleasant smell, drafts, noise. Take a closer look - whether the cell is clean, what quality the feed is in the feeder. Males and females should be kept separately: early pregnancy is dangerous for the young hamster, and the buyer receives an unplanned offspring.
You need to take a hamster home that looks perfectly healthy. Shiny thick fur, baldness and traces of scratching. Clear shiny bead eyes. To assess fatness and make sure that there are no bumps on the body (abscess, swelling), the animal will have to be picked up.
Wool should be completely dry, excretion is unacceptable. Inspect the area around the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, genitals, anus. If there are signs of diarrhea or excessive salivation, the purchase is canceled.
Hamsters even in captivity remain nocturnal animals, sleep most of the day, so you need to look at the animal in the evening. A healthy rodent actively moves around the cage, runs in a wheel, delves into the stern and litter, and does not limp. When the hamster does not sleep, he should not show apathy, freeze in a stupor.
It is important to assess the temperament of the animal - try to pick it up, or ask the owner to do it. If the hamster squeals, bites, breaks out, it will be very difficult to tame it.
Hamsters are taken at the age of 1-2 months. If you buy a baby under 3 weeks old, it may die. Sometimes they try to sell adult animals under the guise of young animals. Whatever happens to you, you need to be able to determine the age of the hamster. A rodent older than 4 months will be difficult to tame.
The nursery knows when the babies were born. In the market and in the pet store, it is advised to weigh the animals. The weight of an adult Syrian hamster is 150-200 g, the dzhungarika is 40-60 g. They reach such sizes by 6 months.
Thinking about which animal is best for home, many come to the decision to get a hamster. These are the most popular pets. However, if you want to know which hamsters do not smell and do not bite, the answer is plush. Any animal of any breed will need to be patiently accustomed to hands, take into account the natural features and needs of the pet. Only then will he respond with affection and trust.
From the article, we can conclude that the ideal hamster for children is a Syrian boy aged 1-2 months, bought in a nursery. In practice, everything is not so clear. One can argue endlessly about which hamster is better - and all parties will be right in their own way. Any rodent will bring joy to children.
Choose a hamster
Take a hamster at a young age, up to 7 weeks. So he will quickly get used to the new habitat and owners. Before buying, you must choose the right hamster, carefully inspecting it: the fur should be clean, without bald spots and sores. Clean nose, paws and non-watery eyes indicate the hamster’s health.
It is important to know that hamsters can hardly tolerate neighbors, even fatal fights. Therefore, if it is decided to have more than one animal, take care of separate housing.
In the aquarium, bacteria multiply easily and there is little air access, so the best place for a hamster is a cage with metal rods. The cell wire must be horizontal so that it can climb and escape. The cage should have a built-in wheel, preferably the presence of labyrinths and various loopholes. Feeding trough, drinking bowl and toilet are selected according to the size of the pet. In the cage there must be a house filled with sawdust or paper, where the hamster will sleep. Sawdust or shavings are usually poured into the bottom of the cell. Sawdust comes in different diameters, it is better to build on your preferences and observations on a rodent. There is no need for additional illumination of the cage, on the contrary, bright light is contraindicated for the hamster.
It is necessary to clean the toilet regularly, and wash the cage and change sawdust weekly to avoid unpleasant odors in the house.
Before cleaning, it is necessary to remove the hamster from the dirty cage by placing it briefly in a clean jar with a small amount of clean sawdust.
A hamster is a herbivore animal, so its diet should include green leaves, millet, oats, millet, seeds and nuts. You can buy special food at the pet store.
It is important to remember that the front incisors of rodents grow all their lives, therefore, in addition to solid food, it is worth giving them something to gnaw on rubber or wooden.
Food for hamsters can be divided into 2 types: dry and wet. Additional protein source.
The basis of the hamster's diet is dry food. It is rich in vitamins, which are so necessary for the pet. Preference should be given to feeds that are produced in factories specializing in the production of animal feed. In this case, you can be sure of the quality of the product. It should be bought food for the hamster. Food for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas - will not work.
Every day, the hamster should eat fresh fruits, vegetables or greens.
Vegetables that hamsters can eat include carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers.
Of fruits, apples, pears can be included in the diet. Not very often a hamster is allowed to feed apricots and grapes.
Useful for the pet will be greens in small quantities. For example, dill, parsley, clover leaves, dandelion are allowed.
Separately, it is worth isolating the protein. It is no less important for the proper development and health of the rodent.
Hamsters should be fed 2 times a week with protein. It is sometimes difficult to determine what hamsters prefer from protein-containing foods. You can try to feed him boiled chicken and eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, peeled shrimp.
Of course, not only food, but also water is important for any living organism. It is necessary to monitor the state of the drinker of the hamster and regularly update the water. If the water level in the drinker has not changed, this does not mean that the hamster does not drink water. Water should be fresh, clean all the time, so you should not forget to change it.
Categorically forbidden to eat:
- garlic, onion
- white cabbage, potatoes, mushrooms
- exotic fruits, citrus fruits
- mint sorrel
The water in the drinker should be constantly fresh and at room temperature.
It is important to ensure that the hamster does not overeat, firstly, it can lead to obesity, and secondly, the hamster hides food supplies in cheek pouches and carries it to the house, where the food soon goes bad and the hamster can become poisonous. When cleaning the cage, all supplies must be discarded.
Positive aspects of content
TO positive the hamsters can be attributed to the parties:
- good at training
- do not create noise in the apartment
- not vindictive, do not remember the grievances (important when there are small children in the house)
- enjoy playing with children
- take up little space
- unpretentious in food.
Negative sides of content
TO negative Hamster moments include:
- being outside the cage can gnaw things, wires and furniture
- irregular cleaning of the cage will lead to a pungent smell in the house
- possibly aggressive behavior
- at low temperatures fall into suspended animation
- the average life of a hamster is 3 years, and this is perhaps their main drawback
Proper daily care of the animal is necessary - inspection of the rodent. Taking in hands you need to examine the coat, limbs and mucous membranes of the animal. If you notice any painful change, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Hamsters, as a rule, do not like water, so you should not bathe them. It is better to brush wool with a special powder using a toothbrush. Such a powder should be purchased only in strictly specialized pet stores.
If possible, the hamster should be released from the cage into a special playing place, for example, a round ball with holes where the animal itself is placed. Observation in this case should be in any case - the pet should be away from furniture and dangerous objects. Rodents need movement, so the ability to run, climb through the mazes and spin the wheel will give the animals pleasure.
The most common ailment of a hamster is stress. Experiencing it, the animal becomes closed and, possibly, even aggressive. Therefore, it is important to know a few rules to avoid stress:
- do not make noise near the hamster's cage
- transfer the animal from one cage to another not by hand, but through a special pipe
- do not show the hamster to other pets
- direct sunlight is dangerous for the life of the rodent, therefore you can not put the cage under the rays and let it out onto the street
- if bathing is indispensable, it is important to ensure that water does not get into the ears, eyes and nose. After the procedure, warm the hamster in your hands or in a warm towel.
Diseases such as hypothermia, infections, fractures of the extremities - must be treated under the supervision of a veterinarian. Usually, diseases are much faster than in humans, and the hamster recovers quickly.
As a result, we can say that the received positive emotions from the hamster are much more than the hassle with him. Children are very fond of hamsters, so they will gladly accept such pets into the house. Caring and caring for him will accustom the child to responsibility and respect for the natural environment.
Do not doubt the establishment of these cute little creatures - they will bring in your lot of positive emotions and memories for life!
The most popular type. Well absorbent, soft, and also accessible to everyone because of its low cost. But you need to know some nuances. Chips treated with cedar or pine oil are harmful to rodents and cause respiratory illnesses. Hard wood shavings are much better for a pet than soft wood shavings.
Suitable for rodents that dig minks, such as a gerbil. This is due to the fact that sawdust is denser than shavings. However, a significant drawback - the irritation of the skin and mucous membranes of the rodent with small particles of sawdust - does not allow using them as a substrate for rabbits, guinea pigs and rats.
Cardboard and paper
A great choice for any rodent, but prints are best avoided so that the paint does not have a toxic effect on the pet. From cut paper, you can build a beautiful nest for a rat, gerbil or hamster.
Существуют подложки из древесной мульчи и бумаги. Они прекрасно впитывают не только влагу, но и запах аммиака.
Солому можно использовать в качестве подложки при условии, что она мягкая. However, experts argue that even very soft straw will be too stiff and prickly for the pet and can hurt it. This is especially true for guinea pigs and hamsters.
The best replacement for straw is hay. Hay is much softer than straw, and this reduces the risk of injury to the rodent's mucous membranes.
Soft fabric and old clothes will be a wonderful bed for any rodent. Rats, gerbils and hamsters are happy to build shelter from socks with a cut off sock. Rags and clothing cut into pieces must be discarded from time to time, replaced with a new backing, or thoroughly washed and reused.
This type of substrate is widely distributed in veterinary clinics, is sold in rolls and is suitable not only for rodents, but also for dogs and cats.
It is very durable, it can be scratched, chewed, stretched, but it will remain virtually unchanged. The inner layer of this substrate perfectly absorbs any moisture, while the outer remains dry. In addition, this substrate is reusable, as it can be washed repeatedly.
Oddly enough, this material can also be used as a substrate for rodents, but it is better to choose the one in which wood pellets. Some owners of rodents recommend using a mixture of filler for the toilet as a substrate, as it absorbs moisture well, and wood shavings, because it is soft and comfortable for a rodent. Owners of rats especially praise toilet litter.
If you opt for toilet filler, you do not need to use fine sand, as it causes irritation to the skin and eyes. Since the filler is quite hard, it is recommended to rodents digging holes, for example a gerbil.
When choosing one of the many substrate options, you need to remember that it is necessary for the rodent not only as a sorbent, but also as a material for creating a nest.
Those of the rodents that do not need nests will still need a soft backing to keep warm. Therefore, it is better to combine different types of materials that perform different functions, for example, cat litter as a sorbent and a soft cloth or shavings to retain heat.