Non-Traditional Pets – Part 2

Everyone knows how to spot a hamster’s abode. You see the stacks of transparent tubes and cylinders zigging and zagging across a table and you think: now that’s probably a home for a hamster. Then you see the exercise wheel and you’re sure. Hamsters can be great fun, and they’re also a good mix with children over the ages of about 6 or 7. Taking care of a pet hamster can teach a child about responsibility, kindness, and the joys of bonding with pets.
To get started laying the foundation for your new hamster’s home, you’ll need a few basics. A cage is a must, of course. You can go crazy here and get the equivalent of a hamster castle complete with tubes and twists and turns that will keep the little guy or gal busy all the night long. Some people also get by with a re-purposed aquarium used for a cage. Anything smaller than about 10 gallons is going to be insufficient space, however, and also be sure that if you use an aquarium, it has a mesh cover to prevent the little ones from escaping.
What do hamsters eat, you may be asking? Don’t worry, it’s cheap and simple. A mix of seeds and cracked corn is like a feast to a hamster, but you should also supplement their diet with some fresh vegetables or fruit once every few days. Lettuce, carrots, apples and the like are fine. Be sure to read up on exactly what they like and don’t like, however, because there are some harmful veggies you need to be aware of.
Be certain what you’re getting; certain types of hamster don’t like company in their cages. If you put more than one Syrian hamster in the same cage, for example, you’re probably going to have a fight on your hands. Dwarf hamsters can live comfortably in communities, however. Just be sure not to pair males and females unless you want new additions to the family.
Most hamster breeds live up to about three years and are fairly simple to care for during that time. They can be a real joy to have around the house, so if the more traditional idea of a cat or a dog doesn’t appeal to you, try a hamster for a change of pace.

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