This guide is general for caring for the different hamster genera, e.g. Golden hamster ( Mesocricetus auratus ) and various Dwarf hamsters ( Phodopus spp .) Always check what specific needs your hamster has.
Golden hamsters live alone in the wild and only meet other hamsters during mating.
A golden hamster should therefore be kept alone in captivity.
Dwarf hamsters, on the other hand, are naturally social animals and can therefore be kept in pairs or small groups in captivity. If you choose to buy more than one dwarf hamster for a cage, you must be aware that the cage must be large. You should also know that when the dwarf hamsters have become sexually mature, they suddenly don't want to be together anymore. The solution here is either to try with even bigger cages or to separate them and let them live solitary (alone) in their own cages.
The dwarf hamsters are allowed to "argue" but they must not fight. Think about whether they each want a house, whether they each want a wheel, whether there is enough space, whether there is enough activity.
The difference between arguing and fighting:
argue : they snarl at each other, run after each other = dominance argument.
Fight : they bite each other. Blood is seen = separated immediately.
Every day excess fresh feed must be removed and fresh water filled in the drinking bottle or in the water bowl. However, you do not need to remove the remains of the finished hamster mixture every day, as it can stay fresh longer.
The golden hamster is a very clean animal, and it almost always places its faeces and pee in a certain corner of the cage, where you can advantageously buy a corner toilet. It is therefore very easy to change this corner a few times a week. Dwarf hamsters are not as practical when it comes to peeing in the same place. When the cage smells, everything in the cage must be changed, and new bottom material is given. It can vary how often it is, this depends on the base material you have chosen to use, as well as the animal itself, some smell more than others. But on average it is every other 3rd week. However, leave some of the hamster's nesting material so that it still feels at home in the cage. Once in a while all things in the cage and the cage itself must be washed off - use only warm water without soap on its "furniture and toys" the cage itself is easily cleaned with detergent without perfume.
Hamsters are often mistaken for herbivores, but they are omnivores and need protein in their diet. In the wild, they eat different types of grass, wind-blown seeds and grains, but also various insects.
The basic food for the hamster should be a rodent mixture, which contains different types of seeds, grains, nuts, animal proteins and other things. It is important that the content of nuts and sunflower is not too high, as this is very fattening. As a supplement , the hamster must have some extra animal protein. This can be given as, for example, mealworms, grasshoppers, dried shrimps or the like, which can be bought, but you can also find insects, larvae and earthworms yourself, which can be given to the hamster.
There are many different hamster cages such as cages and plastic cages with a cage top.
A cage for a hamster must be an absolute minimum of 80 cm x 40 cm and 35 cm in height for Golden Hamsters and 50 cm x 40 cm x 25 cm for Dwarf Hamsters.
The more space, the better, and if you have a species that can be kept together with other species, they must of course have correspondingly more space.
As a general rule, you can say that a hamster cage can never be too big, as they love to explore and exercise. Cages in several levels are a good idea, as it provides more challenges in the form of, for example, digging or climbing. see our selection here .
The cage should have an area where your hamster can rest and hide, and an area for play, exercise and feeding.
Hemp bedding or Carefresh are suitable dust-free floor covering materials. Shavings can also be used, but this creates quite a bit of dust and is bad for their tiny airways. Carefresh is used as nesting material, we do not recommend using "cotton wool", in fact we strongly advise against using cotton wool as nesting material, but if you absolutely want to use "Hamstercotton" then it is important that it is "hamstercotton" bought from a pet dealer or vet, since it is edible "cotton wool" and therefore not real cotton wool, as we know it from home, as the ordinary "human cotton wool" can suffocate the hamster, so never use real cotton wool, as there are plenty of other options. The cage must be kept bright, dry and without drafts.
It is important that your hamster has the opportunity to exercise every day. Although hamsters sleep during the day, they are really energetic and will exercise for 3-4 hours at night. And since the hamster is so active and curious, it is important to give it something to occupy itself with. This is particularly important if you have a golden hamster, which after all goes alone in the cage.
Scooters, tubes and lots of things to chew on are good activities, see our selection here
Signs of illness
Hamsters do not get sick very often, but due to their size, any illness can worsen very quickly. The respiratory tract: Like other rodents, the hamster is sensitive to drafts and cold, and it can therefore develop respiratory infections, which can be fatal. If your hamster starts to sneeze a lot or breathes slowly or with difficulty, you must therefore take it to the vet.
Overfeeding green foods is a common cause of diarrhea. You should stop feeding green food immediately if your hamster has diarrhea and only feed it with good quality hamster food. If the diarrhea continues it should be seen by a vet.
Often confused with diarrhoea, but is a bacterial infection which can cause extreme diarrhoea, with a characteristic odour. It is most often seen in young hamsters (3-8 weeks old). Its end and tail appear wet and sticky. The hamster may appear hunched over as if in pain. Hamsters with a wet tail should be isolated from other hamsters as it is highly contagious. You must wash your hands thoroughly.
As hamsters' teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, hamsters need to be provided with hard material to gnaw on. Lots of gnawing material in the cage can encourage them to gnaw. If a tooth is broken or if the teeth do not meet properly, this can cause overgrown teeth and pain, and your hamster will have difficulty eating.
Nails can also become overgrown and should be trimmed.
At osmedkæledyr.dk, we naturally have lots of products for your hamster and always good prices.
Sincerely, Katja N-Masters