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Hamsters can easily win your heart with their teeny button noses, long whiskers, fluffy fur, and portable size.  

They are also fairly low maintenance, don’t require a daily three-mile walk, and can be incredibly fun and family-friendly pets!  

What about taking care of them?
If you were on the fence about adding a hamster to your family, we have some basic care tips that may give you the confidence you need to add one of these critters to your household.  

Their habitat. 
Hamsters enjoy a fair amount of “free space” to scurry about within their cages, but you can also add some accessories to keep them busy, like a wheel (they LOVE these) and a tunnel or something with steps for them to climb.  

Don’t hide their cage away somewhere completely quiet, but also don’t put it in an area that gets ALL the busy traffic. They’ll want to hear the hustle and bustle, but not be right in the middle of it.  

For the bedding in their cage, use wood shavings or recycled paper (with no ink!) so they have somewhere safe to burrow into. You can also add a small container with bath sand– specific sand they like to roll around in that also helps to keep them dry and clean!  

Cleaning. 
Hamster cages are NOT to be confused with air fresheners. After some time, they can smell downright YUCKY. 

hamster peeking out of open cage

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That doesn’t have to be the case if you’re thorough about upkeep! 

Do a quick spot check on your hamster daily and remove any soiled bedding, and at the same time, refresh their water supply. 

Save a “deeper clean” for once a week, and replace all bedding. Clean out their food dish at this time to avoid bacteria build-up.  

Pro-tip- Keep the habitat smelling extra fresh by wiping down their cage with soap and water while all the bedding and accessories are removed. Let it dry before replacing everything. This will ensure that any smelly, funky build-up on the actual cage will be long gone before you refill it with fresh bedding!  

Exercise and bonding.  

Hamsters are social creatures who like spending time outside of their habitats too! 

You can set up a separate gated area with some toys and treats where you can spend some supervised time with your hamster and bond. Be sure to handle gently if you choose to do so, but hamsters are social little ones, so they might enjoy the contact and socialization.  

Ever see those fun little balls that hamsters can push around your house? Use one to give your hamster a great exercise session while also taking a scenic tour of your home. They will enjoy the change!   

hamster eating inside cage

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Feeding.
You can purchase a hamster blend of pellet food mixed with seeds and nuts at most local pet stores or online, but hamsters like some variety in their diet too!  

Offer them other foods in moderation, like carrots, apples, berries, broccoli, etc. Ask your veterinarian for a list of yummy treats your specific hamster can enjoy, and ask how often they are allowed to indulge.  

Hamsters are truly fun and entertaining pets with a lot of love to offer. Knowing how to care for them in advance will ensure a smooth transition for everyone!