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.
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 a lot of joy to children.
Where can one buy
There are a lot of places where hamsters are sold, but not everywhere you will get guarantees that the pet will be cheerful, healthy and cheerful when it arrives at the new house. The risk of buying a sick animal is most likely in all kinds of markets. The conditions of their detention there are unbearable, in addition, there is a great danger of catching a cold or contracting infectious diseases. No one will give a guarantee about the accuracy of the date of birth, thoroughbred and gender of the hamsters. But the market has one significant plus - a wide range of both the animals themselves and the accessories for their maintenance and care for them.
When buying a hamster at a pet store, you can be sure that he was kept in normal conditions and was fed with high-quality food. Therefore, there are more guarantees that the animal is healthy. In addition, upon request, they will provide certificates and other documents for the animal, that is, age, breed and other data will be confirmed. Cons of the pet store - the high price of a rodent and a small selection.
Another place where you can buy a hamster is a nursery. Truly healthy and purebred animals are sold here. Before you go for a small rodent, read the information about the nursery and its range on the site. The nursery will not only help you make the right choice, but also advise on issues of feeding and care. Another argument in favor of the nursery is that the animals are no longer afraid of people, they are sociable and affectionate. Therefore, the hamster and children quickly make friends.
How to determine the age of the pet
Determining the age of the animal, do not trust the claims of sellers. Their goal is to sell goods at all costs.
It is optimal to start a small animal when its age exceeds 1 month. Up to three weeks, the baby is still very weak, and after two months - too old to tame it. If the exact date of birth of the animal is unknown, weigh it. A Syrian hamster at the age of 6 months weighs about 200 grams, the weight of the Dzungarian hamster is approximately 60 grams.
How to choose a healthy individual
When buying a hamster, learn to independently determine whether he is healthy. This is especially important when buying an animal for a child. Be sure to consider the conditions in which the hamster was kept, what it was fed with, check the room for dirt and drafts. Girls and boys must live in different cells: pregnancy at an early age can harm the health of the female. The degree of health of the hamster can be determined by the appearance, condition of the coat, and the gleam in the eyes. The hamster must be well-fed and radiate health with all its appearance. Inadmissible discharge from the nose and eyes, irregularities in the body, the presence of parasites. Detection of diarrhea and increased salivation indicate serious digestive problems. In the evening and at night, the animal should be nimble and active, running, making noise, rustling. If he is lazy, inhibited and indifferent to everything, this is a bad sign. In his hands he should not be nervous, anxious and biting, otherwise it will be impossible to keep him at home. The presence of scratches on the body can also give out the aggressive nature of the animal.
Which breed to choose a hamster?
In the world there are many different types of hamsters, but only a few of them have received worldwide fame for pets and are actively bred at home. In our country, in every pet store or market you can see Syrian hamsters, Dzungarian hamsters, Roborovsky and Campbell hamsters. All these breeds differ from each other and have incredible attractiveness. Syrian and Dzungarian, perhaps the most popular and common, but the rest are not far behind.
Immediately it is worth noting that all of the following species require daily attention, otherwise, the hamster will not recognize you, and in return it will defend itself - a natural reaction to strangers.
Features of Syrian Hamsters
This is the largest breed. It has various colors. Of course, Syrian hamsters have conquered the world with their manner of dragging everything they can into their cheek pouches, which are much more spacious. Such a sight looks very funny. By choosing the Syrian hamster, positive is guaranteed.
But, do not forget about proper attention to the animal and it is worth considering that most of the cages and drums for hamsters are designed for dwarf ones. Syriac requires a much larger cage with a drum in the diameter of 18-20 cm, which you need to look for, or as an alternative, create your own terrarium. They live alone, and the sharing of roommates can turn into a noisy fight.
Relate to dwarf. At times less than the Syrians, on average, their weight is 40 grams. Also, sociable and demanding in attention, like the Syrians. However, they have their own attractiveness and charm. Having a small size, it is not difficult for a jungler to pick up a cage and a wheel.
Very charming breed of hamsters. It’s worth looking at them once rather than trying to tell. But, these hamsters are not simple, they have their own distinctive character trait! The Campbell breed is the most aggressive of the species in question. Sometimes they are tamed quite quickly, sometimes they are not tamed at all. They value independence and are persistently fighting for it. However, such a character trait does not prevent the conquest of the army of fans. Look at the photo, how can you resist such a charming face?
The breed is suitable as an excellent choice for busy people who have little free time to care for a pet.
A rarer breed, but also special. These dwarf hamsters are distinguished by their way of life! When all other species are territorial and are ready to bravely fight against encroaches on their territory, including the owner, Roborovsky hamsters prefer sociality. They are not single, but live in groups. But, do not rejoice, a person also needs to tame them from the beginning, and pay enough daily attention.
These are the main breeds that are common in our country. Which one to choose is up to you. Take a closer look at everyone and take the “that looks at you”. Whichever breed you choose, you won’t be mistaken. Next, talk a little about health.
How to choose a healthy hamster
It is very important not only to determine the breed, but also to choose a healthy pet. This will directly affect his life expectancy and activity. Only a healthy pet can present a truly positive attitude. Do not buy a sick hamster out of pity, as a rule, an already fragile organism quickly goes to paradise - do not worry.
And so, before choosing, pay attention to the condition of the coat. It should shine, be smooth not disheveled and, in any case, wet. Wet hair usually indicates an infectious disease and diarrhea.
Look at the eyes of the animal, they should be clean, there should be no souring, both in the eyes and around.
Rate the activity of the animal. This is difficult to do during the day, because hamsters are nocturnal animals. In the daytime, they usually sleep or eat half asleep, can run around a bit and go to bed again. In the evening, a healthy hamster activates and starts to run in the wheel, climb the cage.
We hope these simple tips will help you choose a healthy and beloved hamster!
Share in the comments what breed your hamster is?