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Hamster in the House

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Hamster in the House

My family is growing. We’ll be getting a new member next week. Namely, a hamster, earnestly requested by my younger daughter, will be the surprise Christmas present next week.

I’m scared. I don’t do pets. We had a goldfish for a while, but beyond that the only animals in our home have been my wild children. Yet, seven-year-olds are only seven once. So, with an opening heart, I’m attempting to embrace with her this new experience by learning how to own and care for a hamster in a way that is healthy, happy and as green as possible.  Here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

1. Creating a home: To create a comfortable home for a pet hamster, choose a roomy enough cage, at least the size of a 10 gallon aquarium tank. In fact, a tank can make a good cage as long as it is well ventilated (securely fastened fine mesh wire at the top of the tank should do the trick.) Those plastic cages readily available at pet stores are not the best choice. They can be hard to keep clean.

Once you’ve selected a cage, line the bottom with plain paper and place on top of it shredded white paper and/or some dry timothy hay for burrowing and perhaps nest-building for these creatures that typically live underground. Because these guys enjoy hiding out, a cardboard box, like a tissue box or oatmeal container might be fun to include in the cage. In addition to hiding in them, hamsters are likely to nibble them. And they can be easily replaced during cleaning.

Since hamsters are nocturnal, it is probably best to keep the cage in a room that is quiet, not overly bright and not drafty.

Next: Cleaning, Feeding, and Playing with Hamsters

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Read more: Children, Everyday Pet Care, Family, Holidays & Gifts, Pets, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

58 comments

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12:27PM PST on Dec 18, 2013

Thanks for Sharing.

11:20AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:11AM PST on Mar 6, 2011

and a i agree with fran,the picture of the hamster is just adorable...so very cute!

1:10AM PST on Mar 6, 2011

I had pet hamsters a long time ago...miss them so

7:21PM PST on Feb 4, 2011

I love hamsters, but I'm more of guinea pig and chinchilla person. I currently have a chinchilla. She is a sweety!

9:34PM PST on Jan 4, 2011

I just wanted to say that the picture of the hamster is soooooo cute

9:10PM PST on Dec 26, 2010

Kudos for doing the research.

12:29PM PST on Dec 26, 2010

I've had hamsters too, They're soooo cute.
Hope you have have lots of fun and joy with your new pet

2:11AM PST on Dec 26, 2010

This is great article

5:55AM PST on Dec 21, 2010

Hamster are nice to look at but I would not want one in the house for health reasons.

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