If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, then a hamster might be the perfect pet for you. Hamsters are fun and easy to take care of, and make great companions for both adults and children. Before you go shopping for your new pet, here are a few tips on buying a hamster.
The first thing you should consider is the type of hamster you want to buy. There are five different species of hamsters – Syrian, Chinese, Dwarf Campbell’s Russian, Roborovski Dwarf and Winter White Russian Dwarfs – so make sure to do some research on each type before you decide which one is right for you.
Once you know what kind of hamster you want, it’s important to check out the quality of the store or breeder from which you’ll be buying your pet. Look for clean cages with plenty of bedding material and fresh food and water available at all times. Avoid stores that have overcrowded cages or sickly-looking animals; these are signs that the store isn’t taking proper care of its animals.
When it comes time to pick out your new companion, look for an alert and active animal that appears healthy. Make sure there aren’t any sores or patches of missing fur on its body, as this could indicate a larger problem such as mites or fleas. Also take note of how friendly it is; if it doesn’t seem particularly keen on being handled by humans then it’s best to keep looking.
Finally, remember that although they may be small in size, owning a hamster requires commitment and dedication just like having any other pet would. If properly cared for they can live up to three years old so be sure that you’re prepared to take on this responsibility before bringing one home!
A Few Tips On Buying A Hamster
While buying a hamster need not be a complicated process, it’s nice to know a few things about the animal itself, and how you should go about getting one that you’ll end up being satisfied with. Regardless of what kind of animal we may buy for a pet, we want one that is healthy, has a good temperament, and generally is not a challenge to have to care for.
Breeders – In buying a hamster it is always best to see the little critter for yourself, and perhaps see its letter mates and parents if possible. If you are able to see a hamster “family” and all appear healthy and well-cared for, chances are good that the one you select will be in good health as well. Your best bet as far as getting the best possible pet you can is concerned, would be to buy your hamster from an established breeder. Such a person is in the best position to give you advice on the animal you are intent on purchasing, including how to care for it if you are a first time hamster owner. Buying a hamster from someone who breeds them but is not a professional breeder is also a good approach. If the hamsters that person owns appear well cared for, you can count on getting a healthy pet. The hamster you purchase may have been carefully bred, or could have been an “accident”, but a good little animal nevertheless.
The Pet Store – A pet store is another choice for buying a hamster. If the store enjoys a good reputation regarding the animals it sells, you will probably do well. If the store owner or employee knows a number of facts about hamsters, and the hamsters are in clean cages and well cared for, you will probably end up with a healthy, even-tempered pet.
Online Purchases – At times people will want to know if they can purchase hamsters online. This in general is not a good idea. Even if you can purchase a pet hamster over the Internet, in most areas it is not legal to ship one to your home, and you’ll have to pick it up yourself. In addition, it is always best to see, and preferably handle, a hamster before you purchase it. There’s no fun in buying a hamster only to find that it delights in biting you whenever you pick it up. Hamsters are generally quite docile and friendly, but they do have very sharp incisors. If you want to shop online, use the Internet to locate breeders or pet stores in your area where you can go to choose the hamster of your choice.
The species of hamster most often kept as a pet is the Syrian hamster, often called the Golden hamster, but goes by many names, often as a result of the coloration. While making a friendly and enjoyable pet, many caution against purchasing more than one, or keeping more than one in the same cage. They will fight, sometimes to the death. Russian hamsters are another choice. The term Russian hamster can refer to any of several species native to that country, several of which make very fine pets.
Rescue Organizations – A final source of pet hamsters can be a rescue organization. Hamsters offered for sale from these sources will usually have checked for health and temperament, so you are not apt to regret the choice you make. You may know little or nothing about the hamster’s breeding history, but that may not be of great significance if you simply want a good little pet.
Any hamster you select should be a month to six weeks old. A younger hamster may not be able to withstand the stress of being moved to a new home. If you get something other than a baby hamster, you might try to find out its age. If you purchase a two year old, you may not have it for long, as the life span of a hamster often is between 2 and 3 years.
Pick up the hamster, or offer it your finger. If it tries to bite, or actually succeeds in doing so, don’t purchase it as it is likely aggressive and may not change. Also look for a hamster that appears to be relatively active. If it doesn’t respond much to being handled or examined, it may not be healthy.
Finally, the most important thing about buying a hamster, or any pet for that matter, is knowing how to give it proper care. Take the time to learn some facts about this little creature and how best to care for it, before opening up your wallet.