Hamsters Are Popular as Pets
You might know a bunch of people who have had hamsters. They are cute and pretty easy to take care of.
However, you do have to keep in mind that it can be difficult to tell if they are male or female and you can end up with more hamsters than you planned for! You may want to ask the shop you buy them from to be sure.
Taking Care of Hamsters
Unfortunately, hamsters have a short life span, which is one of the more difficult things about owning them.
You can feed them vegetables, hamster food, and treats that are meant for hamsters. They should have bedded in their cages and it should be changed regularly (weekly or more often if needed). Be sure not to over-feed them.
There are many hamster accessories available, and you'll want to purchase some as hamsters do need exercise. Having a wheel for them to run on is a popular choice for them. Some hamsters like to chew, so if your accessories or cage is made of plastic, you'll want to watch for that. Some people go with a cage made of metal material so that they don't have to worry about chewing issues.
Be sure to wash your hands before and after handing them. Like with many animals, handling them daily is good in order to get them used to it and will have less of a tendency of biting people. However, handling them too much can also stress them out.
If you have a hamster who ends up having babies, be sure to separate the mother and her babies from the rest of them for a while.
Involve Your Hamsters in Science Projects!
As you may already know, hamsters, mice, and other rodents are often used by scientists to explore genetic possibilities. Many people who breed hamsters (whether intentionally or not) will have two different colored hamsters that have babies, and they end up with a whole variety of different colors. This is a great way to show kids how genetics works or even bring them to school one day for a science project.
Children can learn a lot from hamsters about what's involved with taking care of a pet, and it's a good choice since they are relatively low maintenance compared to a dog, for example.