Many first-time pet owners seek out low maintenance small pets. For this reason, hamsters are a popular choice for a pet. However, despite the low maintenance myth, hamsters can require a lot of upkeep and handling.
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Hamsters are popular pets for children but they aren’t always the best pet for small hands. Different breeds are known for different traits and any potential owner to be should learn about the choices they have before picking one out to take home. Also, specific kinds of hamsters should not be kept together while others enjoy company, therefore, it is important to research your hamster of choice if you plan on getting more than one.
Hamsters are nocturnal, so they are often most active right when young children are going to bed. Children may be disappointed that their pet never wants to play with them during the day but it’s likely that you will find some great time for handling.
Another consideration is that hamsters, just like people, can be grumpy when they first wake up. Hamsters can bite and trying to handle a hamster when it’s trying to sleep increases the chance that the handler may get bitten.
However, despite the possibility of nipping, it is very important to handle a pet hamster because it will create a bond between owner and pet.
Although it may be difficult to resist, it is best to avoid handling the hamster until after it has settled into its new surroundings. This will decrease the chance of the hamster nipping since it will no longer feel threatened by its new environment.
In order to gain a pet hamster’s trust, as well as make the handling experience more enjoyable, owners should offer a small treat or bite of food in their hands the first few attempts they make to handle their hamsters. The hamster will learn to trust its owner if it is allowed to crawl into the owner’s hands on its own terms.
Once the pet hamster is comfortable enough to crawl into the owner’s hands, the next step is to condition the hamster to be comfortable being scooped out of its cage.
The owner should scoop the hamster from under its belly with one hand, holding it in a cupped palm.
By holding the other hand over the top of the hamster’s body, the owner can prevent the hamster from leaping back and hurting itself.
Handling and socializing a new pet hamster is important in keeping a happy and healthy hamster. This will teach the hamster to trust its owner, as well as give it social interaction which it would otherwise lack.
Once the hamster is comfortable enough to be held for a period of time, owners can supervise their new pets while they play with toys outside of the cage.