Basic Hamster Care

Are you looking to adopt a small but adorable pet? A hamster may be a perfect match. These tiny furballs are quite the little characters. Hammie is gentle, easy to care for, and inexpensive. He’s also extremely adorable! Below, a Walnut, CA veterinarian discusses basic hamster care.


Hammie can have a glass tank with a mesh top, or a wire cage with a solid bottom. Don’t get him a plastic tank: he could chew through it. Your hamster’s tank should be at least 360 square inches, but bigger is better. Get the largest one you can afford. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, as these are toxic to small animals. Your furry little buddy will also need a hidey-hole; food dishes; a water bottle; and nesting material, such as shredded tissue paper.


Proper nutrition is very important to Hammie’s health! You can give your adorable pet commercial food for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Hammie should also get fresh produce, such as bananas, celery, and carrots. For treats, you can give the little guy cooked eggs; fish liver oil; cheese; or even dog biscuits. It’s important to know that Hammie likes to stash his favorite bits and then beg for more food. Don’t fall for these theatrics: you could wind up with a chubby hamster! Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including serving sizes, snacks, and safe and unsafe foods.


Hamsters are very curious and playful. Hammie will need lots of fun toys, including plenty of suitable chew toys. You can find cute playthings in pet stores, but you can also make your furry friend’s toys out of regular household items. For instance, the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls make great hamster toys! Your cute furball will also enjoy an exercise wheel. Just be sure to choose a solid one: wire wheels are dangerous.


One thing that is important for hamster parents to know is that Hammie can get very sick if he gets too cold. Since we have a mild climate, it can be easy for locals to forget this. Keep your hamster in a room that stays between 65-75°F at all times.

Do you have questions about hamster care? We can help! Call us, your Walnut, CA animal clinic, today!

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