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Spotlight on Hamsters
22 January 2018
It is estimated that over 400,000 hamsters are kept as pets in the UK. Immortalised as Penfold in Danger Mouse (yes, he really was a hamster, not a mole) and Doctor Hamster in Peppa Pig, the popularity of this pet with children is undeniable. However, caring for a hamster can be more complex than initially expected.
Here at Pets Corner we think they make wonderful companions, but if you’re looking to give a hamster a home consider our mantra of ‘think twice’ - and get the facts before you take the plunge, to ensure you’re completely prepared.
With the right care, Lucy Ross, Head of Training at Pets Corner, believes these little creatures can become friends for life. We offer the low-down on what makes hamsters tick and how to care for them, so you can have a happy and healthy furry friend. At Pets Corner, we only supply Syrian hamsters as they’re happy to live on their own and have great personalities!
Small but busy!
Lucy comments: “Although nocturnal, hamsters are at their busiest during the twilight hours when their eyesight is adapted to suit this level of light. During these times, a wild hamster can travel up to five miles which means it’s important to offer your hamster as much space as possible.”
That’s why at Pets Corner, we offer a range of hammy houses which give them space to move. Cages should be cleaned at least once a week, with a layer of dust-free shavings on the bottom and fresh (non-fluffy) bedding for the perfect nest.
A little-known fact is that hamsters have poor eyesight which means they can be startled easily, so approach them slowly. They rely heavily on their sense of touch and smell, vibrating their whiskers back and forth to explore the world around them. Spend time putting your hand into the cage without picking them up so that they can get used to you.
Lucy says: “All the hamsters sold at Pets Corner have been handled by our expert team of staff which means by the time you take them home they’ll be used to being picked up. However, we advise that you leave them to settle for the first 24 hours. After this period, play with your hamster as often as possible, handle gently and stay close to the floor.”
If you’ve ever seen a hamster yawn, you’ll be aware of those incredible front teeth. In fact, their teeth never stop growing which means they are designed to gnaw. So, providing your pet with this opportunity is important - just make sure they’re gnawing the right things! We provide a range of chews and treats especially for small pets, including fruit flavoured, wooden nibble sticks which will keep your hamster’s teeth trim.
The mixed hamster foods that we recommend at Pets Corner are all natural and aim to provide everything your pet needs to stay healthy, for example the Great and Small range is packed with a variety of fruits, vegetables and seeds for a gourmet banquet.
Hamsters also love a regular treat of fresh fruit and veg but avoid avocadoes and lettuce which can be harmful. Apples, cucumber and carrots are safe choices, however don’t over-feed as they store food in their beds which can go mouldy if left too long.
Visit our Petopedia page for further advice. Or why not call in to your local Pets Corner store? Our friendly staff have all the expert advice and information you need to ensure your hamster is in tip top condition.