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Why Hamsters Make Great First Pets for Children

Updated on March 17, 2017
Herbie eating
Herbie eating | Source
Herbies decked out house
Herbies decked out house | Source

Hamsters Make a Great Pet for Young Children

Let's face it, all children want a pet and some parents just can't see having a dog or cat because we all know that we will end up taking care of them.

So what do you do when your child wants a pet, but you don't want one that is high maintenance? A great choice is a hamster out of any pet your child could have.

First and most importantly hamsters are inexpensive to keep. Between food and bedding you are talking about ten dollars a month or maybe fifteen if you buy treats. With the new hamster bedding they have out now, they really do not smell and you only have to change the cage weekly or every other week if you wish too.

Hamsters are wonderful creatures to watch as they build their nest, move their things around where the want them and make piles of bedding to hide in. Herbie our hamster was a little spoiled because he has more things in his cage to occupy him then he really needs.

When you go in the pet store you always see half eaten plastic houses and do you know why they do that? Because they don't feed them what they like. Our hamster has never chewed on anything in his habitat.

Hamsters eat a mixture of nuts, dried fruits and pellets. They love banana chips and they really are cost effective pets. It will teach your children responsibility but at the same time let them enjoy having a pet.

Hamsters are nocturnal and love to run in their wheels at night so make sure you get a squeak proof wheel.

Hamsters and mice are a delight for children. They are smart, will take food from your hand and become very personable after time with them. Herbie is smart and very easy to care for. So if you want a pet for your children but don't want all the hassle a hamster can be your child's best friend.

Hamsters can run up to five miles in one day. This is more then most people jog. No need to worry about their figures.

Why Hamsters Make Great Pets

The Cost of Hamsters

Most hampsters cost around 13 dollars but the fancier they are, the more expensive they become. Cages usually run anywhere from 30 to 75 dollars depending on how much of a hampster condo you really want them to have.

So What Supplies Do You Need to Keep a Hamster.

A cage preferably glass because they do like to chew.

A water bottle that is up high enough so they can stand on their paws to drink.

A house to hide in, a wheel to run in and a food bowl.

Hamster bedding is about 7 dollars for a large bag and it will last for several changes because it makes a lot once you pull it out of the bag.


Hamsters Need to Groom

Grooming of Hamsters

When you look at hamsters in a pet store, there is always more then one together. Hamsters are pack animals with the need to groom. If you only buy one hamster, he may start over grooming and pull all his hair out.

Being by themselves can make them anxious. Once they start over grooming it is very hard to stop them. Herbie over groomed himself and we ended up having to put him to sleep. He developed a large sore on his head and it just because a horrific situation. That is why before ever getting a pet, you should know everything you can about any pet your are adopting.

A Syrian Hamster

Life Expectancy of a Hamster

On average, a hamster will live for around 2 to 2.5 years.

Of course, this is just an average. Some hamsters will live for this amount of time, some hamsters will live for longer, and some hamsters will, unfortunately, have shorter lives.

What factors affect hamster life span?

Just some of the factors that affect how long a hamster will live are:

  • Species
  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Living environment
  • Illness
  • Quality of care

Hamsters need vet care just like any other pet. You wouldn't adopt a dog or cat and never take them to a vet. The same applies to hamsters. They can get ill. Sometimes the illness is not treatable because of the age of the hamster.

Hamster Breeds

Types of Hamsters

Syrian or known as the Teddy Bear hamster have long hair, can be raised alone and are the biggest hamster of all.

Campbellā€™s or dwarf hamsters are gray and white and only grow to be about 3 to 5 inches long.

Winter White also known as a Siberian hamster has a dark stripe down their back. In the winter their fur changes from brown to white.

Roborovski also known as the Robo hamster is fast and due to their small size and swiftness, they take a little more work than others, but are still fun companions. Robo's have the longest life span of up to 3 1/2 years.

Chinese are also known as striped, gray, or rat-tailed hamsters. They are dark gray with a dark stripe down the back and have a longer tail than other hamsters.

It doesn't matter which hamster you choose. Make sure you research the do's and don'ts of hamsters. Some of them are more difficult then others.


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