Hamsters are often considered an easy and low maintenance starter pet, and whilst this is generally the case, they do have vital needs that should be met in order to keep them happy.

To allow your hamster to thrive they need more than a simple cage set up. Their home should be spacious and stimulating, with a variety of food and bedding materials to emulate their natural environment. Read on to find out how to support your hamster in living a fulfilled and comfortable life.

Safe Place to Nest

In the wild, your hamster has an array of natural predators, and would nest to feel safe and protected. As hamsters are largely nocturnal, a nest provides a comfortable place to rest throughout the day. It is vital to provide appropriate nesting materials in your hamster’s environment – avoid old newspapers as the ink can be toxic, instead go for purpose bought wood shavings, or shredded paper and card.

Healthy and Varied Diet

Your hamster needs more than a basic dried seed mix to be fully healthy. Add to this a mix of other dried foods, as well as a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, such as apples or cucumber. For added interest, you can purchase sweet treats and chewable toys to mix up your hamster’s diet. Easy access to a built-in water bottle is also essential to keep your pet hydrated.

Stimulating Cage Set-Up

Your hamster’s cage is their whole world, and so it must provide entertainment as well as food and security. A hamster wheel is an essential addition for exercise, but ensure that it is appropriately sized for your pet – too small and the wheel could negatively impact your hamster’s spine.

An assortment of tunnels and tubes provides a fun layout for your hamster to explore, and these can be rearranged every time you clean out the cage. Cardboard tubes also double up as material for nesting, or for your pet to chew on.

The location of your cage is also important. Keep your hamster in a warm, draft free environment – if the temperature falls below 10 degrees, your hamster may be inclined to hibernate. A quiet room without constant disruption will help to keep your pet happy and relaxed.

Vet Care for Your Hamster

Although it is not a top requirement, your hamster may also need a visit to the vet surgery at some stage. Common reasons which may demand a vet visit for your hamster include low risk infections, check-ups in old age, or pregnancy queries. Bay Vets doubles as a small animal practice, accepting hamsters and guinea pigs alongside their usual clientele of cats and dogs.

Bay Vets offers a range of vital services, including pet vaccinations, microchipping, and a thorough range of diagnostics. Contact us now for more information, or to make an appointment for your pet.