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How to feed your hamster…

Feeding

In the wild hamsters collect their food early evening and during the

night always ensuring they are safely tucked up in their burrows

during the daylight period. Whilst foraging the hamsters will make

many trips to find their food and each time they will fill their

pouches to bursting point before returning to their burrow to deposit

the food.

Most pet hamsters follow this behaviour pattern so do not expect to

play with your hamster until the evening and if you don’t want to be

kept awake all night with the noise of the exercise wheel don’t keep

him anywhere near your sleeping area.

A pet hamsters’ basic diet should consist of a hard food hamster mix

supplemented with treats such as carrot, celery, grass and dandelion.

You need to ensure the diet is balanced and you must never over feed

any one food.

Make sure that all fresh food, especially if picked in the wild, is

washed and dried thoroughly before being given to your hamster. This

is to ensure it is free from chemicals and pesticides and if collected

from the wild that it is free from fouling from other animals.

Because of the hamsters’ method of collecting its food, care must be

taken when fresh food is offered, only feed what he will eat in front

of you.

When cleaning the cage remove any old food but make sure you replace

it with fresh. If you don’t your hamster will think it has nowhere

safe to store its food so it will keep it in his cheek pouches which

can lead to serious health problems.

Health

Hamsters are normally hardy little creatures but Wet Tail is a common

ailment brought on by stress. The symptoms can take up to a week to

appear and include lethargy and severe watery diarrhoea and if left

untreated at this stage your hamster can die within 24 hours. If your

hamster shows any signs of this illness you must take it to the vet

immediately.

As stress is the major cause of this illness it is important to keep

your hamster as stress free as possible. When bringing a new hamster

home you need to isolate it for at least one week to allow it to get

used to its new surroundings.

Behaviour

Whilst hamsters sleep most of the day when they are awake they are

very active and are happy to be handled once you have gained their

trust but this needs to be built up gradually. The calmer the

environment the calmer your hamster will be. If you take him out of

his cage ensure the area you are placing him in is secure as he will

move very fast and is a great escape artist. Handling and playing

with him on a daily basis will build up a bond between you but handle

him with care and do not startle him as like all animals if he is

frightened or feels threatened he will bite.

A pet hamster can be a great pet and in return for a little love and

attention will make you a wonderful companion.

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