Choosing A Hamster...
Selecting the right hamster for you can easily become overwhelming...
Hopefully, this brief guide will help you to find the little friend who is right for you!
First of all...you must choose the breed of hamster that suits you. The larger, standard variety are called Syrian hamsters. For some pictures and examples of these hamsters, please refer to the links below. The smaller variety are dwarf hamsters, and the most common breed found in most pet stores are called Campbell's Russian Dwarf hamsters.
Syrian hamsters are primarily solitary animals...they do not belong with other hamsters, and such interaction will most often end in violent fighting between the hamsters and in many cases, death. Contrary to what many believe, they do not need a partner to thrive...they'd rather be left to their own space.
Dwarves are another story. They typically can do quite well in pairs or groups when introduced at a young age, and often thrive on the company of other hamsters. Surprisingly, when dwarf hamsters breed, it is generally a good idea to leave the male in the cage with the female, because often the male will aid the mother hamster in her maternal duties while the pups are still young.
However, dwarves should not be introduced to a new companion if they are fully grown, or have not initially lived with other dwarf hamsters. This is something that should only occur if the hamsters have been cagemates since birth or at a very young age.
Both Syrians and dwarf hamsters come in a variety of colors, and coat textures. A common name for a long-haired Syrian is a "Teddybear hamster," which also comes in a wide array of beautiful colors and textures.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HAMSTER:
*Alert behavior: Active on the wheel, running, eating, drinking, scampering, curious disposition -- not lethargic, disoriented-looking, unusually thin, slow activity
*Appearance: Bright eyes that are open and free of discharge, a dry rump that is free of fecal matter, smooth coat that is free of breaks, clean belly, ears that are perked up -- not laying flat against the head.
Helpful Links Related to Hamster Selection
|Copyright © 2001 by Holly Stinehart|