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The Humble Hamster: A Great First Pet for Your Child


Thinking of getting a pet for your little ones? How about a hamster? They're cute, inexpensive, easy to care for, and a great first pet that will teach your child how to be more responsible. Here are some things I learned during my experience as a hamster owner. I hope they aid you in your pet-purchasing decision.

- Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, so expect minimal activity during the day and a fair amount of noisemaking from the hamster cage after hours. Place the cage in a warm, draft-free, secluded spot in the house, where potential activity won't cause a disturbance in the night. Be sure that the lid or door of the cage is securely latched tight, as hamsters are fond of making the occasional midnight escape. As a little girl I awakened many a morning to find my hamster missing, having jimmied the lock on his cage somehow. On several occasions I found him vacationing in a mouse hole behind our kitchen stove and had to coax him out with his water bottle (I'm not kidding about this). It always amazed me that he never injured himself on these wild adventures.

- Unlike guinea pigs, hamsters are solitary dwellers. Doubling or tripling up is definitely not a good idea, as hamster roommates will fight and may seriously injure each other. Your hamster will be quite content to live his adult life in his 'single room apartment.' Be sure to provide him with a sturdy cage of either the plastic and metal store-bought variety, or a roomy fish tank with a secure top. Hamster housing essentials: a water bottle that doesn't leak, dry cedar or pine bedding to line the bottom of the cage, an exercise wheel, and a steady supply of hamster food, all of which you can purchase at the pet store. You may also want to buy him a salt lick and a little box of hamster treats.

- Once your hamster settles into his new home, the first thing he'll do is build himself a cozy nest. Hamsters are quite funny with their housekeeping ways. You can watch yours fill up his cheek pouches with cedar bedding until he looks just like a blowfish; it's really quite amusing to see. Then he'll run to the corner of the cage and unload the contents of his cheeks. He'll do this over and over until he has a nice, big hill of bedding, and then he'll tuck himself right into the middle and drift off to sleep. He'll likely not want to be disturbed until the sun goes down, upon which you'll see him venture out of his nest, have a nibble of his food and then maybe go for a spin on his hamster wheel. Your hamster will even establish a specific spot in the cage that he uses for a bathroom!

- Wet tail is a common hamster ailment that can easily be cured with medicine that you can purchase at the pet store. If your hamster has wet tail, you'll notice his stools will be watery and he may also have a bit of a runny nose, too. Wet tail is the hamster version of a cold and should be treated promptly, as hamsters are not hearty creatures. To keep your hamster healthy and well, make sure his cage is kept in a warm, draft-free area in the house. Hamsters originate from a warm climate and therefore should not be exposed to a chill.

- Your hamster cage should be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a week. It's best to tackle this task outside or near a slop sink in a basement or garage, as it does get messy. Empty all the bedding into the garbage, wipe down any remaining soiled parts, and then use hot, soapy water to wash out the cage. Do not clean your hamster cage with bleach, as a residue can remain that will harm your hamster if he ingests it.

- If you've taken your hamster out for a little fun, never leave him unattended on a tabletop or high counter, even for a second. Hamsters do not have depth perception and will no doubt make a sudden dash for the edge of the table. You wouldn't want your hamster to break his leg, would you? On the other hand, he will enjoy a safe romp in his enclosed hamster ball. You can buy one at any pet store.

If you or your children aren't ready for the committment that having a dog brings, try a hamster on for size. Unlike a fish, you can give your hamster a kiss. Unlike a dog or cat, you don't need to feed him every single day or take your hamster outside. He will pretty much enjoy living a quiet hamster life in his hamster house. Sounds like the ideal pet to me!

Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sat. September / 26 / 2020

In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort? - The New York Times
In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?  The New York Times

Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home - The Daily Nonpareil
Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home  The Daily Nonpareil

Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets - WGRZ.com
Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets  WGRZ.com

Children with animal allergies can live comfortably with pets - Wahoo Newspaper
Children with animal allergies can live comfortably with pets  Wahoo Newspaper

PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel - The Franklin Sun
PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel  The Franklin Sun

Pets of the Week - The Bethel Citizen
Pets of the Week  The Bethel Citizen

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets - THV11.com KTHV
Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets  THV11.com KTHV

Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows - Medical Xpress
Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows  Medical Xpress

Check out these solutions for your pets! - yurview.com
Check out these solutions for your pets!  yurview.com

Pets and People: Putting two feet first | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Putting two feet first | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess  WCAX

Pandemic Pets - The Herald
Pandemic Pets  The Herald

30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game - Today.com
30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game  Today.com

PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits - Chron.com
PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits  Chron.com

Pets of the Week: Amy, Vlad, Maisie and Lola are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Amy, Vlad, Maisie and Lola are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk - Agri News
Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk  Agri News

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families - University of Georgia
Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families  University of Georgia

Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds - Fox News
Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds  Fox News

Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets - myfox8.com
Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets  myfox8.com

Peony and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - The Arizona Republic
Peony and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  The Arizona Republic

Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets - 1430wcmy.com
Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets  1430wcmy.com

Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster  STLtoday.com

Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Fiona is pet of the week - Herald-Mail Media
Fiona is pet of the week  Herald-Mail Media

Adoptable pets for Sept. 25-Oct. 1 - Knoxville News Sentinel
Adoptable pets for Sept. 25-Oct. 1  Knoxville News Sentinel

Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets - WFXRtv.com
Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets  WFXRtv.com

Lost Dog, Husky/Pitbull Mix in Robbins | Pets | thepilot.com - Southern Pines Pilot
Lost Dog, Husky/Pitbull Mix in Robbins | Pets | thepilot.com  Southern Pines Pilot

Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com  Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending - Lake Expo
Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending  Lake Expo

Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island - Long Island Press
Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island  Long Island Press

What do pet owners think about CBD? Study says... - Jill Lopez
What do pet owners think about CBD? Study says...  Jill Lopez

Pet therapy coordinator learns valuable lessons from her four-legged companions - Charleston Post Courier
Pet therapy coordinator learns valuable lessons from her four-legged companions  Charleston Post Courier

Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27 - SILive.com
Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27  SILive.com

Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit! - newstalkkit.com
Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit!  newstalkkit.com

Humane Society of Marion County to award year supply of pet food to winner of Halloween Pet Costume Contest - Ocala News
Humane Society of Marion County to award year supply of pet food to winner of Halloween Pet Costume Contest  Ocala News

Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend - washingtoncountyinsider.com
Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend  washingtoncountyinsider.com

Pet probiotics: Are they really necessary? - Mic
Pet probiotics: Are they really necessary?  Mic

CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo - Santa Maria Times
CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo  Santa Maria Times

Northeast Ohio residents looking for comfort during uncertain times are losing thousands of dollars in ‘pet sc - Cleveland 19 News
Northeast Ohio residents looking for comfort during uncertain times are losing thousands of dollars in ‘pet sc  Cleveland 19 News

Letter from the Editor: Introduce us to your pets! - Chicago Daily Herald
Letter from the Editor: Introduce us to your pets!  Chicago Daily Herald

Grab Rover and drive over to church for a pet blessing - Sun Sentinel
Grab Rover and drive over to church for a pet blessing  Sun Sentinel

Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News - Galveston County Daily News
Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News  Galveston County Daily News

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap  WATE 6 On Your Side

Pets of the Week: September 24, 2020 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: September 24, 2020  WSIL TV

Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA) - FDA.gov
Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA)  FDA.gov

Best of Orange County 2020: Best pet clinic/veterinary hospital - OCRegister
Best of Orange County 2020: Best pet clinic/veterinary hospital  OCRegister

Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’ - MarketWatch
Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’  MarketWatch

Pet of the Week: Ginger - KATC Lafayette News
Pet of the Week: Ginger  KATC Lafayette News

Hudson Valley Pet Valu Stores Raise Funds For Area Pet Rescues - Yorktown, NY Patch
Hudson Valley Pet Valu Stores Raise Funds For Area Pet Rescues  Yorktown, NY Patch

Jackson County Animal Shelter working to reunite displaced pets and their owners after Almeda Fire - KMVU Fox 26 Medford
Jackson County Animal Shelter working to reunite displaced pets and their owners after Almeda Fire  KMVU Fox 26 Medford

PET OF THE WEEK - Sky Hi News
PET OF THE WEEK  Sky Hi News

Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable  MLive.com

Having pets linked to better mental health during lockdown - MENAFN.COM
Having pets linked to better mental health during lockdown  MENAFN.COM

Pet Tales: Meet Ace, the Pittsburgh Adventure Dog - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Meet Ace, the Pittsburgh Adventure Dog  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Las Vegas animal shelters offering free pet adoptions this weekend - FOX5 Las Vegas
Las Vegas animal shelters offering free pet adoptions this weekend  FOX5 Las Vegas

Three kittens available starting Monday - The Daily Nonpareil
Three kittens available starting Monday  The Daily Nonpareil

Longview Mall hosting 'Shop With Your Pet' event on Sept. 26 - CBS19.tv KYTX
Longview Mall hosting 'Shop With Your Pet' event on Sept. 26  CBS19.tv KYTX

Hastings cathedral to host pet blessings | Faith & Values - Grand Island Independent
Hastings cathedral to host pet blessings | Faith & Values  Grand Island Independent

Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets - Prescott Daily Courier
All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby - Duluth News Tribune
Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby  Duluth News Tribune

Pet Parasite Forecast: Information on anaplasmosis - FOX 61
Pet Parasite Forecast: Information on anaplasmosis  FOX 61

These household items can be poisonous to your pets - KSAT San Antonio
These household items can be poisonous to your pets  KSAT San Antonio

Treats Unleashed can help you find the right food for your pet - KSDK.com
Treats Unleashed can help you find the right food for your pet  KSDK.com

Local shelter reduces adoption fees during BISSELL Pet Foundation's Empty the Shelters event - WILX
Local shelter reduces adoption fees during BISSELL Pet Foundation's Empty the Shelters event  WILX

Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi  KBTX

Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days - PRNewswire
Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days  PRNewswire

Pet of the Week: Spike - KGET 17
Pet of the Week: Spike  KGET 17

Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets - KOIN.com
Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets  KOIN.com

6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets - MSN Money
6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets  MSN Money

2020 Pet Food Drive off to a big start - WEAU
2020 Pet Food Drive off to a big start  WEAU

Calamity Jane(CJ) is the ‘Pet of the Week’ at the Midland Humane Coalition - KMID - Local 2 News
Calamity Jane(CJ) is the ‘Pet of the Week’ at the Midland Humane Coalition  KMID - Local 2 News

China's largest pet-focused platform Boqii launches IPO in the US - PRNewswire
China's largest pet-focused platform Boqii launches IPO in the US  PRNewswire

68 Million US Households Have Pets, Expect 4% Growth in 2020, Reports Packaged Facts - PRNewswire
68 Million US Households Have Pets, Expect 4% Growth in 2020, Reports Packaged Facts  PRNewswire

Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings - prideofdetroit.com
Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings  prideofdetroit.com

Pet of the Week: Julius - The Recorder
Pet of the Week: Julius  The Recorder

28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love - CNN
28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love  CNN

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc  WMDT

Woman Inspired By Dog's Survival During Wildfire Rallies to Donate 7500 Pet Oxygen Masks–Plus She Adopted the Pup - Good News Network
Woman Inspired By Dog's Survival During Wildfire Rallies to Donate 7500 Pet Oxygen Masks–Plus She Adopted the Pup  Good News Network

Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20 - SILive.com
Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20  SILive.com

Pet Shop Boys becoming Funko Pops - Brooklyn Vegan
Pet Shop Boys becoming Funko Pops  Brooklyn Vegan

Hints From Heloise: Pet photos | Connect | athensmessenger.com - Athens Messenger
Hints From Heloise: Pet photos | Connect | athensmessenger.com  Athens Messenger

Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires - KPTV.com
Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires  KPTV.com

Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs - The Arizona Republic
Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs  The Arizona Republic

Pet Of The Week: Jasmine - Oswego Daily News
Pet Of The Week: Jasmine  Oswego Daily News

Batch of Billy + Margot pet food recalled due to Salmonella concerns - NorthcentralPa.com
Batch of Billy + Margot pet food recalled due to Salmonella concerns  NorthcentralPa.com

Meet Calamity Jane (CJ), Newswest 9's Pet of the Week - NewsWest9.com
Meet Calamity Jane (CJ), Newswest 9's Pet of the Week  NewsWest9.com

Pet DNA kits on sale: Save up to $50 on Basepaws, Embark, Wisdom Panel - Mashable
Pet DNA kits on sale: Save up to $50 on Basepaws, Embark, Wisdom Panel  Mashable

Dozens of pets rescued from St. Thomas after COVID-19, hurricanes in Mass. - WCVB Boston
Dozens of pets rescued from St. Thomas after COVID-19, hurricanes in Mass.  WCVB Boston

Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade' - KTIV
Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade'  KTIV

IACS hosting 'Fall In Love' with a shelter pet event - WTHR
IACS hosting 'Fall In Love' with a shelter pet event  WTHR

The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet - CNBC
The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet  CNBC

Recall alert: PetSmart discontinues Real Pet Food Co. dog food label after salmonella recall - KOKI FOX 23
Recall alert: PetSmart discontinues Real Pet Food Co. dog food label after salmonella recall  KOKI FOX 23

Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters - KLAS - 8 News Now
Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters  KLAS - 8 News Now

N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020  nj.com

Rockville voids pet store license after FOX 5 report - FOX 5 DC
Rockville voids pet store license after FOX 5 report  FOX 5 DC

Pets with Potential: Sky - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Sky  WCAX

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