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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 Fri. May / 14 / 2021

Rabid Fox Confirmed in Lancaster County; Two Pets Exposed - SCDHEC
Rabid Fox Confirmed in Lancaster County; Two Pets Exposed  SCDHEC

Managing Pets With Tech: Crowdfunding PetCode - Forbes
Managing Pets With Tech: Crowdfunding PetCode  Forbes

The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually - Journal Times
The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually  Journal Times

Easing Your Pet Out of the Work-From-Home Routine - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Easing Your Pet Out of the Work-From-Home Routine  NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom - Tampa Bay Times
Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom  Tampa Bay Times

Over 65 Percent of Pet Owners Would Dump a Partner Their Cat or Dog Didn't Like, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 65 Percent of Pet Owners Would Dump a Partner Their Cat or Dog Didn't Like, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash - The New York Times
In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash  The New York Times

Darien photographer exhibiting ‘Pets and their people’ in New Canaan - Darien Times
Darien photographer exhibiting ‘Pets and their people’ in New Canaan  Darien Times

They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don't want to leave them - Indiana Gazette
They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don't want to leave them  Indiana Gazette

From the dog's paw: Disaster preparedness for your pets - Fairfaxtimes.com
From the dog's paw: Disaster preparedness for your pets  Fairfaxtimes.com

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Andy Ammo - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Andy Ammo - 47abc  WMDT

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

People are returning pets adopted during pandemic, Maricopa County animal control officials say - 12news.com KPNX
People are returning pets adopted during pandemic, Maricopa County animal control officials say  12news.com KPNX

More people begin surrendering pets they adopted during the pandemic - KTLA
More people begin surrendering pets they adopted during the pandemic  KTLA

Pet Talk with Dr. Zachary Schulze of North Bentwood Veterinary Hospital and Boarding - ConchoValleyHomepage.com
Pet Talk with Dr. Zachary Schulze of North Bentwood Veterinary Hospital and Boarding  ConchoValleyHomepage.com

Pet shelters offer tips for new pet owners as they head back to work - 41 NBC News
Pet shelters offer tips for new pet owners as they head back to work  41 NBC News

Bay Area shelters react to pandemic pet returns - KRON4
Bay Area shelters react to pandemic pet returns  KRON4

How Central Texas animal shelters are shrinking pandemic pet returns - KXAN.com
How Central Texas animal shelters are shrinking pandemic pet returns  KXAN.com

Don't buy pets, adopt from shelter | News, Sports, Jobs - Marietta Times
Don't buy pets, adopt from shelter | News, Sports, Jobs  Marietta Times

General Mills Continues Portfolio Reshaping Strategy with Acquisition of Tyson Foods' Pet Treats Business - Business Wire
General Mills Continues Portfolio Reshaping Strategy with Acquisition of Tyson Foods' Pet Treats Business  Business Wire

Mission Viejo: Guinea Pigs Make Great First Pets For Children - Patch.com
Mission Viejo: Guinea Pigs Make Great First Pets For Children  Patch.com

Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work  WKRC TV Cincinnati

Clinical trials offered to help pets with epilepsy or spinal cord injuries - wcia.com
Clinical trials offered to help pets with epilepsy or spinal cord injuries  wcia.com

Separation anxiety possible for pets as owners return to work - SILive.com
Separation anxiety possible for pets as owners return to work  SILive.com

Prepare your pets before you head back to the office, Oregon Humane Society says - KATU
Prepare your pets before you head back to the office, Oregon Humane Society says  KATU

Pet surrenders spike as end of eviction moratoriums loom, Austin shelters say - Austin American-Statesman
Pet surrenders spike as end of eviction moratoriums loom, Austin shelters say  Austin American-Statesman

Good Day Pets – Squeak & Squawk! - KCAU 9
Good Day Pets – Squeak & Squawk!  KCAU 9

Got pets? This best-selling mop/vacuum combo ‘does not leave ANY hair behind’—and it’s on sale - Yahoo Sports
Got pets? This best-selling mop/vacuum combo ‘does not leave ANY hair behind’—and it’s on sale  Yahoo Sports

Pets of the Week: Kickoff your weekend with bonded Bonnie and Bella; brand new Mittens - Burlington County Times
Pets of the Week: Kickoff your weekend with bonded Bonnie and Bella; brand new Mittens  Burlington County Times

Help find a home for these adorable, adoptable pets: May 15-16 - SILive.com
Help find a home for these adorable, adoptable pets: May 15-16  SILive.com

Top 5 Stories: Cute pets, contaminated soil and a tragic bicycle accident - The Park Record
Top 5 Stories: Cute pets, contaminated soil and a tragic bicycle accident  The Park Record

As poverty bites, Lebanese give up their pets - Deccan Herald
As poverty bites, Lebanese give up their pets  Deccan Herald

People let their pets decide who they date, new survey suggests - Fox News
People let their pets decide who they date, new survey suggests  Fox News

Home to Home eases pets’ transition to new families - cleveland.com
Home to Home eases pets’ transition to new families  cleveland.com

Lockdown pet boom creates busy work days for veterinarians - WBRZ
Lockdown pet boom creates busy work days for veterinarians  WBRZ

Pandemic Pets Not Being Returned at Aggieland Humane Society - WTAW
Pandemic Pets Not Being Returned at Aggieland Humane Society  WTAW

Need help with pet food during the pandemic? Valley animal advocates can assist you - Mahoning Matters
Need help with pet food during the pandemic? Valley animal advocates can assist you  Mahoning Matters

India Pet Food Market Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, FY2026 - Yahoo Finance
India Pet Food Market Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, FY2026  Yahoo Finance

'Excruciatingly sad': Shelters bracing for 'selfish' return of pandemic pets - New York Post
'Excruciatingly sad': Shelters bracing for 'selfish' return of pandemic pets  New York Post

Pet of the week: Sunny days are in the forecast - The Providence Journal
Pet of the week: Sunny days are in the forecast  The Providence Journal

PFAS found at high levels in pets near Chemours plant - NC Health News - North Carolina Health News
PFAS found at high levels in pets near Chemours plant - NC Health News  North Carolina Health News

Americans adopted or bought so many pets during the COVID-19 pandemic that veterinarians are backlogged, burned out - Orlando Sentinel
Americans adopted or bought so many pets during the COVID-19 pandemic that veterinarians are backlogged, burned out  Orlando Sentinel

Pet of the week: Big Max - Torrington Register Citizen
Pet of the week: Big Max  Torrington Register Citizen

Pet of the week: Larry - Middletown Press
Pet of the week: Larry  Middletown Press

Animal shelters see slight uptick in rehoming of pets - WBAY
Animal shelters see slight uptick in rehoming of pets  WBAY

Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door - TechHive
Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door  TechHive

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers - New York Post
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers  New York Post

Pet Safety & Protection Act will Halt USDA Licensed Class B Dealers Selling Stolen Dogs - GlobeNewswire
Pet Safety & Protection Act will Halt USDA Licensed Class B Dealers Selling Stolen Dogs  GlobeNewswire

How to prepare your pets for hurricane season - WTSP.com
How to prepare your pets for hurricane season  WTSP.com

Best pet stores in the Philadelphia area - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Best pet stores in the Philadelphia area  The Philadelphia Inquirer

These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students - POPSUGAR
These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students  POPSUGAR

Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Posh Pets Rescue on May 14 - News 12 Brooklyn
Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Posh Pets Rescue on May 14  News 12 Brooklyn

College Station officials consider pet sale amendment | Govt. and Politics | theeagle.com - Bryan-College Station Eagle
College Station officials consider pet sale amendment | Govt. and Politics | theeagle.com  Bryan-College Station Eagle

As more people return to work, more pets returned to shelters — but not in Chicago - WGN TV Chicago
As more people return to work, more pets returned to shelters — but not in Chicago  WGN TV Chicago

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report - Fox News
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report  Fox News

In Seattle, the pandemic separates pets from owners — but there's help - Crosscut
In Seattle, the pandemic separates pets from owners — but there's help  Crosscut

Things pet owners should keep in mind to help our environment - Columbus Telegram
Things pet owners should keep in mind to help our environment  Columbus Telegram

Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com  Clarksville Now

Clever Office Chair Lets Your Needy Pets Hang Out With You While You Work - Simplemost
Clever Office Chair Lets Your Needy Pets Hang Out With You While You Work  Simplemost

Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues - WRGB
Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues  WRGB

Banning-Beaumont Adoptable Pets: Meet Cubby, Salem & More - Banning, CA Patch
Banning-Beaumont Adoptable Pets: Meet Cubby, Salem & More  Banning, CA Patch

Adoptable Alexandria Pet: Playful Soho Is A People Lover - Patch.com
Adoptable Alexandria Pet: Playful Soho Is A People Lover  Patch.com

After pandemic pet boom, CT vets see heavy workload - CTPost
After pandemic pet boom, CT vets see heavy workload  CTPost

FWC helping pet owners tag tegus, green iguanas to prepare for new rules - Destin Log
FWC helping pet owners tag tegus, green iguanas to prepare for new rules  Destin Log

Experts share how to protect pets during peak tick season - WABI
Experts share how to protect pets during peak tick season  WABI

Four Seasons Plumbing celebrates National Pet Month - PRNewswire - PRNewswire
Four Seasons Plumbing celebrates National Pet Month - PRNewswire  PRNewswire

Is curbside pet care here to stay? Sioux Falls vet clinics say it could be - Argus Leader
Is curbside pet care here to stay? Sioux Falls vet clinics say it could be  Argus Leader

Pandemic Pets and Pet Companionship: Seven Benefits/Considerations for Care Coordination and Estate Planning - JD Supra
Pandemic Pets and Pet Companionship: Seven Benefits/Considerations for Care Coordination and Estate Planning  JD Supra

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/12/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/12/21)  ABC15 Arizona

Meet the CNYSPCA Pet of the Week: Bruce the German shepherd - syracuse.com
Meet the CNYSPCA Pet of the Week: Bruce the German shepherd  syracuse.com

Store pets can be a pull for some Downtown businesses - News-Press Now
Store pets can be a pull for some Downtown businesses  News-Press Now

‘Pandemic puppies’ help fuel Rover’s comeback as pet-sitting startup preps to go public via SPAC - GeekWire
‘Pandemic puppies’ help fuel Rover’s comeback as pet-sitting startup preps to go public via SPAC  GeekWire

Pets of the Week: Max and Ruby - East Bay Times
Pets of the Week: Max and Ruby  East Bay Times

Humane society Pet of the Week: Max - Tahoe Daily Tribune
Humane society Pet of the Week: Max  Tahoe Daily Tribune

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Pet Care Center of Apopka offers pet safety tips for the summer and boarding while you're away | - Apopka Chief
Pet Care Center of Apopka offers pet safety tips for the summer and boarding while you're away |  Apopka Chief

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

LOCAL LINKS: Splash Self Serve Pet Spa - Local News 8 - LocalNews8.com
LOCAL LINKS: Splash Self Serve Pet Spa - Local News 8  LocalNews8.com

Family Fights to Keep Pet Pig in Their Suburban Home - NBC Chicago
Family Fights to Keep Pet Pig in Their Suburban Home  NBC Chicago

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Bee Cave council OKs new 'pet resort' with vet clinic, kennel - Austin American-Statesman
Bee Cave council OKs new 'pet resort' with vet clinic, kennel  Austin American-Statesman

Tiger filmed roaming Houston raises concerns about exotic pet ownership in the Lone Star State - Fox News
Tiger filmed roaming Houston raises concerns about exotic pet ownership in the Lone Star State  Fox News

Residents, pets escape blaze at Adamsburg apartment building, but 8 people left homeless - TribLIVE
Residents, pets escape blaze at Adamsburg apartment building, but 8 people left homeless  TribLIVE

Permit approved for pet day care, boarding business - Evening Observer
Permit approved for pet day care, boarding business  Evening Observer

Dog Adoption Fees Are Being Covered By This Pet Wellness Startup - Green Matters
Dog Adoption Fees Are Being Covered By This Pet Wellness Startup  Green Matters

Vegan couple banned from owning pets after feeding their severely malnourished puppies a meat-free diet - Yahoo! Voices
Vegan couple banned from owning pets after feeding their severely malnourished puppies a meat-free diet  Yahoo! Voices

Greece's New Pet Law May Threaten Ancient Greek Dog Breed Alopekis - Greek Reporter
Greece's New Pet Law May Threaten Ancient Greek Dog Breed Alopekis  Greek Reporter

Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events - 69News WFMZ-TV
Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events  69News WFMZ-TV

Arlington Pet of the Week: Hank - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Hank  ARLnow

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets - Bryan-College Station Eagle
Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets  Bryan-College Station Eagle

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

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street - KELOLAND.com
Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street  KELOLAND.com

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it - Spectrum News 1
Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it  Spectrum News 1

The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms - Vogue
The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms  Vogue

Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

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