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The Dwarf Hamster

Veterinarians and Pet Care
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The dwarf hamster is a unique type of hamster breed which requires special care considerations due to its behavior and small size. If you are considering a dwarf hamster as a pet, here are some of the most important key points which should be followed to ensure you have a healthy and happy hamster.

One is a Lonely Number

Some types of hamsters are happiest when they are alone, but the dwarf hamster is not one of them. In the wild, dwarf hamsters are extremely social and they sometimes form extensive social communities.

Due to space limitations, most pet owners cannot support a large happy colony of dwarf hamsters, but to prevent them from becoming lonely and depressed it is best to have at least two dwarf hamsters housed together.

If you have a larger space and plenty of time to devote to their care, you may consider three to five hamsters – but for the most part two get along splendidly. It is also best to choose a dwarf hamster pair of the same sex unless you want tons of hamster babies (up to 120 a year).

Housing Considerations

With a tiny body size – on average less than 3 inches long – the dwarf hamster needs special housing that will not permit escapes. A solid plastic or glass aquarium enclosure with a mesh top is the best type of housing for dwarf hamsters; however, a bar or mesh house may work as well if the spaces are small enough to prevent injury or escape.

If you want to add tunnels or additional rooms to your hamster home, ladders should have small spaced rungs and the tunnels access points should be low to the ground; avoid any housing arrangements which can cause injury to your hamster if it falls.

A Happy Habitat

Hamsters need plenty of entertainment to live happily in captivity. Additions to your new dwarf hamster home should include a hamster wheel with a solid steel or plastic lining inside (to avoid toes or feet getting caught in the rungs) and small hidey houses and toilet tissue roles. The bottom of the hamster house should have a few inches of approved hamster bedding too.

Food and Water

The diet of the dwarf hamster includes seeds, grains and small bits of vegetables and fruit. At least two water bottles should be installed at opposite ends of the house as well so that each hamster can have unlimited access to fresh water.

Behavior

Dwarf hamsters are extremely playful, active and they are more vocal than many other types of hamster breeds. Two dwarf hamsters will play together a lot, and you can expect to hear lots of squealing and chirps during these times, particularly during dawn and dusk when they are usually the most active.

Handling

Due to the small size of the dwarf hamster, and because they can become easily frightened and stressed, it is best to only handle your dwarf hamsters when necessary.

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