As hamsters are often with or are looked after by children, they will certainly need guidance and, depending on their age and maturity, will probably need supervision. Be particularly careful when many of their friends are around. It is great if you can buy your hamster from a breeder as he will be able to give guidance on how to look after your pet and good food etc. He will often invite you to contact him if you have any questions.
Like us, hamsters need food and water. A ceramic or stainless steel bowl is generally better than plastic as they are heavier and less likely to be knocked over, and will not be chewed. There are plenty of good bagged food for hamsters in your pet supply shop. I would vary the product bought each time to provide variety. I would also add some green leaves and a root vegetable to munch as well.
So they need a cage. The cage will depend on the breed, the dwarf hamster will need a small cage. Be particularly careful with the size of multi-level cages as the dwarf hamster could have problems climbing – or worse, falling off.
The hamster cage should be placed out of the sun and avoid heat extremes such as radiators and draughts. Also, don’t place the cage where it could be knocked. Keep an eye on access to the cage by other pets such as cats and dogs.
What to put in the cage, hamsters are active animals and will require a wheel, that normally comes with the cage. Good free things are toilet roll tubes, some hamsters may destroy them for their nest though. The hamster cage will also need a quiet dark area for them to go to, with their bedding there.
A great gadget for hamsters are the plastic balls where you can place them and they can then roll about in. Works superbly with tiled and wooden floors and they will rush around following you, but take them out when they stop.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals so avoid waking them in the middle of the day. Early handling of them from the early afternoon onwards is a good workable solution.
Hamsters groom and wash themselves very well. The only exceptions are some of the long haired hamsters that require to be brushed. A toothbrush is ideal for this in order to remove bits of bedding etc. from their fur.
Hamsters are strong characters – more so than their size allows, so here is one taking a carrot from a rabbit!!