Dwarf hamsters as pets are a very popular choice amongst many people around the world. These are very tiny rodents that make excellent domestic pets, but their size is so small that it is highly recommended that your child be at least 8-9 years old before you allow him to handle or keep these as pets. These are quite different from regular hamsters and have a certain degree of uniqueness about them. It goes without saying that a lot of special care and attention must be given to these creatures, if you decide to keep them as pets.
All the existing categories of dwarf hamsters originate from the gene pool of Phodopus. The Chinese dwarf hamster is the only one that does not fall into this gene pool, but its characteristics are so similar to other dwarf hamsters, that they are also considered to be a part of this species. The most distinct attribute of these hamsters is their social nature, as they are not territorial and are willing to share their area with other hamsters. For someone who has them as pets, this means that they can keep more than one of these rodents.
Chinese Dwarf Hamsters
These are a very rare species, and are found in certain regions of Mongolia and China. These are not exactly dwarf hamsters as they are much smaller, but their behavior patterns are very similar. Their most distinct characteristic is that their tails are longer and their bodies are thinner and longer. They are social, but it is better to keep two hamsters of the same sex in the same cage.
The females are the more dominant of the 2 sexes, and they can sometimes end up attacking the males as a result. Aluminum or steel cages are the best, as these hamsters can easily escape through the bars of a regular plastic cage. The diet is similar to the diet of other dwarf hamsters. They eat seeds, fruits, pellets, and vegetables, along with a small supply of crickets or meal-worms. Fresh and clean water must also be provided at all times. They are very agile creatures and often become aggressive as well. The life span ranges from anything between 2-4 years. They also require a lot of care and attention, and it is better if an older and more experienced person handles them.
Russian Dwarf Hamsters
These are the most popular choice, and there are 2 species of these: the winter white Russian, and the Campbell's Russian. These are very friendly pets, and are very adorable and cute as well. Ideally, the Russian kinds make better pets. The female hamsters are more aggressive in the case of this species as well. Wired cages are suitable for these hamsters, as they do not have the agility to get out of them as and when they please.
There are specific hamster diet foods that are available in the market, and you can choose one of these. You can choose between a pelleted diet and a loose diet for these hamsters. For children who want dwarf hamsters as pets, Russian ones are the best option.
Teddy Bear Hamsters
A teddy bear hamster is a variation of the Syrian hamster, which happens to be the most popular choice. There are many names for this breed of hamsters, depending on the color and design of their coat. Teddy bear hamsters are very aggressive towards other hamsters, and can fiercely attack them if placed in close proximity. They are usually larger than the dwarf hamsters as well, and can therefore easily kill them.
Hamsters are great pets to have as they are very small and cute. We must ensure that we take proper care of them though, as failure to do so can lead to some dire consequences. Dwarf hamsters as pets are a little more social than Syrian or teddy bear ones, and can be placed in the same cage together, as long as they are of the same sex. Feeding them properly and exercising them will ensure their longevity.